A discussion with Nonika Economopoulou, a sailor, trainer of the Nautical Club of Lefkada.
Looking for ways to calm our souls and find ideal activities for young and old, we may be one of the lucky ones to have the sea, but also the specific “Polynesia”, next to us.
Discussing at the Nautical Club of Lefkada we learned ways to properly engage and educate our children, outside of school and family space, but also an appropriate choice for the older or the students who come to our island.
Everything starts from the tender age of 6 to 7 years old, depending on the physique of the child, where with the category optimist begins to know the sailing, the techniques of the boat, the “wills” of the winds and the secrets of the sea. As the child grows up, from 13 years old – the most palatable – to the 17th, jumps into the Laser class or another two-seater boat, where it matures in tactical matters by participating in races, carries out longer distances and knows faster speeds .
Throughout this course of learning, the benefits for the young athlete are multiple. From learning to dress and behave properly on board, to understanding the signs of weather (meteorology) and the usefulness of mathematics and physics in marine life. Also, through his participation in the games, in addition to the possibility of perspective and subsequent development as an athlete, the element of teamwork as well as the setting of goals is cultivated.
But the championing part, doesn’t start and finish at the age of 18. A perfect example is the world-renowned Dutch champion Caroline Brouwer, who started her career at 19 and swept all the world sailing events. So it’s never too late to start or evolve, especially if you’re a student in the island who’s grown up without the choice of the sea next to where you were born and this is where you’re presented with this opportunity.
Moving gradually to the older ages and the vents that the sea can provide, let us not forget that other peoples, such as the German inhabitants of Hamburg, take advantage of the lunch break from their office to enter the lake with small boats and relax. The choice of sailing as a way out of tranquility, exploring places and even by participating in offshore races, is an ideal escape of relaxation and relief for those of us who are privileged in this place with boats next door, with 300 days of favourable weather conditions a year. Here should also mention the professional rehabilitation that has been presented to many who started sailing as a hobby, but ended up being their professional home.
At this point special mention should be made in an interesting project, the “Lefkas Youth Challenge”, where it makes the most of the J-80 vessel named “Neva” and combines the experience of Nonika and Panos with the spontaneity of young people who want to switch to larger ships. The size of the boat favours the transition from small racing boats to larger ones, while participants as a group are now confronted with greater forces on the sailboat and compete with worthy boats with adult crews.
As we close our conversation with Nonika we realize that the Nautical Club of Lefkada has many options, both for sports and for entertainment through sailing for all ages and for all body types. So it’s worth trying! It’s right next to us!