Hamish O'Malley-King goes for an unscheduled dip after capsizing his Optimist while participating in the Break-Away sailing programme at the Otago Yacht Club yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Hamish O'Malley-King could, just possibly, be the next
And, if he is, his sailing career is off to a memorable
The 11-year-old Dunedin boy took an unexpected swim in Otago
Harbour yesterday, because of a southerly change and an
Optimist yacht which was not willing to co-operate with him.
Hamish was one of 18 pupils taking part in the week-long
Break-Away sailing programme at the Otago Yacht Club
However, emerging from the water to dry off, Hamish said
through chattering teeth he was already planning his sailing
''It was actually really fun and I didn't expect it at all.
''When I capsized, the water was really cold. I tried to do
everything the instructor said, and it wasn't that easy.''
Yachting New Zealand regional support officer Graeme Wall
said the programme was a chance to introduce the next
generation of sailors to the water and some basic sailing and
''Water can be a wee bit frightening for a lot of kids, but
what we are trying to do here is show them it's all
manageable,'' he said.
It was hoped some would continue in the sport and perhaps
eventually even follow in the wake of America's Cup winner
Russell Coutts, who learned to sail on Otago Harbour.
''Who knows? There could be other budding America's Cup
skippers out there,'' he said.
Yesterday's class was the start of a week-long course
repeated four times over the summer, catering for 60 pupils
in total, as part of the Break-Away School Holiday Programme.
The course, which was in its second year, was funded by the
Ministry of Social Development, co-ordinated by the Water
Safety Council and run by the Otago Yachting Association,
with help from the city's yacht clubs, Mr Wall email@example.com