News & Events

“To sail too close to the wind”

Hurricane Doris battered the UK last week, some newspapers calling it “a weather bomb!” In London a man was hit when part of a roof at London’s Victoria Station blew off and trees fell down on cars and blocked roads. Dozens of flights were cancelled, lorries were turned over due to strong winds and near Cambridge a double decker bus fell on its side! In fact, winds of 100 miles per hour were recorded.

All of this shows us just how dangerous the wind can be and what damage it can cause. Sailing boats of course need wind, and sometimes we say they sail “with the wind” or “into the wind.” However sailors will also tell you that if you point your boat into the direction of the wind for too long, your boat is likely to capsize (“capovolgersi”)!

Here we find the meaning of this week’s idiom: to sail too close to the wind means to take risks or to do something that is dangerous or that might be illegal.

  • Many people think that Donald Trump was sailing too close to the wind when he ordered a travel ban on people entering the US from certain countries.
  • Do you think Virginia Raggi is sailing too close to the wind with the decisions she is making as Mayor of Rome?
  • Taxi drivers from all over Italy were sailing too close to the wind last week when their protests against a new deregulation law became violent.

We hope you don’t sail too close to the wind this week!!

The English Tree team