Monthly Archives: February 2012

What is Sailing School Like?

asa on dockIt’s one thing to decide you want to learn to sail. But when it comes time to actually do it, what are you getting yourself into? At ASA sailing schools, the answer is fun, adventure, and a new sense of confidence on the water. Read on as we walk you through what it’s like to learn to sail with one of our affiliates.

How To Pick a Sailing School

Picking a sailing school is kind of like choosing the right college. There are lots of great ones, but it’s important to find one that fits you and your goals. ASA has over 300 schools across the country, so there’s sure to be one near you. We also have a number of schools in the Caribbean and overseas. These “destination” schools are great for people who want to combine their sailing lessons with a relaxing tropical vacation. Continue reading

ASA 2012 Flotilla: St. Martin and the Leeward Antilles

st. martinCheck out our full 2012 flotilla schedule here.

From April 20-28, 2012, ASA will be leading a flotilla in St. Martin and its neighboring Leeward Islands, St. Barts and Anguilla. A flotilla consists of several boats sailing together, and has many advantages. For one thing, it takes away the intimidation factor of exploring a new destination, since the group will be led by a captain with a wealth of local experience. Additionally, it’s a chance to meet a bunch of new sailors and share an amazing adventure.

St. Martin is a fascinating destination. The island is half-French, half-Dutch, meaning that even though it isn’t very big, it is home to two distinct cultures. Nearby St. Barts is French, and Anguilla to the north is English. That means ASA will be touring three European countries, all in the comfort of Caribbean warmth! Continue reading

The More You Know, the More Fun Sailing Is!

sunset sailingA wise man or woman once said, knowledge is power. Nowhere is this truer than in sailing, where the more you learn, the more worlds of sailing fun are opened up to you.

Like most things in life, the key to success is a good education. Courses from an ASA sailing school are designed to be thorough and enjoyable, and to leave you feeling confident on the boat. Each level expands your comfort zone, beginning with basic boat handling and continuing with coastal cruising and eventually offshore, blue-water sailing! How far you go depends on your goals and dreams as a sailor.

Often the biggest obstacle a new sailor has to overcome is not the weather or the waves, but the feeling of being overwhelmed and not sure of themselves. The more training you have, and the more time you spend on the water, the more your confidence will grow.

Take the example of Karen, who put off learning to sail for years due to uncertainty about her ability, instead telling herself she would do it “someday.” But, Karen says, she realized that “someday may never come, and if I was going to do the things I wanted to do then now was the time. Tomorrow was no guarantee. So I contacted an ASA school in Panama City Beach, FL and signed up for my lessons.”

Karen continues: “Where do I begin to explain what sailing has done for me? When I was sailing, I didn’t think about anything or anyone. No problems, no work, just me and the boat and the water and wind and all of mother nature. I felt one with the boat. I felt like I was home! It put a smile in my heart and on my face. I always want to sail, there is so much to learn and do, I will never be bored.”

Karen told me that getting a quality sailing education “completely changed [her] attitude about life.” She has plans to continue taking ASA courses and is only having more fun as she learns. Stories like these are the reason we do what we do. One of the best things about these courses is that they can be fantastic sailing adventures in themselves. Many of our schools are located in, or teach classes in, the Caribbean and other exotic locales. That means you could combine a wonderful tropical vacation with a chance to make huge strides in your sailing skills!  Learn to sail near you, or look at our list of schools outside the U.S. to find out more.

If you want to learn to sail the right way, and have a great time doing it, ASA courses are for you. You can even get started online, with our instructive and fun e-course, Your First Sail. We can’t wait to see you out there on the water!

Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes America’s Cup Comeback Story on ESPN Classic

19874 stars and stripes victory sailWatch on ESPN Classic Saturday, February 4th, 2012

ASA co-founder Peter Isler was the navigator aboard Stars & Stripes when it famously won back the America’s Cup in 1987. This Saturday you’ll have the chance to relive that victory, or see it for the first time. Here’s the press release from North Sails with the details:

North Sails is proud to present Stars & Stripes 25th Anniversary America’s Cup Special which will air on ESPN Classic this Saturday, February 4th at 2am, 12pm & 7pm ET. Featuring new interview footage with Dennis Conner, Tom Whidden, Jon Wright, and Malin Burnham, you will relive an amazing comeback story in this one-hour special.

American skipper Dennis Conner famously lost the America’s Cup in 1983 in the waters off Newport, RI. The New York Yacht Club had held the Cup for 132 years but Conner and his crew aboard Liberty faced a technologically superior boat named Australia II, that featured an innovative winged keel. In a best of seven race series it came down to one final race. Liberty led for most of the race, but lost near the end in a heartbreaking defeat.

Six months later, Conner mounted a comeback. But first, he had to defeat 12 other teams to earn the right to be the challenger. After a grueling elimination series, Conner prevailed and faced the Australians in the 1987 America’s Cup in Fremantle, Australia. Conner won in four straight, and became a national hero. ESPN covered the races live. This program relives this amazing comeback story. Dennis Conner talks about his experience on the 25th year Anniversary of his victory with Stars & Stripes.

The program is sponsored by North Sails and Rolex. It is hosted by Gary Jobson and Jim Kelly. Airs on ESPN Classic:
February 4 at 2:00am et (11:00pm pt February 3)
February 4 at 12:00pm et (noon) (9:00am pt)
February 4 at 7:00pm et (4:00pm pt)

The text of this article has been provided by North Sails.

Exciting times at the 2012 South West International Boat Show

asa booth boat showThis year, ASA will be participating for the first time in Texas’ largest in-water boat show, the South West International Boat Show. And if it’s the biggest thing in Texas, you know it’s going to be HUGE. You’ll be able to find us there along with many of our sailing schools.

WHEN: March 22-25, 2012
WHERE: South Shore Harbour Marina, Bay Area Houston, Texas

All the biggest boat manufacturers will be there, including Beneteau, Hunter, Jeanneau, Lagoon, Catalina, and Leopard. Come check out their latest models in the beautiful warm-weather setting of the Texas gulf coast. Over 400 boats will be in the water, and many of them ready to demo! Continue reading