Sailing Equals Art form

James - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on May 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature, sports
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When most people think of sailing, they probably don’t think of it as an art form, but when its compare to painting, it is easy to make similarities. Painters may say that their medium is paint; in contrast a sailor would say that wind is their medium. The commonality of painting and sailing is a painter places color in some places and takes it away in others. The same can be said about sailing; you trim the sails to make them flat (a flat sail is best sail shape when going up wind) or let it out to make a balloon shape (for going down wind). In another form, a sailboat is like a paint brush, the brush takes a blank canvas and turns it into a painting; a sailboat takes its crew across the water.

The beauty of sailing is taking something as simple as wind, and using it move you through the water. It’s about the rush, when the skipper yells we’re coming-about (is what the skipper says, just before tacking, to let the crew know to get ready). Depending on how windy it is, determines how your move about the boat; if it’s blowing you want to move quickly (to keep the boat from capsizing), but if light wind, you want to move like a cat (so that you can save as much power as possible). In painting this would be like using a fine paint brush; for details or a thick brush, when large amounts of paint are needed. When sailing catamarans (a sailboat with two hulls) you hike off the side of the boat, to counter balance the wind from blowing the boat over. Painters will do the same thing in painting, they may place vibrant colors on some place, and to balance it out they will use more of a basic color elsewhere.

Sailing is an art form, in the sense that your mind shuts everything out that does not involve sailing. Your brain stops thinking about how much homework is left to do, or what bills have not been paid, you just think about tacks, jibs, and runs (a tack is turning while going up wind, a jibe is turning while going down wind, and a run is going directly downwind). Sailing is that creative place for sailor’s to lose themselves; just like painters get sucked into a painting. Anyone can enter this state of mind; no matter how good you are, all you have to do is be able to enjoy yourself. I believe sailing is an art form: in the way painters use paint to create master pieces, and sailors use wind to move their boats.