A 6-Year Old Driving in Force 4 Winds Off Coney Island
"Start 'em young."
That's what the so-called experts will tell you about any child you'd like to transform into a sports prodigy. We're no experts on creating the next Tiger Woods or Martina Hingis, we do think its pretty cool to take a 6-year old on his first sailing voyage, notably, when he lives in Tennessee -- not exactly a sailing Mecca.
Over the weekend, we were honored to accompany him and his father out for their first "father-son sailing experience" in the Rockaway Inlet.
Our objectives were to be safe and have a lot of fun. If he learned anything, that would be a bonus. We attempted to keep the young lad informed about the parts of the boat, what we were doing and what may or may not happen on the boat. We figured, keep him engaged -- and speak to him as though he's an adult -- and he'd be into it and safe. That's what happened. While the winds started out around 10 knots, they built to a force 5 wind, before we headed back to the mooring. Winds like that can make an novice adult sailor nervous, but our young cadet took it all in stride and even drove for a little while (he drove very nicely we may add).
After the sail, the whippersnapper was sound asleep two minutes after we loaded the car and headed home.