HARBOUR CITY'S NEW AND GROWING SPORT: Kaohsiung International
48, ShaoChuan Street, GuShan District,
--By John Matthews Translated
by Annie Liu
A new recreational option is about to
take hold in Kaohsiung. If the instructors at the recently
established Kaohsiung International Sailing School and
Yacht Club had their way, there'd be more sails heading
in and out of the harbour at Gushan. Luckily, government
restrictions on ownership of personal watercraft is
loosening and, with the Kaohsiung City Government's
valiant efforts to make the harbour more sailboat-friendly,
that dream may very well be closes than ever.
In just a few years, the club has accumulated a storied
history. Starting early in 2005 with the purchase of
three Yamaha- made cruisers (a 21 ft. and two 23 ft.),
the sailing school now has a fleet of five sailing yachts.
This includes a 36 ft. Dufour Ocean Cruiser captained
by one of the instructors and a 40 ft. Racer purchased
and sailed down from Japan. The first class of four
students completed the beginner's course in the fall
of last year and a second group is nearing the end of
their course and instruction. The instructor-to-student
ratio is impressive at 1:2, with three instructors on
hand to fill you in on sailing knowledge and lore.
Each course can take up to three months to complete,
as weather and wind conditions can be hazardous for
yacht and crew outside of Kaohsiung's harbour. The school
has developed a curriculum for five different courses,
starting with a simple Entrance course to the final
Yacht Master's course. The Beginner's course covers
all the requirements to be a competent crewmember. With
55 hours of training and an opportunity to sail to a
nearby island as a test of skills gained, the tuition
is NT$19,000. The next course (Day Skipper) gets more
interesting with 72 hours of training at a cost of NT$25,000.
Look out for a new and convenient location on the harbour
with a restaurant and bar opening this month.