With thanks to:
Minorca Sailing

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Childís play

4: The boys learn to sail

Tom was in a beginnersí class of about eight children, all roughly the same age, with two instructors. Initially they were taught some basic information on dry land and then taken out on mass in two Laser Stratos, they were encouraged to have a go at steering and trimming and were kept occupied by activities such as a treasure hunt for giant floating jigsaw pieces. After two days Tom was on his own in a flotilla of Optimists going through manoeuvres with instructors front and back in separate dinghies.

Now, Tom is a bit too confident and a bit of a show off, so nothing usually surprises me but I was amazed to see him gybe out of line towards me, chuck his sodden shoes in my boat then twogybe back into line without so much as a wobble! The instructors had superb skills and were very patient with their young class, the emphasis was on fun| and the children always came back with big smiles.

My eldest son Jack is a keen sportsman but at the age of nine he is already able to realise certain dangers that Tom canít, and as a result was not as gung-ho as Tom. But, after a while he relaxed and really started to sail his Topper very well. Jack was in another class of about seven kids, some of the children had already done quite a bit of sailing but I was the proudest father on the dock when I saw him get out on a boat on his own for the first time.

Although it was a bit of a struggle for him, he managed to keep up with the more experienced children and was learning the rudiments of tacking and gybing with some aplomb. Once again the emphasis was on fun and the instructors were quick to praise the childrenísí efforts. I saw a steady improvement in Jackís abilities over the week and like Tom he made many friends in his group.

With thanks to:
Minorca Sailing

Previous page:3 Tuition time

The guests choose which type of boats they would like to sail and are then split into classes according to ability

Next page:5 Embarrassing dad

Unfortunately, Dad didnít fare quite as well on the first day!

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