Sailing? Not a gentleman's sport at all

Table of contents:

Sailing? Not a gentleman's sport at all
Sailing? Not a gentleman's sport at all

We talked with András Holczhauser, the general secretary of the Hungarian Sailing Association, about the domestic sailing camps, the training of young people and the huge opportunities inherent in the sport. It turned out that our child can easily become a sailor! Let's say you have to make sacrifices for the Olympics, but why not?

Are you looking for a summer program for your child who loves water, but even the news of the swimming world championship doesn't make him so excited to jump into chlorinated water? Are you planning to spend your well-deserved rest at Lake Balaton, and wouldn't it be bad if the time was useful for everyone? It fills you with a smile when you see many small white sails swaying on the water from the shore, but when you think about sailing, you immediately start envisioning convertibles, the Cote d'Azur and fairy-tale princes, and dismiss it as an affordable idea for summer camp?

Then we have good news, because sailing is also just a sport that increases the ability to concentrate, teaches self-discipline and endurance, and does all this in the fresh air, in the middle of the water, taking advantage of the weather conditions. A real challenge, a real discovery, a real becoming one with nature, and our article also shows that it is not priceless. To learn the basics of sailing, you don't have to dig as deep into your wallet as you might think.

Another question is, can my child become Nándor Fa without the whole family going into debt?

In 2015, the Hungarian Sailing Association began developing the Sailing School program, with which, in addition to promoting the love of sailing, their undisclosed goal is to facilitate the education of younger generations.

András Holczhauser
András Holczhauser

András Holczhauser, the secretary general of the Hungarian Sailing Association (henceforth MVSZ), told Dívány: the program started with the launch of the training program for instructors and coaches, so that only those who are able to do it at a high level should deal with camps and youth training.

The next step was the development of the system of requirements for training places. Today, you can also apply for the purchase of equipment, which can also be used to support the sailing schools and thus the parents of the children applying there.

"When we saw that the education was at different levels in different camps, we decided to create a uniform and high-quality framework for the operation of sailing schools," András Holczhauser began, adding that the program has now grown to the point that the sailing schools found in the country must meet the requirements set by them, if they count on the association's support.

This is also very important, because in theory someone cannot become a sailing instructor just because he knows the difference between a svert and a capital ship.

The camp training boats are mainly the Optimists, which are also used for racing, which is the smallest boat on which children can start learning sailing, and this is the boat class that also plays a major role in children's world competitions.


Moving on from here, it is important that the high achievers get to know other small boats, pairs or even catamaran sailing, which is why we also find small boats in the schools that are not classically in the youth competition category, such as Laser Bahia, Topper catamarans or RS boats. These are very easy-to-handle types, but sailing with them is already a step up from the optimist, and you can learn the basics that a beginner sailor needs even on larger boats.

"At the end of the season, the coaches often call back talented children who could fit into the youth training program, so it is typical that these talents are already tested in the last summer camps of the sailing schools, since this is where you can transfer to the supply for racing.

But those who don't become competitors, don't be sad either, because next year you can learn and improve again, they will learn the sure foundations needed for hobby sailing and team racing on large ships. In addition, in the ever-expanding large-ship competition field, more and more enthusiastic crew members are needed," said the general secretary.

Good, good, but how much does it cost?

In general, it can be said that for a one-week residential sailing camp, the parent has to shell out an amount between HUF 50-90 thousand, which, although it is really not one of the cheapest camps, if you consider what the child gets for this money, it doesn't seem like such an amazing amount anymore.

A holiday on the shores of Lake Balaton, with winter and winter life and continuous life on the water, can hardly be done for much less, and let's not forget that the necessary equipment, appropriate safety conditions and protective clothing are provided by the MVSZ and the support of the schools.

All of the camps provide a boat for the children, and in many places the day camp can also be a freely chosen option, which is, by definition, somewhat cheaper, in which case the child can go home in the afternoon and spend the evening with his own family.


Fortunately, we can now find certified sailing schools in many places around Lake Balaton (the number of sailing schools accredited by the association is 17), so it is also easily possible for the child to "attend" camp locally, so he can learn to sail where the family is also enjoying their well-deserved vacation.

"The success of the School of Sailing program is proven by the fact that the number of people involved in the youth training program increased by thirty percent in four years. While in 2013 it was 219 people, by 2017 we expect more than 400 people," said the general secretary.

Olympic? You can't do it alone

Of course, all this does not mean that sailing belongs to cheap sports. Unfortunately, even with all the help, it can be said that in order for the child to have a world-class sailing career, the parents have to make the same serious sacrifices as in the case of other sports, and this really means investing more money than if the child chooses, say, swimming as a profession.

"Even though the amount that we can spend on supporting elite sports has increased many times in recent years, in order for a talented child of youth to become a serious sailor who can be evaluated at the international level, the family must also contribute And although Hungary will probably never become that huge sailing nation, let's not forget that we have Europe's largest freshwater lake, which also hosts the oldest sailing race around the lake, the Kékszalag.

In addition, although the sport has never been spoiled, serious names have emerged if we only look at the last couple of years. At the last Olympics, for example, Zsombor Berecz and Mária Érdi also won races. If we observe the trend and are optimistic, we can realize that it is indeed worth getting serious about sailing, which now has a 150-year tradition in our country."


You can't go too far with camp selection

According to Holczhauser, it can generally be said that the parent does not have a lot of discretion in choosing the camp, the child can learn the basics of the sport almost anywhere, they have not yet received any complaints about cocklers, but the schools certified under the Sailing School program definitely have highly qualified instructors, they hold their camps according to appropriate safety requirements and with appropriate quality equipment.

If the child proves to be talented, he can be transferred to a club with a bigger tradition, and then all that really remains is for the family cap council to meet and decide whether they are willing to put their lives on the line for the child's sports career. This, however, can be said about all elite sports in exactly the same way as about sailing.

Popular topic