Youngsters have an
uncanny ability to jump, or fall, into bitterly cold water
and enjoy the experience.
It's an aptitude the Break-Away Summer Sailing programme has
had to take advantage of during its four-week course for 11
to 17-year-olds this summer, because the weather during the
past month has been less than tropical.
Yachting New Zealand regional support officer and programme
co-ordinator Graeme Wall said despite the abysmal weather, 68
young people learned to sail.
He said the number of applicants for the course continued to
grow each year.
''It's been the worst weather we've had for the last few
summers - this one's been the most challenging.
''It's not about the rain. It's about wind conditions.
''We've had a lot of southerly fronts which are cold and
gusty, which makes learning to sail quite difficult.
''Some kids have really latched on though, despite the
While the weather was again unsuitable for sailing yesterday,
Mr Wall said it failed to keep the novices anchored.
Rather, they had a race in row-boats from the Harbour Basin
to the Otago Yacht Club, which again gave them an opportunity
to experience the wind in their hair and the spray of sea
water on their faces.
He said the course was not just about getting more young
people out on yachts in Otago Harbour, it was about teaching
young people to be safe, confident and competent in the
Pupils who attended the programme last year had gone on to
sail fibreglass Optimist-class yachts in races around the
country, which showed the programme was successful. The
programme finishes today.