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Kids set sail with Brandon Smith on Carr Creek Lake

By: Matthew Rand Email
By: Matthew Rand Email

CARR CREEK LAKE, Ky. The deep blue sea may be hundreds of miles away, but that is not a problem for one group of local youngsters here in the mountains.

State Senator Brandon Smith showed them the ropes of sailing Tuesday.

Smith has been sailing since he was eight years old, and now he and other volunteers are sharing their love of the sport with the next generation.

"We have a unique opportunity to bring the love of sailing and all the seamanship that goes with it, from the knots to being environmentally friendly to the water," Smith said.

The Hazard Sailing School teaches youngsters maritime traditions, using some of the same training as the United States Coast Guard.

"At first last year I was hesitant, but once you get the hold of it you just have to keep going with it," said 11-year-old Brittany Miniard. "You can't let your guard down."

The kids spent the day Tuesday learning the right way to right their boat when it capsizes. Everyone seemed to have a good time.

"Cold!" 10-year-old Stephanie Smith said of the water. "And I'm a little bit afraid of boats."

But it isn't all just fun and games. Senator Smith says these kids are learning lessons they'll take with them their whole lives.

"The kids walk away from this program different. They've picked up a lot of maturity. They've had to make big decisions. When you're sailing you're making executive decisions," he said.

Many schools offer scholarships to accomplished sailors, but even if these kids don't compete, Smith says they'll be able to set a course toward a promising future.

Smith says the kids will be back on the water Wednesday.

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