HOW TO SAIL ACROSS AN OCEAN
The strength of the wind: what you need to know to go to sea under sail
Co-founder of the yachting school Wind Force Alexander Skolkov told the Championship about how you can start your training at the school of captains.
- How and when the school appeared Wind strength?
- Wind force as an organization appeared quite a long time ago, about 9 years ago. Maxim Pinigin, founder of the Museum of Soviet Slot Machines, together with his friends began to make regattas for their own. They went to the Mediterranean in a big company, took boats, managed them themselves and arranged various events there. At first the events were closed, but over time, the Force of the wind grew and began to work with much more people.
- Have you started to conduct classes and take exams?
- At first everything was not so, experienced guys began to train their friends, who also wanted to become captains, and sent them to take exams at partner schools that had licenses. Then the Wind Force itself received a license. I joined the school a little later, when Max and I met and realized that we were doing the same thing. I then had my own small organization, he had the Power of the Wind. We decided to merge our assets and kept the title.
Photo: Wind Force
- Who teaches at school? Are there any restrictions or can anyone study?
- There is a reasonable age restriction, licenses are not issued to too young people as well as the right to drive a car. There are no other restrictions. On the contrary, we try to make it clear that yachting is available to everyone, and it is absolutely not necessary for this to become a real captain with a parrot on your shoulder. We have a lot of girl captains, and we are trying to introduce this image into the mass consciousness in order to eradicate the myth that this is not a woman's business.
- Is it possible to go on a trip on your own after school ?
- Training consists of a theoretical course and a practical exam. The practice is a week of classes with an instructor somewhere in the Mediterranean. A small group (about 6 people) leaves, and every day someone conditionally becomes a captain. We call this the toy captain. If you pass the exam successfully, you will be issued an international captain's license. With them, you can safely go on a journey. Of course, for the first time, it is better to choose an easier region, where there are no difficult conditions or winds. But with every journey comes experience and over time you can choose regions that are a little weirder or more dangerous.
Photo: Wind force
- Are there any points that beginners should pay attention to?
- Many newbies have one thing in common: they are too eager to fight. They think that they will quickly get their license, in five minutes they will go on a trip, and tomorrow they can go around the world. Experience accumulates rather slowly, skills come only blahDue to numerous and constant training, this must be understood. Therefore, it is very good if, before you come to school, that you have already had the experience of traveling not as a captain or chief mate, but as an ordinary member of the team. In our school you can sign up for any trip and tell the captain that you would like to study. All our captains will gladly respond to your request, they will only be pleased to transfer part of the work to someone, while teaching the process.
- What qualities do you need to possess to become a good captain?
- Anyone can become a captain, but a good captain is distinguished by such qualities as the ability to take responsibility for everyone, make quick decisions and soberly assess their strengths. A good captain is always able to distinguish between the skills that he possesses from the skills that he would like to have, but is still not ready. Sometimes it is easier not to leave the marina in a strong wind and, possibly, upset your team with this decision, than to go out and get into conditions that you cannot cope with.
Photo: Wind power
- Can a person with a small income afford yachting?
- We try to make it as accessible and democratic as possible. If you go to our trainings in the Moscow region using the subscription system, it will cost about 1,700 rubles per workout. It costs about the same to work out in the pool with a trainer. If we talk about outbound yachting, then here too we try to keep one of the lowest prices on the market. One of our regatta may cost 500 euros. Of course, this adds the cost of airplane and food, but in general, this is the amount that a person with an average income can afford.
- Is it possible to study in Russia or be sure to travel abroad?
- There are two points to consider here: there is sport yachting, and there is cruise. You can study sports yachting in Russia, right here, in the Moscow region. You come to the reservoir and train at least all day long. We have already brought up many talented young racers who are now fighting each other at a distance. But these trainings do not give any rights. As for cruise yachting, here you are trained, then you are given international class rights and you go on a trip on a sailing yacht. He can also be trained in Russia. We do not conduct such a practice, but there are schools that do it. You can take an internship in Vladivostok, in the Crimea, or not far from St. Petersburg. But such training has a drawback: the international class rights that you receive do not work in Russia. The international system by which all these schools are certified is not friendly with Russia, so if you plan to take a boat somewhere abroad, then it is better to take the exam somewhere in the Mediterranean. Still, you will better understand the conditions, traffic on the water, the arrangement of marinas where you have to moor, navigatesigns and so on.
Photo: Wind force
- Where can you sail in Russia?
- There are a lot of such places in Russia. You can sail in the Sea of Azov, the White Sea, and the Gulf of Finland. You can walk in the Black Sea in the Crimea or Sochi. You can try to walk from Sochi to Turkey or further. Very busy yachting in Vladivostok, there is a huge Seven Feet Yacht Club, which hosts many high-class regattas. Next summer we are planning to make a trip from Vladivostok to Japan and back. There is a small regatta on Lake Baikal called Baikal Sailing Week, which is also quite rich in yachting. This list can be continued for a long time, many yachtsmen travel along rivers, train on reservoirs throughout Russia, someone ferries boats from Finland to Sochi across our entire river system, someone goes to Solovki, someone in the Barents Sea. But in Russia there is practically no yacht industry: there are no comfortable marinas, there are no places where you can rent a yacht, there are no systems through which this yacht can be found. And this, of course, creates great difficulties. But, despite them, yachting in Russia still continues to develop gradually.
- Does yachting sport have a season?
- In Russia there is. It lasts approximately from May to October. The rest of the time it's just cold. But in the cold season, you can ride a lot where: in Turkey, the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Thailand. So if you have money for air travel, yachting has no seasonality.
- Is there a need for your own yacht?
- You only need it if you want to travel around the world. Most captains and people who are constantly engaged in yachting do not have their own yachts. This whole system is developed in such a way that you can always find a boat that can be rented. You need your own boat only if you want to associate your life with a permanent stay on it, because it requires a lot of care and money. If you are not going to travel more than 5 times a year, then you do not need your own boat.