First sailing school holds party

Vietnam’s first sailing school, based in Mui Ne, will hold its official launch party on Saturday night, February 12.

MANTA Sail Training Centre, which is managed by sailing instructor, Julia Shaw, aims to promote sailing in the coastal resort town and establish sailing as a national sport in Vietnam.

Shaw said she is trying to establish sailing here with international safety and standards in place at the outset while helping the Vietnam government register Vietnam as a member of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

Membership would mean ISAF support to develop the sport plus permit local sailors to compete in ISAF events and allows Vietnam to run international events on ISAF rules.

Before coming to Mui Ne, the sailing coach, who recently held sailing training at the National Sports University in HCMC, had tried to set up sailing as an alternative livelihood for fishermen on Con Dao as part of marine conservation efforts.

“I came across the perfect site in Mui Ne for a sailing school, sixteen months ago, after a review of sailing centers along the coast for government,” the sailing instructor said.

“We started setting up the school after basic renovations and drawing a national sailing plan based on a range of international guidelines which was reviewed by Bernard Bonneau from ISAF last July.”

“Recently I have  been blessed with great staff for development,” she said.

There will be drinking and dancing at Saturday’s “Rock the Boat” party followed by a day of sailing.

The dinghies at the center cover the range of Olympic and regional racing classes viable for Vietnam to ensure junior and senior teams can enter and train for international events.

The party starts at 8pm at 108 Huynh Thuc Khang Street just after the Mui Ne Village sign.

Saigon Times,  02/11/2011 by Michael Smith

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