Sailing for all, by Carlos Rúa

Two years ago, when I was entrusted with the task of directing the MRCYB Sailing School, the roadmap I received from the club’s board had very clear guidelines and a great goal to achieve: “Sailing for everyone”. Just three words that hid – and hide – many aspirations and dreams. Quite a challenge that I accepted without hesitation for a single second.

Bringing sailing closer to as many people as possible is a difficult but not impossible job, and from Monte Real we work daily to achieve it. We want to offer everyone the opportunity to enter the world of sailing because we are certain that, once they get to know it, they will end up feeling the same passion for this sport as we do.

This is something that we see very clearly in the children who begin to navigate in our introductory courses. Many arrive afraid -because it is something they have never tried and it is a completely unknown world for them-, but that fear quickly transforms into illusion, illusion into emotion and, almost without realizing it, they are trapped by the magic of the sea and the sensations that the candle produces in them. I speak of children, but with adults exactly the same thing happens.

Both of them have, at the Monte Real Sailing School, the possibility of getting on a boat and sailing when and how they want. For children we have dinghy sailing courses, both in individual classes and in double classes, during the week or at the weekend. There are also dinghy sailing courses for adults, an initiative that we launched this year and that is being very well received. Seniors can also cruise, to learn or for pleasure, with friends or family. We organize baptisms of the sea, getaways to the Cíes Islands, group outings to sail around the bay… and in our Adapted Sailing School we receive groups of people with some type of disability, so that they can enjoy sailing under equal conditions, in our adapted boats.

Sailing for everyone, and at all levels. That was the objective with which all our course and activity proposals were devised, and that is the philosophy with which we work on a daily basis. The roadmap is very well defined and the first step is to inform, publicize our activities, and demystify the idea that sailing is an expensive sport (we have courses from 20 euros per month). Then there is the task of making fathers and mothers aware of all the benefits that sailing can bring to their children, not only on a sporting level, but also on a personal level. The little ones live new experiences, gain self-confidence and establish friendships with other children, relationships that in many cases go beyond sports activities.

The courses that we give to these “little boys” is one of the things that gives us the most satisfaction as coaches, because we can accompany them in their evolution since they get on a boat for the first time and go through the different classes. At Monte Real they can sail in Optimist, in Cadet, in 420…and those who want can also start competing, something that always excites them.

Many years ago, when I started in the world of sailing, I would have never imagined that all those wonderful sensations that I experienced in my beginnings could now be experienced through our students. It is, without a doubt, one of the reasons that encourages me to continue working to make this sport a sport for everyone.

Carlos Rúa, head of the MRCYB Sailing School