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Sailing? I could do that. . .

Published: 2nd September 2016

If you watched Annalise Murphy in the Olympics and thought to yourself – ‘I’d like to try this sailing lark’ then read on. Perhaps this is the sport for you so here we’ve asked Trinity Sailing Club secretary Lindsey Watters for a few tips on what’s involved.

Sailing can be learned at a very young age or it can be picked up later in life. It also can be done at a highly competitive level or in a more relaxed, "Sunday afternoon cruise" sort of way. It also has a very social aspect to it. The local and international sailing community is very tight-knit, which tends to lead to connections all over the world.

Anyone can sail. After just a few lessons it becomes second nature. It’s good for fitness. Depending on the type of boat you choose to sail, it can be very good for fitness. Certain boats like the laser, skiffs (29ers and 49ers), and most dingys require a high level of physical fitness in order to be competitive. To maintain the fitness level required to be successful in these boats, most competitive sailors do a good bit of cross training off the water including cardio and weights work.

It’s probably not as time-consuming as you think. Sailing as a sport is what you make it. The Trinity sailing team has a mandatory practice for one full day each week, so for about six hours. Additional practice sessions are often held during the week for those who want to be more competitive. In addition, sailors are often expected to attend on-campus tactics talks in the evenings as well as maintain a certain level of fitness through personal cross-training. 

You don’t need to own your own boat! And most sailors don't! The Trinity team owns a fleet of fireflies that are used for our team racing contingent. We currently sail out of the Royal Saint George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Because of its convenient location, it is easy for sailors to slip in a practice after college (just hop on the Dart) or make it to early morning weekend practices without too much hassle.
Dun Laoghaire is also great for sailing in as it is slightly protected from the breeze and swell out in the bay and is therefore more hospitable to hang training sessions in the winter.

Unfortunately you do have to have the appropriate gear. It can be quite cold so you will need gear including oilies, a spray top, warm non-cotton under layers, and a life jacket. However, for those looking to attend one practice just to see if they are interested, most of that kind of stuff can be borrowed from a friend who sails or someone else on the team. 

For more information on the Trinity Sailing Team by visiting our website at or emailing us at We will also have a stall at the Fresher's Week Fair (Sep 19-23) and are always happy to answer questions about anything sailing related.