Where was everyone?

by Chris Kameen on June 10, 2014

Reefed RS FevaThis weekend we have had wonderful weather for sailing and yet very few people were out on the water… Why was that?

Agreed that during the winter a lot of the kids do other sports at the weekend but yesterday was a holiday Monday and so there was no excuse. As a kid growing up we used to look forward to the holidays and go sailing when ever we could. we weren’t racing or training, we were just going sailing… so when did that stop?

I think there are a couple of factors at play here.

  1. Many of the kids that have been introduced to sailing have only ever known racing and being coached, so don’t know how to just go out and play.
  2. The community of sailors that has evolved at clubs has been built around racing rather than a shared love of sailing for fun.
  3. The boats that the kids sail are racing boats and therefore have to be treated carefully when getting them in and out of the water requiring extra pairs of hands.
  4. boats to go sailing inPerhaps the boats that they sail aren’t a lot of fun to sail when they aren’t racing. We had an open day on Saturday where we had 10 different types of boat on the beach and it was interesting to see who visited and were interested in what boat. Sailors were interested in the traditional classes – MJ, Flying 11 and the non sailors / non racers were interested in the modern plastic boats..
  5. The lack of adequate access to the water and storage is a challenge that is hard to overcome in Sydney  but if you love your sailing you’d make the effort.

So what needs to happen?

I think we need to change the focus of junior sailing to having fun first and then start introducing racing. Sure if kids want to race early then great.. but let’s not make it the be all and end all.

RS Fevas planingSailing programmes offered by Sailing Schools such as Sydney Sailing School allow the kids to get out on the water and have some serious fun.. Check out these kids in the reefed RS Feva’s. This was the first time these kids had ever got their boats planing. The smiles when they came ashore was something to behold and the reason that we do what we do.

Sailing for fun

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