Typically, crews start sailing the Cadet at the age of 7 or 8 years (even younger is allowed). They quickly learn to sail under the guidance of an older and more experienced helm and finally begin to helm themselves at 11 or 12 years. Since it is a junior class of boat, children can sail the Cadet only until they turn 17 years.
The Cadet is not just about learning to sail. A racing day is physically exhausting and demands a great deal of concentration from the sailors. Furthermore, the helms have to learn very early to take on responsibility for their decisions and their younger crews. The crews, in turn, benefit from the knowledge and experience of their helms and therefore learn very quickly (peer-to-peer!). Both sailors have to work together as a team in order to win a race.
The photo above shows a controlled training situation where a crew learns what to do when the boat turns over. And to the right the essence of building a successful team: turn ME into WE and let the fun begin!