I suppose that I was just like most parents, and wanted my children to follow the same interests that I had. I didn’t believe in pushing though, but I did hope that one day it would happen.
My son Peter did take an interest in sailing, and became the captain of his schools sailing club, but daughter Jennie just didn’t seem at all interested.
Imagine my surprise one day when Jennie announced that this summer she would take sailing as her school summer sport!!
I waited until halfway through the school term and asked her how her sailing was going and got her usual reply, “It’s good fun, Dad”.
The school had arranged to use the six training Lasers belonging to the Southport Sailing Squadron just around the corner from where we lived.
I had come home early on this particular Wednesday afternoon to do some work on our boat before that evenings twilight race, and while I was down at the boat I could hear squeals and shrieks of laughter coming from where the girls were supposed to be sailing. I was curious as to why sailing should be so hilarious, and walked over to investigate.
Down on the beach was a teacher whom I assumed was in charge of teaching the girls to sail, and out on the water there were the Lasers in a shambles. A couple of them were capsized and the rest were obviously being handled by girls who didn’t have any idea what they were doing.
I was rather upset at this as I hate to see boats being mistreated, so I confronted the teacher and asked if she was in charge? “Yes!”, was the answer. “Do you know anything about sailing?”, I asked. “No, nothing at all”, was her reply. I then introduced myself, and said that is my daughter out there! Her quick reply, “Oh yes, and she is having so much fun, Mr Legg”.
A girl standing close by awaiting her turn added, “And yes, Mr Legg, she holds the school record for the most capsizes in one day.”
I slunk away overcome by my embarrassment and wishing that I just had kept my mouth firmly closed.
At least one good thing came out of all the fun and capsizes. Next term, Jennie took up swimming, and later became the Co captain of the Southport swimming club.
And just the other day some twenty years after, she bounced in for a visit and announced, “Dad, I think I will take up sailing again!”
Oh No !!!