There is something very special about your first time; the anticipation, excitement, nervousness. May in the Triad provided just that, an opportunity for children to get their first sailing experience. Oak Hollow Sailing Club, located on a little inland lake in High Point NC hosted over 75 people who joined members for a day of fun, socialization and time out on the water for “Learn to Sail” day.
Growing up, nine-year old Amber heard stories about her grandparents exciting times on the water while dinghy sailing in Cape Cod, MA. Since her grandparents always encourage her to try new things, they jumped at the chance for young Amber to get out on the water with someone they trusted. Although Amber was excited at first, she became a little tentative before the event and wasn’t sure if she wanted to go sailing. Having heard about this hesitation, Stephanie, Commodore of Oak Hollow Sailing Club and USA Weta Ambassador for Weta Marine, personally delivered a pink PFD Amber’s size. After trying on the PFD, Amber quickly changed her mind and was ready to go! Donned in pink as part of “Team Stephalicious”, she hopped on the Weta Trimaran and enjoyed her ride while sitting on the tramp. Amber begged, “Please, can I sail with you all day?”
Later that afternoon, seven-year old John and his father went out on the Weta with Stephanie at the helm. John listened intently as Stephanie taught him and his father the basics of sailing which included parts of the sailboat and wind direction. Coming as no surprise, John said, “Daddy, can we do this again?” The very next day, Stephanie received a wonderful thank you letter and drawing from John.
A few weeks later, across town in Greensboro NC, Lake Townsend Yacht Club hosted their “Let’s Go Sailing” day for the community. Jackson, age 10 along with sister Campbell, age 12 from Birmingham AL were visiting grandparents in town and wanted a ride on the family friendly Weta Trimaran with Stephanie. Although winds were very light, Campbell sat on the tramp while Jackson learned to crew and handle the jib. At one point, he even took the helm for a bit. These children echoed the same response, “This is fun! Don’t take us back to the beach. We want to stay out on the water.” Next up for Campbell and Jackson, sailing camp on their return visit to Greensboro.
Since life is about providing experiences, the opportunity to have a positive impact on others is priceless. These young sailors will never forget their first time.