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Parent & Child Sailing – isn't it just the best!

by Nikki Eaves 28 Apr 07:34 BST
Jeremy and Graham in Chicken Licken © HISC

The traditional way of learning to sail was that you crewed for your Dad, and then perhaps with a sibling, and then you took over the tiller, and then you decided what sort of sailing you wanted to do, and went and did it with your mates!

This very well proven route into sailing for young people seems to have got a bit lost in the last few years, with an emphasis on children starting out in single handers, and a result, we believe a lot of parents are missing out on the very best sailing experience there is...

Graham Williamson (Rear Commodore Racing) says "Sailing our brand new home-built bright yellow Mirror (sail number 25184) was my first sailing experience, and yes, it was with my Dad. Twenty years later, my daughter's first sailing experience was in our aged bright yellow mirror Chicken Licken, Rachel named her; a few years after that Jeremy also has his first ever sail in the same boat, and our shared memories of those early sails together is a very strong bond between us.

Jeremy and I went on to do a couple of Mirror Nationals together, before he was invited to sail with friends, joining Aaron Smith to win the Feva nationals in 2011, going on to sail 29ers, Merlins, 14s and other boats, while I carried on sailing the Merlin and other variants of our wonderful sport.

In 2016, Jeremy and I teamed up again in a new project, to learn to sail an RS800 together, and to go to Lake Garda for the 2019 European championships. The timing is right for this in both our lives, and it is a privilege to be able to pair up like we have. Having taught Jeremy to sail initially, he crews like I do, and with added value of all the experience he has gained sailing with other people, he has shortened the learning curve into the new project massively.

I joke that I am his Care in the Community project, which is great, because I am also the project sponsor, so we are all square, really.

Sailing with your children as a long term investment in a future with a shared interest, and the most wonderful opportunity to spend matchless time together, and I really can't recommend it highly enough."

HISC is promoting Parent and Child sailing this season with prizes for Parent and Child or Child and Parent doesn't matter which way round at all the major events this year the Pennants, Whitsun Regatta, Commodores Cup and there is to be a designated race for the Parent & Child Trophy which will take place in August.

Please do make the most of the opportunities to be afloat with your children we promise you that you will never regret the time you spend sharing this with them.

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