MY only sailing experience was on a school trip when I became known as “the one who capsized a lot”.

So, 11 years on, when asked to take part in the Ladies Day Sailing Challenge, I was a tad nervous.

Along with other female media representatives, including Sally Simmonds from Meridian, Jules from Heart FM, Jo Dixie from PSP and Kim Lawford from Wessex Cancer Trust, I took one for the Daily Echo and slithered into a wetsuit.

Sally had sailed before and definitely knew her port from her starboard. But the rest of us were complete beginners.

When I found out I’d be alone in a one-woman dinghy, I had visions of ending up on the Isle of Wight or even France.

I even took wine orders from the newsroom in case I lost control of the tiller and the sail picked up wind.

Getting into the tiny boat for the practice I felt petrified and my entire body tensed up realising the boom had a mind of its own. Before I knew it I had wobbled out of control, capsized and was slurping the freezing, murky and very salty Southampton docks water for the first time.

Luckily the Rockley Watersports instructors were over in a shot to literally push me back on the boat and give me some expert coaching.

The challenge involved racing the other women around a course with spectators cheering us on.

Meridian’s Sally set off with such speed it was like there was a hidden engine under her dinghy and she scooped the gold prize, next in was Jo from PSP and I followed in third place.

There really was no better feeling than getting out on the water and taking part in a sport you can pick up so quickly.