From Roger Vaughan

Published on October 3rd, 2012

In Scuttlebutt 3687, Scott Ostler is right on when he says sailing has “devolved” from an adventure to another sport run by helicopter parents and coaches; how the crash-and-burn, push-over-the-edge by kids left to their own devices is a thing of the past in this country. But it’s not such a new phenomenon.

The late Bob Bavier, Yachting Magazine President, America’s Cup winner (1964), President of NAYRU (now USSailing), and inductee in the 2012 class of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, wrote this in his monthly column 42 years ago: “We still bring up our youngsters in tame, relatively heavy boats. We are not in tune with the rest of the world that is zeroing in on light, sporting, two-man centerboarders often equipped with trapezes.”

This is not just about sailing. It reflects a national malaise. The concept of “risk,” upon which this country was founded, has become a bad word in some ever-expanding circles.


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