Young sailors put call out to others

Calling budding sailors . . . Siblings (from left) Aidan (14), Aylwen (12), Rowan (11), Eran (10) and Tahlya Berger (8) love sailing and want more children to join the Timaru Yacht and Powerboat Club for the coming summer. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

by Alexia Johnston

Timaru’s Berger family would love to see more youngsters out sailing.

Siblings Aidan, Aylwen, Rowan, Eran and Tahlya Berger love setting sail over the warmer months and hope more budding sailors will join them this coming season.

The children are among about a dozen youngsters who sail under the guidance of the Timaru Yacht and Powerboat Club using Starling, P-class and Optimist yachts, depending on their experience.

Aylwen is among the family’s most competitive sailors, her parents, Rob and Heather Berger, say.

“She likes to go fast,” Mr Berger said.

“She’s extremely competitive. [With] her ability and tenaciousness, [she is] likely to go far with it, but we’ll see.”

Aylwen admits she has a competitive streak and has enjoyed success on the water, something she puts down to simple tactics.

“I take the right side of the course,” she said.

The children all want to see others join them on the water, and hope putting the call out now will get others thinking about taking up the sport in time for the next season.

Aidan said while the sport was tricky to start with, perseverance was key.

“The beginning is a bit frustrating, but after a while it pays off.”

Mr Berger said the sport was similar to learning how to drive, with a multitude of tasks that required timing.

“When you are doing it for fun, it takes a bit more persistence not to give up,” he said.

Aidan was quick to remind young sailors to give it a chance.

“Don’t give up, because it will pay off,” he said.

The children all took part in a mid-winter sailing regatta at Caroline Bay on July 2.

The sport was not one that had to be expensive, Mr Berger said.

A range of yachts was available to hire from the club.

“There’s at least a dozen Optimists available so there’s no reason for people not to come down,” he said. “All the kit is there – life jackets, spray jackets and wetsuits.”

The sailing season starts on September Running shoes/New Releases Nike