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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Lifestyle -> 
Sailing catches on in town
    2017-12-01  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Yang Mei

yangmei_szdaily@163.com

SOME 600 years ago during the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Zheng He, a Chinese mariner and diplomat during the reign of Emperor Yongle (1403-1424), commanded the first of his seven voyages to Southeast and South Asia. His fleet of 317 ships carried almost 28,000 crewmen.

In the modern era, people set sailing primarily for adventure and sport. Sails work by catching the wind. When the boat is sailing downwind, the wind blows into the sails and pushes against them. When sailing upwind, sailors adjust the sails by alternating lines on either side of the wind direction so that they can go anywhere they like.

Sailboats can be categorized into monohull and catamaran types, both of which can withstand strong winds and waves. Sailboats are mainly propelled by wind and driven by oars, skulls and poles for berthing and setting sail when there is no wind.

Shenzhen is home to a group of amateur sailors who have conquered the business world and aspire to conquer the oceans. With different personalities yet the same passion for sailing, they established Winhong Dawn Sailing Club in 2015.

“Ocean sport is for the strong who can brave sunshine and rain. Being on the sea makes me more open-minded and generous,” said Wu Ziliang, president of the club.

Pu Jun, a member of the club, is a mother of three. She loves sailing for the challenges it poses.

Xie Bin finds sailing appealing for its calls for team spirit. “Sailing is called the ‘blue opium.’ I think the beauty of sailing is that it is a team sport which requires favorable weather conditions and harmony among sailors,” he said.

In the eyes of every member, Winhong club is a happy and positive team. “We’re not professional sailors but we are sailors with professional knowledge and skills,” Alfred, a member, told Shenzhen Daily.

They have been to places like Australia, Palau, the Philippines and Guam for fishing, diving and picnic.

They have also participated in international regattas such as the 71st Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. After going through hardships due to inclement weather, they crossed the finish line on the last day of 2015 and ranked first place in the cruise group, becoming the first ever sailboat team with all-Chinese crew members from the Chinese mainland to survive the international race.

This year they participated in the 2017 China Cup International Regatta held between Oct. 26 and 29 in Shenzhen.

Sailing is not as difficult as people think. “In China sailing is burgeoning. The threshold for sailing is not high and people can always find something that may suit them,” Wu said.

Those who want to have fun trying sailing can sign up for sailing lessons at training centers or clubs across the city. Shenzhen Across Four Oceans Sailing Club, for example, is a professional training school accredited by Shenzhen transportation bureau and Shenzhen maritime safety administration. The center boasts a team of professional coaches and offers a complete curriculum. Exams for acquiring sailing certificates of competency are available for avid learners.

According to a staff member at the club surnamed Chen, adults can sign up to learn sailing and the tuition fee is 26,800 yuan (US$4,066) per person. The applicants should be healthy and no older than 60. “We have a similar learning system to driving license acquisition; trainees should pass both theoretical and practical exams to acquire licenses,” Chen said, adding that the club has produced more than 1,000 sailors since it was founded.

Children and teenagers can take part in a five-day summer camp to experience the joy of sailing. The price is around 10,000 yuan per person.

Chen said that the number of people signing up for the courses is increasing every year. Parents send their kids to learn sailing and to cultivate self-discipline and team spirit.

Sailing lovers can also cross the border to Hong Kong for practice. The cheapest is a public benefit training course given by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of Hong Kong SAR. The entry-level sailing training course is only HK$70 (US$8.9) but applicants will need to register first and wait for an opening.

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