Follow your bliss. GET ON WITH YOUR ADVENTURE RIGHT NOW-NO MATTER YOUR AGE. The sooner your start the faster you will learn and the safer that experience will make you 750 miles from land and in any weather
I started sailing and racing
at 15 and offer my two cents worth to launch you toward your objective:
-buy a dinghy
now and sail the hell out of it in any weather
. You will learn more about sailing in 2 kts than 20 kts. An inexpensive Laser or Laser II will get you wet, be an awesome teacher and faithful companion and will instill in you the joy of intimate contact with the elements. The simple rig allows you to focus on staying upright without a lot of fuss. Heavy weather (15+ and 5-8' waves) in a laser is a blast and a curse. Once you figure out the difference, you'll intuitively comprehend the bliss in starting small and moving up. At 55, I'm on my fourth Laser and still go out in 25 kts to wrestle and plane and surf. Its sheer bliss and approaches nirvana. There is no substiture for getting wet while honing the basics.
-as soon as you know tack from gybe, beg at a local yacht club to go racing
. Reliable and enthusiastic crew are always rewarded handsomely by this experience. Racing teaches you to focus on solving immediate issues without distraction, work
as a team to keep the circus travelling downwind at the fastest possible pace and the finer points of handling a larger more complicated vessel through cooperation and communication.
Where you go from here is totally your call. There is no subsitute for experience and time in...
I wish you every success my young friend!