From Roger Baker
Published on October 4th, 2012
I must take the dissenting view on Glenn McCarthy’s (Scuttlebutt 3688) opinion. I have just come to the end of my daughter’s involvement with youth sailing. She just graduated college this spring after sailing on her own since 6-7 years in the Opti. She is currently figuring out the next step, grad school, work, etc. At this time she is sailing and doing some coaching.
She along with others her age are doing the same thing. It seems to me there are many more involved now than when I was her age, some 35 + years ago. Times have changed. We no longer have the time for the every weekend multi-class regattas which I participated in on Great South Bay of Long Island. These events were very “multi-generation friendly”. Our leisure time is more limited now and we must get as much out of it as we can. Hence more class regattas, both youth and adult.
There are many current examples of multi-generation sailing. Take the Lightening and Thistle classes. Both of these classes have sailors from preteen to “older than dirt”. I was at Cedar Point in CT a couple of years ago for the Thistle Nationals where the age range spanned was from 10 to 70 years old. Most of the people I know who are concerned (negatively) with youth in sailing are “older than dirt”, have not been involved in youth sailing for decades (except for the discussions with like minded geriatrics at the bar), or are sailors who have never been involved in youth sailing.