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Last chance to emroll for this sailing masterclass before the monsoon

Updated on: 17 May,2024 12:36 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Devanshi Doshi |

As the sailing season draws to a close next week, a sailing school is offering two-hour-long masterclasses for those who would like to experience this activity

Last chance to emroll for this sailing masterclass before the monsoon

Participants will learn how to set up the sail and the boat in the masterclass

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Last chance to emroll for this sailing masterclass before the monsoon

A nine-year-old, intrigued by why there is a ‘bedsheet’ catching wind on a boat at sea, convinced her father to let her try her hands at sailing. “It was the perfect place to be with friends. In a concrete jungle like Mumbai, we were amused to find an open sea, with water splashing from all sides of the boat,” recalls Ayesha Lobo, who started coaching people when she turned 15. When she turned 23 in 2014, she founded a sailing school, Discover Sailing India, with the help of father Sunil and her sister Malvika.

A moment from a previous session (right) The activity is pet-friendly
A moment from a previous session (right) The activity is pet-friendly

With the monsoon expected to arrive next month, Lobo is busy wrapping up the last few sessions of sailing before they begin again in September. “To make these last sessions special, we have partnered with Mumbai Foodie [food community], for a sailing masterclass,” she shares. Apart from this, they will host private masterclasses for interested groups of friends or family. The masterclass, Lobo shares, is a way to give people a taste of what it is like being at sea. “People expect a tumultuous, rough sea. They ask me if it is going to be like Life of Pi or the Pirates of the Caribbean,” Lobo chuckles, “and while there will always be a risk when at sea, I tell them that this is not a movie, and the Mumbai bay is nothing like that.”

School-going children learn to sail at sea
School-going children learn to sail at sea

She tries to touch upon all the aspects taught at length in the sailing courses, which she tells us begin with understanding the correlation between the sea, the wind and the sail. “Remember, the sail harnesses the wind, and that is how we get the momentum. Only after understanding this will you be able to know how to use the steering wheel to turn the boat,” she explains. After the group gathers at the meeting point, they take a transfer boat to the sailing boat. On the way, the trainers educate the participants about the concept of wind, currents and direction. Upon reaching, they learn how to set up a boat, pull and drop the anchor, and control steer and sail.

Ayesha Lobo
Ayesha Lobo

“The myth about sailing is that you have to be muscular to be able to do it. This sport is considered to be for strong men. Trust me, we have petite-framed trainees doing really well. In fact, nearly 80 per cent of my staff is female. The idea behind founding the school was to promote the sport among women. We wanted to create a path and fund the women at sail, because they don’t get nearly as much funding to pursue this as the men in the country,” Lobo shares.

The school, apart from hosting experiences like yoga at sea and the two-hour-long masterclasses, also organises clean-up drives and participates in restoration projects. “We have courses for serious sailors, sessions for schools, for people looking for one-time-experiences, and of course, pet owners like us, who want their furry friends to be at sail,” she says.

Sailing continues to be a passion and a getaway from the city for Lobo. “I urge people to try it because you will not only take back home new learnings but sailing also has the potential to relieve you from your stress. It allows you the time to breathe and think,” she signs off.

Get ready to sail

>> Take medication if you have motion sickness
>> If you can’t swim or have anxiety, inform the instructors
>> Carry drinking water to stay hydrated
>> Sailing can be glamorous so dress to look cute in comfortable clothes  
>> Apply sunscreen and bring your biggest smile

Till May 25; 7 am to 8 pm
Meeting point Gateway of India. 
Log on to: 
Call: 9920886114 (for slot availability and cost)

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