The Importance of Wind

***PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: The presence of wind is crucial to the art of sailing.***

Ground-breaking information, I know. Until learning to sail, I have never been more aware of wind in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good breeze on a hot, summer day (and I curse it to its death in the arctic tundra that is winter in Michigan) but I have grown to appreciate it more since being here. There’s something about its tandem qualities of being both extremely powerful, yet totally, completely invisible that makes the entire concept of wind fascinating.

Its both true and apparent. Its course-changing abilities keep skippers on their toes and the crew aware as they read the water and trim the sails accordingly. Even the slightest adjustment in the sails is helpful for both gaining and maintaining boat speed.

Low wind is nice when we need to work on basic keelboat skills like rafting and anchoring and what not, but on days when we’re anticipating weather conditions more appropriate for racing our 420s, low wind levels are a disappointment. (Most of our 420 practice has been in low wind, so hopefully our upcoming regatta will fall on a day with better wind.) Greater wind speeds make sailing more exciting and actively engaging.

That’s all she wrote.


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