Love for Windsurfing Triggers Opening of Student Sailing Club on Campus
For Dr. Jimmy LI, the sea represents many things - it is a place for him to relax, take in the sea breeze and fresh air and organise his thoughts. “I’m basically an environmentally-friendly person…and bit lazy too, I guess,” he laughs. “I let the wind do all the work.”
When Dr. LI joined CUHK medical school in 1992, he found that the water sports centre only had a staff boat club and a canoe club but no sailing club. So he, together with other sailing enthusiasts, scoured around for old, discarded boats and repaired them and lo and behold, he got himself a sailing club. Needless to say, Dr. LI is the founder of CUHK’s student sailing club.
Windsurfing harder than most sports
Dr. LI’s love affair with the sea started years ago when he took up a summer course in his early teens. These days, he only indulges in sailing and mostly, in windsurfing. With windsurfing, he can take half a day off from work as he only needs three to four hours. “I think windsurfing is harder than any other sports as they don’t have the weather to contend with. Sometimes the day may look nice and sunny but there is no wind,” he explains.
He also scuba dives but not as much as he would like to. His busy schedule as a surgeon does not offer him much time for windsurfing. “I always place my patients first, then my family. My personal interests will have to wait. Until one is truly retired, one has to make sacrifices.”
Best times in campus involved water activities
And he learnt all about sacrifices when he was a medical student. “I used to watch others sailing in Tolo Harbour from the library but I couldn't go down to join them. I knew I had to make some sacrifices. Besides foregoing my leisure time, I even had to sacrifice spending time with my family because I had to study.”
Still, he describes his water activities during campus days as being his most memorable. “I had the best times during university days because I used to go sailing with students from the other faculties. It was great.”
Important elements: caution and preparedness
Two very valuable lessons he picked up in medicine and sailing is that one has to be very cautious and anticipate difficulties. “For example, before you set sail, you need to estimate the weather conditions. You need to look out for extreme weather and prepare yourself. Just like in clinical practice, we have to be extremely cautious and well-prepared when we are treating patients, especially those with complicated conditions.”
Nowadays if he has time to pry away from work, he would head to the CUHK Water Sports Centre because... “There is plenty of parking space, changing rooms and storage for boats.”
Dr. LI says anyone can take up windsurfing…“It isn’t that difficult but you must take up a training course first.”
無論是做醫生還是玩風帆，李醫生認為都必須「非常謹慎」及「作最壞準備」：「啟航前，我們要謹慎預測，為極端天氣作好準備；在提供臨床服務以及處理複雜的病例時更應如是 ! 」