Started out at the age 11 or 12 on a small Indiana lake with a sun fish. In high school I built a Y-flyer as a shop project.
One story I like to tell is as a teen, I was luckily enough to race with an old salt who just like Quint from Jaws. We raced his lighting. He would order me to do this and that, trim sheets, ease sheets, get you weight forward, get your weight aft. Everything he said was in a gruff tone. He had me intimidated. We were racing one afternoon and it was blowing 20 to 30 kts. I was asking if we were going to race as I was concerned about the wind. We got out on the race course and made the start gun and wind was picking up. I asked if we should head back to dock. In that deep, gruff, booming voice and with a glee and twinkle in his eye, he let out out a chuckle and said " We're sailing till We're bailing." We finished the race and won our class for the year. After it was over, I told myself thats the type of sailor I want to be.