03/20/2017 Interview > Alumni
Passion, Love, and Yacht
A spontaneous dreamer, Chang Jae-ik (Department of Sports Industry, '09)
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Not all university students are able to formulate a definite life goal or create a systematic plan for an ideal future. In fact, most struggle to find out what they truly want to do as they mature and complete their studies while at university. As an ordinary university student, Chang Jae-ik (Department of Sports Industry ’09) went on a trip to Europe when he was in his 4th year at Hanyang and discovered what he aspired to do all his life: sailing all over the world on a yacht.
A dream in the Netherlands
Chang visited Marseille, France, when he was a senior at Hanyang and witnessed a sight that touched his soul: hundreds of white yachts floating beautifully on an emerald ocean. At the time, he merely thought it would be nice to own one of those yachts and then forgot about it. But when Chang visited Amsterdam in the Netherlands, he caught sight of another mesmerizing view that shattered his prejudice. “I always thought that going on a cruise aboard a yacht was a privilege only for the rich because of its extravagant cost. That was how the prototypical image of yachting is portrayed in movies and dramas,” confessed Chang.
What he saw at the port was about 20 yachts getting ready to sail off at midnight, all of which were occupied by individual families. Parents were preparing the yacht for sail and the little children on each yacht were waving from afar to people on land. That sight taught him that yachts are accessible to ordinary people. After coming back to Korea and being discharged from military service, Chang was determined to learn how to sail a yacht and become a yachtmaster.
Chang accumulated a small fortune while he was in the army, which he had gladly spent on a working holiday to the Netherlands. Chang settled in Rotterdam and became a member of Rotterdamse Studenten Zeil Vereniging, a student yacht club in Rotterdam. In the process of becoming a yachtmaster under the Royal Yachting Association, Chang had sailed about 5000km, stopping off at a number of countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, England, France, Spain and Portugal.
Entering the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in a team named 'Sonic', Chang acquired another valuable experience. Sonic came 24th out of 88 teams, some consisting of prominent professionals who took part in the race several times in the past. His was the very first to have participated as a Korean team which made Sonic even more special.
“Given that there were many amazing yacht professionals participating in the race, I think our accomplishment is impressive and remarkable. I am honored to have participated in such a big-scale competition and thankful to have had a crew composed of wonderful people,” exclaimed Chang.
Journeying aboard a yacht
“On the voyage, I was engulfed by soot-black nights with millions of stars studded in the sky, even shooting stars on occasion. The yacht was suspended on a bottomless ocean, accompanied by countless dolphins,” reminisced Chang.
He stated that the most charming aspect of sailing on a yacht is the advantage of being able to visit every little unknown ports and docks, allowing you to experience the indigenous and uninfluenced culture of any given region. “I stopped at so many countries, giving myself the opportunity to encounter people of all ages who came from a sundry of unique cultures.” Chang gained priceless memories and experiences during his expeditions, which he hopes to treasure throughout his life.
Jeon Chae-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Moon Ha-na
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