Father and son now sailing champs

2019-05-28 06:00
Paul and Jayden Lagesse.

Paul and Jayden Lagesse.

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A Grade 5 learner from Camps Bay Primary School, Jayden Lagesse and his father Paul have recently been announced as the national champions for Hobie 16 Sailing.

The championship was completed in Durban on Thursday 2 May and the two beat 20 other contestants for tops spot.

Jayden only started sailing two years ago and he has already won two other competitions. The national championship is the most exciting one that the duo has ever been to and they were happy to be victorious. “This was very exciting and relieving, especially for me because I have been trying to win it for a few years and have been so close many times. [But] what made it the best achievement was that I won it with my own son,” Paul said.

Jayden said the best feeling was people from all over the world congratulating him and his father.

“The sailing community knows what a huge achievement this is, so that made me happy,” he said.

Paul recalls a seven-year-old Jayden who would pretend to be sailing every time he was on a boat.

“He was very keen, so I chose the mildest weather for fun races to start him off so he could not get too nervous,” he explained.

When the Triple Crown annual competition in Langebaan was held the following year, Paul decided to introduce his son to sailing.

“The competition is run by great people and they are so helpful and motivating for young sailors. That is when he really started getting into it,” Paul explained.

The two Lagesse men’s journey in sailing started at just about the same way.

Paul started at 12 when his father, who would skipper (steer) boats, used to take him with and he Paul would be part of the crew.

Once he learned how to sail boats by himself, Paul then got a Hobie 14 of his own and started to race.

Jayden’s decision to join the competition was based on his father’s intention for him to experience a lot for nationals next year because they thought he was too young to enter this year.

“[But] circumstances led us to do this year’s nationals – at that point he had never sailed on the open ocean, but he was keen on doing it,” Paul explained.

The deciding factor for the young Lagesse was the Fish Hoek Beach Sailing Club’s There and Back Challenge in April this year.

“My first regatta on the open ocean and we won by a good margin. The conditions were testing as well, rough seas and fairly strong winds, but we did it,” the young lad added.

The two put in a lot of work to make sure they were ready for the nationals.

Weekends were filled with training in the strong Langebaan winds, just so Jayden can learn to be quick on the boat.

Paul hopes for a future in sailing for his son.

“Not a career, but rather a future in sailing Hobie Cats. He will eventually get his own Hobie 14 and then go on to sail the Hobie 14 Nationals when he is ready,” the proud dad added.

For now, the two have already started getting ready for next year’s Hobie 16 nationals.

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