Monday, November 17, 2008

New Year's Resolution

This past weekend I was in Atlanta for the US SAILING One Design Symposium. The attendees included a complete range of individuals, from the active sailor to the class administrator, to the industry professional eager to share advice and support the sport. There was an enormous amount of information exchanged, and thanks to Mount Gay, nearly as many cocktails consumed. But by the end of the event, there were two significant ‘take aways’ that are as applicable to the one design sailor as to any other category of the sport.

The first is that the sport is our recreation and our passion, and that our experiences need to be shared. Everyone in Atlanta would love to see their part of the sport grow, and everyone was in agreement that this can be done by sharing the experience with others. Either through story or through splashes, presenting the sport in a positive light will git'er done. The second is how our sport is run by a volunteer army. While there are plenty of entities that profit from the sport, the heavy lifting is done by those with no more to gain than the desire to give back. The more we support this army (and the less we berate them), the better off the sport will be.

I suspect that there is some kind of formula based on how much sailing enthusiasts take from the sport, and how much they give. While it might be too early to finalize our New Year’s Resolutions, it might be timely to consider what they will be.

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At 11:11 AM, Blogger Patty L said...


Thanks so much for coming to the ODSS. I really enjoyed your talk—especially about how events that dedicate time and effort toward publicity are the events that get in the news! Indeed, we have to do a better job of telling our story—whether it’s the faces in pictures, the excitement of racing sailboats, or enjoying time with our friends—we have to tell that story.

The symposium certain brings out the very best in sailors and the very best ideas. Thanks so much for being part of it.

Patty Lawrence

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Priscilla Parker said...

Hi Craig,
Read your article on Scuttlebutt about your recent trip to Atlanta for the US Sailing One Design Symposium. It was quite nice to hear your comments about "us" volunteers. Yes, I've been dubbed as a sailing enthusist, volunteer extraordinare by our local newspaper writers, Will Haynie and David Quick. I am proud to be a member of the army of which you spoke. I help with race committee, organizing and planning regattas and when the circumstance permits, I take photos. There are many others of us out here and what I have found is a common denominator, is that we all have seen our serious racing days go by, but not our love of the sport, therefore, we give back in any way we can to promote the continuation and love of the sport.

I leave you with one thought about this army member, "old racers never die, we just become race committee members"

Priscilla Parker


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