Beijing Aofan Sailing Club was founded by sailing aficionados Haiying Meng and her husband Lixing Yang in 2010 after Meng noticed a lack of accessibility to the sport in Beijing. The club offers group and private sailing lessons in English and Chinese for children and adults from the end of March to mid-November at Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park.
Aofan also hosts summer camps, academic and corporate outings, and birthday events. The birthday packages are best-suited to kids and teens between the ages of 6 to 16 of all skill levels. Attendees can sail the easy-to-navigate Topper Omega dingy, which can seat a crew of four to five people, or the Weta Trimaran, which holds a crew of five.
The club has a standard pirate-themed package. It includes a one-hour party with pirate accessories such as eye patches, bandanas, and treasure maps, and brightly-colored life jackets. There is a sailing coach assigned to each group.
The standard package costs RMB 3,000 for a party of eight to ten. The group is broken down into teams in order to have “enemy” sailboats that battle using water cannonballs. Participants must follow the provided treasure maps to dig up presents.
After the battle, kids can relax on the lawn for a picnic and activities such as soccer; entrance fees for the park are included in the package. For an extra RMB 1,000, the club can also organize kayaking, paddle boating, and games. Aofan Sailing Club members are eligible for a 15 percent discount.
The package can also be customized to include sailing activities. Prices vary depending on the type of sailboats chosen, number of
attendees, and duration of the party.
It’s best to get a Chinese speaker to book the venue, as the reception desk staff speaks limited English.
Beijing Aofan Sailing Club 北京奥帆俱乐部
Olympic Water Park, 19 Baima Lu, Shunyi District (5949 4599, 139 1046 5950, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.aofansail.com
This article originally appeared on page 19 of the September 2014 issue of beijingkids. To view it online for free, click here. To find out how you can obtain your own copy, email email@example.com.
Photos: courtesy of Aofan