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The Cadet boat is uniquely the double handed three sail dinghy sailed and raced worldwide by Juniors ONLY. Nobody over the age of 18 can compete in a Cadet event.
In the UK it is a RYA Junior Pathway class of boat sailed by two sailors, a helm and a crew. The big advantage of this is that the crew can get to sail straight away under the guidance of an older and more experienced helm.
The helms will often have a great deal of experience and knowledge which they then pass down to their new crew and therefore ensure rapid progress for beginners. Typically every helm started as a crew so the helm knows the help and guidance their young crew needs.
The Cadet provides a three sail experience where the helm and the crew must work together as a team to obtain the best results. Crews will start at 8 or 9 years old and then begin to helm at 12 or 13 but this is largely dependent on size and ability.
The class finishes for children when they turn 18.
Many Cadet sailors progress on to the 420 or 29er RYA Pathway Classes at an appropriate stage in their development, but others just move on to their preferred Club class or start coaching or move straight in to keel boats.