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post #1 of 20 Old 02-08-2005 Thread Starter
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how do we.....

as a sailing community get more young people involved in sailing?? From daysailing in a little lake, to racing around the buoys, to coastal cruising, to livaboard, how can we involve younger people???
I don''t know about you, but at my YC the average age of a sailor is somewhere between 55-65. I''m one of the very few members under 40 and there is NO ONE under 30.
I guess my question is how to we promote sailing as a sport/lifestyle/activity......
I was wateching this morning as Ellen McArthur (age 28) broke the solo round the world record............how many young girls here in the US care??? How many young people know who Russell Couts is?? Or Gary Jobson?? or Dennis Connor or that Ted Turner sails and is not just involved in Baseball and Cable TV???

Is sailing so cost prohibative that children of only the wealthy have the opportunity???

I''m just thinking

Mike C.
O''28 "Da Capo"
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-08-2005
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how do we.....

maestro The sad fact is sailing for the most part is too expensive for many people.Guess that is why soccer is so popular ,you just need a ball to get started.You do not see many people being introduced to polo either.I use sailing to get away from people so I am definetly not helpfull in this area.I am the only one that sails in my community,the rest are all fishing boats.It wasn`t untill my early thirties that I took up sailing and the nearest yacht club was hours away in a city.One day I bought a book and started reading about sailboats and then bought a 33 foot boat and set sail.My sailing buddy was never on a sailboat before either and through alot of confusion we made our way back.We make a very comical team,give me that rope,pull that other thing over there,just leave that thing alone......you get the picture.People know us when we go by with our leather jackets on and hair half way down our ass.So i guess if we got introduced to sailing anyone could.
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-08-2005
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how do we.....

Aside from learning by doing on the family boat, the best way to introduce prospective sailors to the sport is for parents to inspire their children at a very young age. There are many ways in which to do this, all it takes is initiative . . . and of course a little money. Powerboats, on the other hand, cost significantly more money than similarly sized sailboats.

Newport (The City by the Sea) has many youth programs to get kids of all ages started in the sport. Historically, sailing has been very popular in my area due to Newport''s long history with sailing and, of course, Narragansett Bay being one of the best sailing bays in the country.

Naturally, location is important, but I believe any coastal community could learn from successful, and affordable, operations like Sail-Newport.

www.sailnewport.org

Steve
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-08-2005
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how do we.....

I''m 26 and just got into sailing last year. I was eating at one of our many bay-view seafood restaraunts on a Friday night last Lent and it just hit me that I wanted to sail. Until then I had only been out on a sailboat once and that was 8 years before. Of course most people put more thought into a prospective hobby than I do.

I don''t think that it is too cost prohibitive for a lot of people, I just don''t think people are really aware of sailing and lump sailboats in with powerboats when thinking about money. Finding out how much sailboat I could get for how little money I needed to pay really set the hook for me. Little used sailing dinks can be picked up for less than $500 with no club/slip/licensing fees and be ready to go on a lake or a protected bay right off a public boat launch. My Cat22 was less than 4K and it was in a very sailable condition even for a relative landlubber like myself.

I try my best to make people aware of sailing and am ready to go rain or shine if somebody wants to try it out. As soon as my nephew is old enough to be somewhat unsupervised, I''ll be showing him the ropes(sheets I guess). I have my niece helping me with some repair work, and sure I''m paying her, but she is starting to show some interest in actually learning how the boat works instead of just scraping and sanding.

The only way to get people interested is to make them aware of the sport be it through club programs, or just friendly outings.
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-09-2005
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how do we.....

There is an "awareness" of sailing within the minds of people, regardless of age, income or geographic orientation. I do not think that is the primary reason for lack of interest with today''s youth.

Sailing as a sport, is very esoteric. Most people reading and contributing to this forum may already understand the challenges sailors face when harnessing the wind and the sheer thrill when we can convert that energy to forward motion. However, that motion will not get us to our destination as quickly as other modes of transportation on the water.

Therein lies the primary reason many kids today lack the interest necessary to advance their knowledge to a point of sailboat ownership. We live in a fast paced, goal oriented society. The concept of being "there" when you drop off the bowline is difficult for some people to accept. Getting to that destination in the most efficient and timely manner seems to be more important.

The greatest challenge is convincing children how exciting going slow can really be.

Steve
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-09-2005
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how do we.....

Trueblue I agree.If you ask someone to draw a face most people will have a problem in the detail.The reason being we all look at them everyday but we don`t study them well enough,to draw them properly.When cruising I study everything so I am very content at going at a reasonable speed however my sailing friend jumps all over the place trimming constantly driving me insane.The only thing he watches is the speed and sail trim and would have trouble drawing a stick man.If I wasn`t there i know he would sail into a rockface,but he enjoys sailing.I think cruising people have a different mindset that they are born with as do racers.I am also never in a hurry to get there because I know "there" is not where I really want to be.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-09-2005
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how do we.....

Sailing is a trip forward, just as life is...we learn lessons of our mistakes to carry with us, but the journey is not in reverse. There is never a time that I go out sailing that I don''t learn something about myself and/or the world I live in.

Seems to me that you have hit it on the head that it is about speed with the younger crowd...I rarely see young faces in the cruising crowd, but I do with the racing community.

But isn''t this true of life in general... rarely are we ready or know how at young ages to pay attention to the lessons that life has to teach us...rarely do we even know that to slow down and take in the smallest of life''s lessons is to have the biggest gifts.

I think we can only offer the passion of sailing to our youth and then hope that they grab it earlier than later...however, later is better than never.
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-09-2005 Thread Starter
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how do we.....

my original post was not to split cruising and racing.........they are all sailing. I race on weekends and I cruise when I''m not racing. I ejoy both...my post really is that I see NO young sailors out there (either on a sunfish/laser at a local lake, or crewing on a keel boat in local club races.) I am 35 and I am a youngster compared to many of the sailors I know. This is a trend that personally disturbs me. Sailing is such a great way to focus your thoughts, relax, get your adrenaline going (on the race course), live, etc,etc How can we as recreational sailors show the younger generation how wondeful the sport is???
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-09-2005
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how do we.....

maestro, I believe all these responses have responded accurately to your topic, just different points of view.

By following Newport''s lead and introducing budding sailors at an early age with innovative, affordable sailing education programs such as SailNewport (see my first post), more young people will have exposure to the sport. They can then decide if it is a right fit. We cannot force kids to like sailing . . . we aquire likes and dislikes by trying different things.

There is a waiting list for these programs due to the response from local parents who want to introduce their children to the sport. For years, most sailing communities have had great success with sailing programs that don''t require Yacht Club access, and it does seem to work.

Steve
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-09-2005 Thread Starter
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how do we.....

TrueBlue,

Thank you. I too agree that sailing education programs are full of kids who''s parents want them to learn to sail . Some like it, shile some don''t.
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