FYI SOUTH Magazine, August 2006

THE HARBOUR CITY'S NEW AND GROWING SPORT: Kaohsiung International Sailing School

48, ShaoChuan Street, GuShan District, Kaohsiung
(07) 532-0392
E-mail: fsail.yacht@msa.hinet.net

--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.