I learned to sail, more or less, by myself; by taking out a small singlehanded pram, exploring the nooks and crannies of a river, enjoying the wind and water, no instructor in a coaches boat yelling in a bullhorn that I was doing this wrong or could I keep the boat a little flatter. I have quite a few sailing friends (all accomplished racers) that learned outside a formal program. Unfortunately, what is lost in a junior sailing program is that confidence gained for a pre-teen in their first independent driving; by steering and handling the sails of a complicated piece of machinery, without an adult hanging over us, telling us what to do next. I'm sure that, going sailing by myself just racheted up the fun factor of sailing even more. I'm also thankful that my parents made sure I knew how to swim, was wearing a life jacket and were willing to let me push off in my 8 foot "yacht" as long as I was back by dinnertime.
I have a soft spot for juniors who are learning on their own; maybe their form isn't quite right and they are capsizing right and left but, geez!, are they having fun.
Exhibit A is the junior duo in this video making all the mistakes and grinning the whole time.
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