Feedback and Testimonials


Family Affair
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Keeli Cambourne
Saturday July 26, 2008

Getting out on the water can be exciting or relaxing - and it's often a great bonding experience for families.

Jenny Lay knew nothing about sailing when she and her three boys turned up for a come-and-try day at the Callala Junior Sailing School six years ago.

"We had just moved down to the South Coast and saw something about the sailing school and decided we'd go along,'' Lay says.

Since that first day, Lay's children have been hooked, with her eldest son, Samuel, 14, now even planning his
first long-distance ocean voyage when he turns 16. He has gone from learning the ropes to being a junior instructor and a fierce competitor.

As well as being in the enviable position of spending extra time with her three children, Lay has also added a lot to her own CV.

"I went from a parent taking the kids along to sailing classes to now running the club,'' she says.

This season, for the first time, she decided to join her children on the waters of Jervis Bay.

"Samuel has his own dinghy and the two others are going to be sailing his old boat this season,'' Lay says.

"At 48, I'm not as nimble as I used to be but I find sailing on the bay so relaxing. So this year I'm trying out the keel boats.''

For the uninitiated, sailing or boating might not look like a pastime that would mix easily with growing families but Lay and many others like her see it as an ideal way to spend time with her kids.

"It is a sport in which everyone can participate, whether it's dinghy sailing or, if you have the finances, getting a keel boat,'' she says.

"The kids get to learn a new set of skills and also get out and see some of the most amazing things, like the dolphins in the bay. And they get to meet a lot of other people, make new friends and focus on things other than computer games or TV.''

Bill Paterson, from the Jervis Bay Sailing Club, says sailing doesn't have to be expensive, nor do you have to be an expert when you join a club.

"We have people with boats worth $500 out here sailing among world champions in boats worth tens of thousands,'' he says.

"On Jervis Bay we have the most perfect sailing in the world and we try to encourage juniors and families to get involved.

"We try to get the parents out sailing with their kids so they are out there working together.''