Sailing - by Sophie Longmore

Sophie's story is one of 250 sporting stories that we've had from St Joe's College in Trent Vale! Some of the best - like Sophie's - are included in our Sporting Stories book and the rest we're still working through: there is a wonderful range of material that we'll be using in various ways in the course of the year. This is our first sailing story - the first of many we hope...

I can see them out there. Carefree and nothing to worry about. Then the wind picks up and they lean out. Heads nearly touching the water. I watch as he carefully moves the rudder into the wind to perform his tack. So graceful, yet so strong. The wind seems to throw the boat around, however the sailor just leans out, putting all his trust in the foot straps, and takes back control. The passion. The understanding. The sailor and the boat become one. I love it.

It isn’t as easy as I’d first imagined. Even getting into the wetsuit is hard. It seems to stick to my skin. It doesn’t help that it is a winter one so it is that much thicker. When I finally get this second skin on I feel like I might explode. Oh well, at least I’ll be warm.

When I finally get to the lake I see how hard it is. I tack and duck, but don’t duck low enough. The boom swings and hits me. Why is sailing so dangerous? Then I fall. Down I go. Splash! I swallow half the lake as I capsize. I give up, I will never do this right. I start to pull my boat back to shore but then Steph comes out and asks me what I am doing. Like the coach she is she picks me up and gets me going again. Red buoy, green buoy, blue buoy, again and again. I tack and it works, finally I begin to enjoy it. I am on top of the world.

When I get to the changing room the wetsuit just falls off. As I wash away the dirt and grime I feel so alive, I did it. When I go into the room Steph is there. She hands me an envelope. Grade 1 sailing complete. My life is complete!