Desert Sea - New Mexico and Southwestern Sailing
Southwestern sailing, New Mexico sailing, sailboats, Rio Grande Sailing Yacht Club, New Mexico Sailing Club, Arizona Yacht Club, sailboat racing, Elephant Butte Lake, sailors, sail, boat safety, past commodore, race management, club race officer, Etchells, s/v Black Magic, Santana 20, boating safety, Heron Lake, New Mexico, Shroyer Center, Laguna Vista Estates, Rio Arriba County, Albuquerque, Tempe Town Lake, Lake Pleasant
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Saving Sailing Redux: Should racers and cruisers sing kum ba ya together?
A question asked elsewhere was whether getting racers and cruisers together might help "save sailing". Hmmm.
Some sailors are both racers and cruisers. And some sailors are racers and cruisers to a degree, but not to an extreme. And racing and cruising are by far and away NOT the only forms of sailing, so focusing on this continuum ignores a lot of other sailing.
I distrust any and all single, solo, isolated "magic bullets" as the one and only way to save sailing, whether the bullet in question is
getting racers and cruisers to sing kum ba yah around the campfire together,
Nick Hayes' solution of families taking other families sailing,
reforming youth sailing programs so they're not exclusively focused on competition, and have gunkholing, navigation, career, hobby, other watersports, and fun elements/alternatives to appeal to a much broader group and retain youth interest longer,
actually getting a more unified approach to promoting sailing between national sailing and industry organizations (US Sailing is more focused on racing, ASA on sailing schools and teaching, and marine industry and sailing and safety groups don't seem to talk to each other or work together to promote the sport and hobby),
having said national organizations work with local clubs and sailors to much more effectively create and support community sailing programs and centers and to make it much easier for the public to find these programs,
one or more national groups taking responsibility to provide lobbying and support for water access,
leaning on some clubs to open up more to new members and be more welcoming (aside: especially surprising how some un-welcoming some clubs can be, even when many clubs are located on public property and depend upon public goodwill to survive), and to more frequently undertake to provide club-owned craft that new members can use,
more programs, whether locally or nationally sponsored, for introductory sailing try-its, similar to intro flying lessons so often offered by flight schools
more linkage between sailing schools and clubs and local activities -- "placement",
someone to take responsibility for consumer protection and quality review for schools,
active sailors making sure that less active elements don't take over yacht and sailing clubs and re-purpose them to focus too heavily on off-water/non-boating activities.
Maybe you could think of more of these ideas?