By Peter Irving, Form 2E.

Have you ever been sailing? Many people think that sailing is only for people who know something about it. I go sailing, and I knew practically nothing about it when I started. First of all, you have to try your hand at crewing. The only thing you have to do, is hold the jib (or foresail) in, and balance the boat, but in time, you will learn more about it.

There are many kind of dinghies in this country, but the one I will be dealing with is the National 12. This boat is 12' long and 6' wide, it has a boom, centre plate, and many more accessories. A good, new, National would cost between 300-400, but an old one can cost as little as 60. I sail on the river, but many people sail on reservoirs, gravel pits and on the sea.

To join a club is a very good idea, and most clubs have their own races during the weekend and you can settle down to a Coke in the evening. I shall not tell you how to sail a boat, because if you do take up sailing as a hobby, you will learn in good time. ( I ) have been sailing for nearly two years, and take it from me, it's great fun and it gives you a chance to meet other people. It is no use trying to learn the art of sailing if you are not going to be at your club very often, therefore, talk to your parents about it and I would be only too pleased to help you with any questions. If you want to join a club, I could perhaps be able to enroll you at Staines Sailing Club, which is on the River Thames, where I sail.

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