Originally Posted by JomsViking
Cool! Fred seems to have full control over everything under sail - comes from learning to sail in an optimist
At what age did he get his first opti? We cannot get the youngest in opti-school before she's 7, so I'm considering buying one for her now, so she can start early (she's 4 and loves sailing).
hehehehehe that brings excellent memories...thanks for asking.
He got his own optimist as a birthday gift in July 2005, because that is when he started racing in the club. Before that he sailed in club boats, in the Optimist initiation program at CNC (Clube Naval de Cascais).
Fred sails since he was a baby with us, but he starterd the Optimists at age 6, because he was little too small at 5.
In fact he was so small when he started that he needed help to get out of the boat, because at the ramp, if he got out thru the side he would be under water...ehehehehe
He was taller sitting on the edge of the boat, than standing up!!
He could not carry the sail and mast on his own...
and better...he learnt how to tie and rig a sail, before he learnt how to tie his shoes and how to read...
sailing for him was a joke...a place to play with the other kids...and he still thinks about this today...I don't and never foirced anything on him, he does it because he wants. Of course it help seeing me sail and the influence I have on him as a sailor dad...(altough I admit he has the "speed" bug on him...He seems to smile more when going faster.
I strongly suggest you do not initiate your children before they are 5 into 6.
If they get scared for some reason, they will block it once and for all. Off course some kids are more mature than others at 5 or 6, so you know best.
Try to sail in a opti with them before..show them around....and above all DO NOT send them on their own if you can't follow them in a power boat.
I spent countless days and hours, off the coast of Cascais, in my rubber dinghy cruising side by side along Fred, less than 2 feet from him, while he sailed on his own...
Today, its embarrassing for him, if I get near him while he sails...he just comes to me so I tune his sail or change the rigging.
All the best and hope you suceed at intiating your children into this wonderfull sport and activitiy that bound us all toghether. Best wishes!!