PARRY SOUND – With summer nearing its end, two local youth can say they spent it doing what they love most – sailing
Submitted photos Sail Parry Sound co-head instructors Stephen Winkworth above left and centre photo left, and Andrew Parks, centre photo right and at right..
Sail Parry Sound co-head instructors Stephen Winkworth, left, and Andrew Parks.
Sail Parry Sound co-head instructors Stephen Winkworth and Andrew Parks both began their sailing careers and suspect they will continue enjoying the sport for many years to come.
“I became interested in sailing when I was first enrolled in sailing school; that was nine years ago and I have enjoyed every day of it,” said Stephen, who started sailing when he was 10. “My three cousins, along with my brother, sister and myself, were all enrolled at Sail Parry Sound at the same time. With all of us together, sailing began as more of a social activity between us, and the other kids. After a few years, everyone in my family stopped sailing for various reasons. By then though, my love of sailing had been established; and to this day, I still love the sport.
Andrew, also 19, began sailing with the sailing school when he was nine years old.
“I became interested (in) the sport because my father was so enthusiastic about it,” said Andrew. It was always amazing to share the same passion as him.”
Prior to becoming co-head instructors, the duo coached at Sail Parry Sound for a couple of years.
“I really like to connect with my students and make them laugh,” said Andrew, who attends Queen’s University and is on the school’s sailing team. “I think sharing a sport creates the connection, and what follows (are) great relationships with students and a whole community of sailors you can befriend.”
For Stephen, the best part about coaching is going from learning, to teaching others.
“I can still remember some of the lesions that I was taught. I can take what I remember as a kid, and what made the lessons fun, and what allowed me to learn more and I can incorporate these memories into the lessons that I teach now,” said Stephen.
In 2010, Andrew and Stephen qualified for the Ontario Summer Games, though an excellent learning experience, the two admitted they didn’t do as well as they hoped.
“(We) didn’t do too well as at the summer games, as a result of our weakness in light wind sailing. We had many amazing results, but at the summer games in Sudbury, the wind was just not on our side,” said Andrew.
Last year, Stephen did racing part time, however this year, with his head coaching responsibilities, his training was cut a bit short.
“Although I was able to take enough time off to race at a regatta, I just haven’t had the time required to train enough. This, however, does not mean that my racing career is over, I still plan on doing a few regattas this fall with my university,” said Stephen. “Sailing for me is a sport that I hope will last me for the rest of my life.”
For Andrew, he said he would like to start doing long-distance sailing.
“There are many yacht races in which you sail upwards of 300 kilometres on the Great Lakes and sail day and night. That sort of adrenaline rush would be perfect for my personality,” said Andrew. “Coaches at Sail Parry Sound, such as Ryan Kavanaugh, Nathaniel Ibey and Seamus Ryder really inspired me to become the person I am, as well as allowing me to improve my sailing skills.”