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Taste of sailing at Marina Reservoir

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Young children are introduced to sailing by trained sailors in the calm waters of Marina Reservoir. (Photo by Les Tan/Red  

One of the challenges as a father of three young boisterous boys is to find them something fun to do outdoors. So I was glad when I found out about SailFun, a two-hour programme that gives anyone aged seven and above a taste of sailing. I signed up my 10-year-old boy and went down one Saturday afternoon during the recent school holidays to the Marina Reservoir located at the Marina Barrage. For the next two hours, I placed my boy in the expert hands of Zandra Chew Yann, 16, of Tanjong Katong Girls' School (TKGS).

Zandra finished second at the 2012 Singapore National Byte Championships. Zandra gave my boy a taste of sailing in the calm waters of Marina Reservoir with the busy downtown just hundreds of metres away. After that afternoon at Marina Reservoir, Choy Zhen Fang the Programme and Facilities Executive from the Singapore Sailing Federation kindly took the time to answer my questions about the SailFun programme which was started in July 2010 and has seen 2,500 people go through it.

Red Sports: We understand the SailFun programme introduces sailing to youth. What can a person look forward to in the two hours? Zhen Fang: After a short safety briefing and introduction to do’s and don’ts on the boat, participants can look forward to an afternoon of fun and an unforgettable sailing experience in the Marina Reservoir among the iconic landmarks while sailing on the Pacer with a skipper on board.

Topics covered on the boat include:
— Introduction to the main parts of the boat (Pacer)
— How does sailing work? — Basic sailing terminology
— Sailing the boat
– through steering and controlling the sails (through pulling in or letting go of the sails via ropes)
— The beauty of using mother nature to move a boat!

Red Sports: How old do you need to be?
Zhen Fang: Anyone above the age of 7 can sign up. You do not need to know how to swim, just need to be confident in water. Life vests are provided.

Red Sports: If someone is interested in learning to sail after SailFun, what's next?
Zhen Fang: Children from age 7-12 yrs can sign up for a basic sailing course in the Optimist boat. Adults can choose to take up a basic sailing course in either a dinghy (capsizeable) or a competent crew course in a keelboat (non-capsizeable). They can enquire further with our affiliated sailing clubs around the island.

Red Sports: Are there any highlights we can look forward to in the next few months?
Zhen Fang: PUB will be organising the World Water Day on March 16th and we will most probably be organising sailing tryouts at Marina Barrage for the public.

You can contact Zhen Fang at: or call her at 64444555. For more details about the programme, go to the SailFun website.

Full story at Red Sports:

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