Sailing Information

Sailing is the art of controlling a boat with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to change the direction and speed of a boat. Mastery of the skill requires experience in varying wind and sea conditions, as well as knowledge concerning sailboats themselves.

While there are still some places in Africa and Asia where sail-powered fishing or transport vessels are used, these craft have become rarer, as outboard and modified car engines have become available even in the poorest and most remote areas. In most countries people enjoy sailing as a recreational activity. Recreational sailing or yachting can be divided into racing and cruising. Cruising includes extended trips, short trips within sight of land, and daysailing.

Throughout history sailing has been instrumental in the development of civilization. The earliest representation of a ship under sail appears on a painted disc found in Kuwait dating to the late 5th millennium BC. Advances in sailing technology from the Middle Ages onward enabled Arab, Chinese, Indian and European explorers to make longer voyages into regions with extreme weather and climatic conditions. There were improvements in sails, masts and rigging; navigation equipment improved. From the 15th century onwards, European ships went further north, stayed longer on the Grand Banks and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and eventually began to explore the Pacific Northwest and the Western Arctic. Sailing has contributed to many great explorations in the world.

Wikipedia, Sailing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailing (as of Apr 8, 2010)

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gu · ru [goo-roo] : one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom and experience in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others. Log in or join now now to designate yourself or someone you know a Sailing guru.

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