ASA Featured Instructor: Tibor Van den Wildenbergh, Victoria Sailing School

By: Instructors, Schools

Tibor learned to sail through the Victoria Sailing School, from its founder, Jim Cook. Since then he has been sailing and racing extensively. You can find him at Chatfield racing nearly every Wednesday night during the season. He currently teaches basic on the water courses, as well as a Diesel Maintenance Course, and Racing and Spinnaker courses.

Tibor Van den Wildenbergh is this month’s Featured Instructor.

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ASA: What got you into sailing?

Tibor Van den Wildenbergh:

My father-in-law owned the Victoria Sailing School, so when I married my wife it basically became a part of my life. Since I started I really got into racing to keep that competitive edge up!

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ASA: What was your most memorable student or class?
Tibor Van den Wildenbergh:

We turned a weekend racing clinic into a heavy weather sailing class when the winds were too intense to safely learn how to fly the spinnaker. Lots of heeling, and plenty of smiling to be had! Students don’t typically get to experience that kind of force on a sailboat, I think it is good for them to understand that a keelboat will always right itself.

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ASA: Your favorite place to sail?
Tibor Van den Wildenbergh:

Carter Lake, CO. It is one of the 4 reservoirs we operate on, very secluded with excellent winds. But you need to be careful, the winds can pick up very quickly and become dangerous. 2nd would be Catalina Island.

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ASA: Why do you sail?
Tibor Van den Wildenbergh:

The feeling of the wind picking up the boat and moving it through the water without any noise or engine is a feeling that does not get old. I also love teaching, and seeing the happiness on student’s faces when they experience something new is a great feeling.

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ASA: What do people not know about sailing that they should?

Tibor Van den Wildenbergh:

Not strictly sailing, but advances in timekeeping stem from a need to keep accurate time while crossing oceans while explorers were discovering new land outside of Europe. Being able to navigate by celestial objects requires very accurate timekeeping (to the second). The British government actually had a 20,000 pound prize for anyone who could accurately figure out where they were in the middle of the ocean, and that prize eventually went to John Harrison, the inventor of a mechanical clock accurate enough to successfully navigate via the stars.

“I think that once you learn how to sail, you look at the world from a different perspective. That of a conservationist, you want to keep the world healthy so that you can enjoy sailing for a long time to come. Or from a historical perspective, there are so many inventions today that stem from early explorers pushing the boundaries of sailing. You will also learn to be aware of your surroundings, not only 360Degrees horizontally, but vertically as well (below you, and above).”

You can find and sail with Tibor Van den Wildenbergh at Victoria Sailing School in Denver, Colorado.