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Saleem Kassum

Saleem took early retirement at 60 and moved into an apartment on Lake Ontario, overlooking Toronto Harbour. Venturing out for an early morning run to check out the neighbourhood, he passed Queens Quay Yachting with its various learn to sail posters. He came home with a Canadian Yachting Association logbook and rather than running round the lake, he spent the rest of the summer sailing on it ......

Having been well and truly bitten by the sailing bug, Saleem wanted to pick up some more sailing experience and get grips with boat handling. "A friend recommended Flying Fish so I looked at the programme. I thought the experience gained in the process of becoming a Yachtmaster in a systematic way would lend itself to my becoming a better sailor". Without further ado, Saleem hopped onto a plane to the UK and joined the next Flying Fish Yachtmaster OffshoreTraineeship.

"My favourite memories of the course include John Roe (UK Chief Instructor) and his sticky pudding campaign at the Folly Inn, the sunrise en route from Sydney to Wollongong, racing in Sydney Harbour, Australian wine, learning to hang onto a star instead of going cross-eyed looking at a compass, great fellowship and learning, learning, learning."

"The most valuable thing that I gained from the course was confidence - tempered with some healthy respect for Mother Nature. And that retirement can be, and is, a new beginning.

Saleem is now freelancing as an instructor under the Canadian Yachting Standards around Toronto. "I am now seriously searching for a boat of my own. I hope to have one well before the end of the 2006 sailing season in Canada. I would not have considered it before the Flying Fish experience."

Advice for other students? "Flying Fish instructors are there to share all their knowledge and experience. Don't be shy to take advantage of it. Work hard - play hard - have fun!"

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