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Lifestyle : Sydney International Boat Show 2012
1HERSA1 S015 Yo o g ho ld f d l x g. Yo o h pp ll h o h v do h o o h f of o p g d o lf h l o h . dd g h 50- o f h o o o h , ll h lp o o mo o h m m d d fo o h h . No o i t t ill lp gi o p of mind n o on t t P i i l i o d o ppl . Th 50- o f h l fo l o d 8 m lo g. Th 50- o f h o p l p o q m of v l g o . ll o v o , m d omm d o l p fi ll o h m of p o . Th 50- o f h p od of h Bo g I d o o of N W L d d d o ho d m m of h M I d M h l R p o o . *$50.00 v d v d o o h l of o l M I ol . Th d o d m d h 12 mo h of h d of o 50- o f h p o . V .50po h . om. fo f ll l of o d o h l o h p od . B I N W .50point k. om. l M pol hold v $50 d o !* H 50-Point S f t C k ond t d b fo 31 O tob 2012 S .50point k. om. fo d t il th ! NSW P mit No. LTPS/12/04138. F ll omp tition t m nd ondition t .50point k. om. The Sydney Morning Herald July 28- 29, 2012 15 SPECIAL REPORT Sailing lessons are a great way to buoy children's confidence out on the water, writes Frank Walker. Hoist the sails . . . Hanna Nash, Dylan Clapham, Sachi Clapham and Rebecca Nash. Photo: Fiona Morris KIDS WITH BOATING BUG JOIN THE CLUB It's the great friends you make that I love most.' Sachi Clapham, 11-year-old sailor T he night before Dylan Clapham was to take his first sailing lesson at the age of 10, his friends showed him a video of the film Jaws. ''They were trying to freak me out, especially the bit where the shark climbs on board the boat and swallows the guy who slides down into his jaws,'' Dylan says. But it didn't deter him from going to the sailing club the next morning. He'd seen kids sailing in little Optimist boats off Putney from the ferry and thought it looked like great fun. ''I really wanted to give it a go,'' he says. The idea of sharks leaping into his little boat didn't worry him. ''I've looked down into the water many times but I've never seen a shark or any other fish.'' Four years on, Dylan is a dedicated sailor, turning out every Saturday in summer for the Concord & Ryde Sailing Club. He was having so much fun, his sister, Sachi, 11, started sailing when she was just eight years old. ''It's such a thrill,'' Sachi says, with her arm around her best sailing buddy, Hanna Nash, aged 11, of Putney. ''I love the competitions and water fights, and it's the great friends you make that I love most. ''We have so much fun and I can't wait until Saturdays to meet friends and go sailing,'' Hanna says. Hanna's sister, Rebecca, 14, is a serious sailor, winning junior championship events against kids who are three years older. ''Sailing is a family thing for us. We've gone to national events around Australia and I've made really good friends. Some day, I'll be sailing out on the oceans.'' The club's chief instructor, David McClean, says children can start sailing in the easy-to-handle Optimists from seven years old. For $150 a year, the club supplies boats, vests and training. ''The kids learn something more important than sailing -- they learn confidence, self-reliance and responsibility,'' McClean says. The general manager of Yachting NSW, David Edwards, says there has been a resurgence in kids' sailing. Three years ago, there were 40 Optimist boats at the national championships; last summer, there were 120. There are 9500 under-18 competitors in Australia -- up 500 from last year. But if sailing is too sedate for your eight-year-old petrolhead, there are Formula Future power boats. The J1 boat for kids aged eight to 10 racing solo has a six horsepower engine and can go up to 40km/h. Older kids can get up to 60km/h. It's a fast-growing sport conducted on the still waters of rivers and lakes. About one in five racers are girls. Paul Cassell, a sponsor of boat races, says safety is paramount and all kids are fitted out in helmets and lifejackets. The boats can be restricted to low speeds and have a kill switch to cut power immediately. ''We've never had an accident that I know of and safety boats are out with them all the time.'' Dylan Costa, 10, of Richmond, was forced to wait until he was eight to get behind the wheel of a J1 Formula Future boat on the Hawkesbury River. In his helmet and lifejacket, he looks tiny, but he's now junior champion and beats kids five years older than him. ''I wanted to start when I was seven years old but dad said I had to wait until I was eight,'' Dylan says. From the moment he felt the boat surge through the water, he was hooked. In his second year of racing, he beat kids who were in bigger and faster boats. ''I love speed; going real fast is great,'' Dylan says. His farmer dad, Paul Costa, says racing made Dylan grow up fast. ''I've had to trust him to do the right thing in the boat and he hasn't disappointed me. He is already a champion in juniors and we reckon he'll go all the way.'' Formula boats cost from $1500 up to $10,000, but Paul and a few friends are building a learner's boat so children can try it out without having the huge expense.
Travel Vietnam 2012