My Passion

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I HAVE developed a new focus and passion this summer – and my enthusiasm for it has taken me completely by surprise.

Last year I embarked on my first ever Triathlon. It provided me with a real focus and I lost a few pounds in weight too.

After that I felt that I needed to try something new.

My other half has a sailing dinghy which he had not used for around six years and was collecting dust in a garage, so I thought that I would give it a go.

How hard could it be, just bobbing around on a lake with the sail up? is what I thought as I booked my RYA level one sailing course.

Having only ever been on a 42ft Hansa Yacht at the Dartmouth Regatta last summer in wonderful weather I had quite a surprise. The weather was not so good - torrential rain and gusts of wind in fact - but the instructor said that it didn’t matter as I was going to get wet anyway.

I knew that I had to do the capsize routine and was not looking forward to a dunking but I put the wetsuit on together with funny rubber shoes and off I went.

After the introductions it was off to rig the boat. I thought that the sheets were the sails and was surprised to learn that they are the ropes.

There’s lots to know and rigging is of the utmost importance because if you get that wrong you could end up in a terrible mess.

Once rigged off we went in the heavy rain and wind and I have to say it was a little scary, especially when the boat healed over dramatically on several occasions.

It was certainly not the calm environment I had experienced at the Dartmouth Regatta and the level of concentration required was very high.

The capsize routine was not so bad and in actual fact we capsized for real and I managed to get the boat back up the right way without too much effort.

At the end of two days of intense training I was awarded with my certificate and I have since been out on my own and although I am a little nervous and still learning to read the wind, I am getting the hang of it.

This hobby has meant that I can really say that I have had a proper weekend and my two boys are the next to try it.