An old salt once said, "You can learn everything you need to know about sailing in a day — then you spend the rest of your life getting it right." This may be a bit of a stretch though, especially considering the brain-twisting physics involved with modern sailing.
KQED has tackled the science involved in the sport in a new episode of Quest titled ‘The Physics of Sailing’. Enlisting the help of experts from NASA Ames Research Center and Modern Sailing instructor Stan Lander, the show explains exactly how sailboats move. But as aerospace engineer (and avid sailor) Steve Smith says in the show, "All this and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee." In other words, you don’t really need to know how it all works to have a great sail, but it could help you understand how to make your boat go a little faster.
The episode is scheduled to air on Channel 9 on September 30 at 7:30 p.m., but you can catch a free sneak preview tonight at Golden Gate YC from 7-9 p.m. The 10-minute segment will be followed by a Q&A session with the producers and other sailing experts. Food and drinks will be available. RSVP by email.