Set sail for more.
Just as passionate about sailing as he is about Oceans 3 (his Golf!), CEO of the Singapore Sailing Federation Andrew Tam shares more on the sport and his favourite Volkswagen.
Hi Andrew! What do you like most about sailing?
I love that it’s a sport that’s not always about competition; it’s also something you can do for leisure. Also, sailing isn’t just limited by age. There are sailors I know who at 50-70 years of age are still sailing. We’re even looking at starting a programme to entice kids as young as 5 years old to try the sport to improve their motor skills and build confidence. You don’t need to be super physically fit, but it does teach you to be independent and helps you improve your mental skills – sort of like chess!
What first sparked your interest in sailing?
It’s difficult to describe but when you’re on the boat for the first time, you’re hooked. That’s why I really think people should just try it!
What advice would you give to someone who has never touched a boat in their life, but are interested in trying out sailing?
I’d tell them to come try it out and sail for free! Together with our partner DBS, we embarked on a programme to allow the public to sail for free every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Marina Bay. So anyone can just join us and experience the joy of sailing first hand. If you enjoy it, you can sign up for a level 1 course with us or at any of the sailing clubs to learn more. And if you start to get even more serious about it, you can consider pursuing sailing and competing in races locally and internationally.
(laughs) I know some who couldn’t swim at all and still competed in international competitions, although it would be best if you are able to swim. If you can’t, you just need to be confident enough to swim 50 m with a lifejacket on.
Cool! Is it true that sailing is an expensive sport though?
No, not at all! It depends how much you want to invest in it, or which marinas you go to. Try it out for leisure first before you decide to move forward with it. Once you’re serious about it – then you can think about getting your favourite gloves, boat and other equipment. Even then, there are some who own yachts, while others go out in little dinghies. It’s the same with most sports, really.
Since we’re on the topic, do you have any messages to share with potential younger athletes?
Decide on what you want to pursue. If you want to pursue sailing as a lifestyle, something you do leisurely – it’s a sport that can bring further than you could imagine in terms of building character and so on. But if you want to pursue it competitively and win medals, you could start at any age. There’s no limit. Just your will to succeed.
That’s a really cool Golf, by the way. Care to share more about it?
This is Ocean 3! My wife and I decided that when we have a kid we’d name them Ocean. But we got this car first. (laughs) And this is my third car, hence the 3! We’ve had it for just over two years now.
So why did you decide on it?
I’ve always loved the Golf and I had to work really hard for this one. When I was younger, all my aunties and uncles had Golf models and I used to watch them zoom off in it. Not sure why, but everyone in my family loves white cars. So it’s kind of like a family tradition! When I finally had the chance to get a new car, I walked into the Volkswagen showroom and my only question was “should I get the 1.2 TSI or 1.4 TSI?” (laughs)
Are there any features you like?
I love how powerful it is. The speed is great. I’ve also put on a bike rack because my wife and I enjoy going biking regularly. It’s really spacious too – has space for my bikes, barbeque pit, and even my dogs. It’s perfect for picnics. Also I’m very particular about dashboards. I don’t like those that look old fashioned and the one on the Golf is state-of-the-art!
How would you describe your Golf, I mean Ocean 3… in 3 words?
Fast, sporty, sexy!
If you’re interested in trying out sailing, check out Sailing at the Bay every Friday, Saturday and Sunday! To find out more, visit www.dbsbythebay.com/sailing today!