When Heather Lulham Robinson first watched her sons, Matthew and Benjamin, cruise out on to the sea in a sailing dinghy she was filled with apprehension.

Even though she knew their dad – sailing instructor Peter Robinson – was on hand in a rescue boat, she couldn’t help but worry about her boys, then aged eight and ten.

So when Benjamin came back ashore complaining loudly, Heather rushed to comfort him, terrified he had come to some sort of harm.

The harm, he informed her angrily, was that he had been splashed by a dolphin.

From that moment onwards, Heather knew her boys were hooked and she has devoted her life to helping them train.

Such is their success that the boys, from Burley-in-Wharfedale, are now in the junior zone squad – the first rung on the ladder to the Olympic squad.

Heather said: “They are amazing. They have done so well over the years and we are really proud of them. They have a lot of big events coming up over the summer and are doing really well. It is great to see them so passionate about the sport.”

The brothers, now aged ten and 12, first got involved in sailing at the tender ages of three and five when they visited Yeadon Tarn, where they are still members of the sailing club.

Dad Peter is an instructor for the Royal Yachting Association, and also works with children with disabilities at Otley Sailing Club.

Peter has sailed all over the world in his time, taking part in the Sydney to Hobart Race during the 1970s and coming fifth in the Merlin Rocket European Champion-ships during the 1980s, after falling in love with the sport as a youngster.

Now he has passed his passion on to the boys who were scouted by the Olympic squad two years ago, after they put aside their sibling rivalry to sail in a boat together.

In fact, the boys work so well together at sea, that so far this year they have already clocked up a series of successes including coming sixth out of 60 boats at the Abersoch Mirror Dinghy week last summer (their dad was behind them coming in at 11th), scooping first in the Yorkshire and Humber Sailing Schools Association first meeting, coming first in the Ullswater Junior series last summer, and winning the Windermere Winter Series.

They are now due to compete at the Mirror Western Area Championships at Looe in Cornwall, as well as qualifying races for the Junior British team for the Mirror Worlds this summer and competing in the Mirror National Championships which are open to all ages.

They will also be attending several qualifying events to gain a place in the National Junior Squad next year to continue to be eligible for Olympic coaching.

Heather said: “They have done incredibly well and we are really proud of what they have achieved so far. It is amazing. They fight like any other kids their age when they are out of the boat but once they step inside the dinghy they are a team. When they first saw the Mirror boat they were desperate to get in one but they were told firmly by an instructor that he wouldn’t allow them in if they fought and they haven’t.

“They sail every weekend in the summer and train over the winter and absolutely love the sport. They take it from their dad who has sailed all over the world and has been involved in the sailing all of his life.”

The first Mirror sailing dinghy was designed in 1962 by TV DIY expert Barry Bucknell.

It takes its name from the Daily Mirror newspaper which took up Bucknell’s design, championing sailing as a pastime and promoting the design in its pages.

The boat, which was borne out of a trend for DIY during the 60s was said to open the sport to thousands of working class people and today there are over 70,000 Mirror dinghies in use around the world.

Heather said: “The boys were sailing up and down the country and because they were doing it so often I started making them their own sails. Now we have our own company, Lulham-Robinson Sails, which is run from one of the bedrooms in the house! The boys do lots of other sports, too, because they have to be incredibly fit to sail.

“The last Olympic champion said that sailing was the most complex sport of all with lots of skills involved including meteorology and he was right.

“The boys have to be very strong and fit to compete and spend their time doing rugby and gymnastics to keep them in shape.”

Matthew and Benjamin are due to find out at the end of June whether they have qualified to compete in the World Championships, to be held in Pwllheli.

Heather said: “It is a hectic schedule and we do try to make sure that they still have time to be boys but even during their holidays they want to sail!

“Obviously there are dangers involved so they have to be very focused. Last year during the National Mirror Championships, the swell of the sea was so great it threw them out of the boat on to the shore. Luckily they weren’t hurt but it gave us quite a scare.”

This summer will see the boys competing every weekend in a number of qualifying events. Heather said: “Matthew and Benjamin are very competitive in nature and I think that is why they work so well as a team.

“They both want to win and know that they have to get on inside the dinghy if they are going to do so. They get on well most of the time and have become better friends since they began sailing together.

“We are very proud of them for what they have achieved and sailing has been a really good experience for them. It is something we can do as a whole family and has become a sport that even I now follow.”