Typhoons and Earthquakes … sailing’s different in Japan


South Staffordshire Sailing Club Member, Sarah Norbury has just returned with a 5th place medal from the 420 sailing World Championships held in Japan.

Still slightly jetlagged, she spoke of the difficult weather conditions the British Youth Sailing Team had experienced in Karatsu, Japan,

“We had a typhoon before the regatta which meant that we couldn’t practice as much as we would have wanted to before the event, but it was an interesting experience.
The trip was an amazing challenge and adventure. One night I woke up and the room was shaking. Thankfully it stopped and I went back to sleep. It was only later that I learned that it was an earthquake and we should have gone and stood in the doorway!”

“We felt very lucky to be competing against some of the best young sailors in the world in such a beautiful place. We learnt a lot about the culture and were astounded by the politeness and respect of the Japanese people.”

Sarah sails a two handed boat called a 420 with her crew, Mari Davies from Pwllheli, Wales. Having spent a week aclimatising to the humidity and heat before the event, the girls were confident in the skills they had learned over the winter training in the UK in the RYA sailing pathway.

“The racing was very hard with the wind coming off the mountains which made it very shifty and difficult to predict. But we had a good week and are delighted at being 5th in the world, “ said Sarah.

Sarah started sailing at South Staffordshire Sailing Club (SSSC) when she was 7 years old under the guidance of the Junior Racing Coaching Team. Sailing every Sunday morning, she quickly picked up how to handle a boat and was soon racing against the adults in the morning race

Sarah added,

“Sailing is not the elitist sport many think it is – you can get started very modestly. I’ve been lucky and have some sponsors who support my sailing and I would like to thank English Braids, Stone Lions and Gill Marine for their support in my sailing campaign.”

For more information about learning to sail.South Staffordshire Sailing Club welcomes budding sailors of all ages and runs regular sailing courses. To learn more ring 01785 713272 or call in on a Sunday morning.