Having achieved all of the swimming survival awards that were available by the age of eleven, I joined the competitive side of Solihull Swimming Club. The determination I would need in later life shone through even then. Told that although I was fast enough to join, I would need to learn the butterfly stroke in two weeks before I could do so, I taught myself and swam for them until I reached university age.
Approaching the maximum age for Brownies, I had a choice. I could continue in the Guiding movement or I could join the Cadet section of the local crew of Sea Rangers. I tried each for one evening. At Guides we learnt lashings and used them to make a stand for the washing up bowl at camp. At Cadet Sea Rangers we went rowing and out in a double canoe. You can guess which I joined! And at camps – we just put the washing up bowl on the ground.I used to take part in regattas with other Sea Ranger crews, and take part in, often winning, knotting competitions. Time passed and it was as a Sea Ranger that I had my first introduction to Offshore Sailing.
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