Human Nature – Growing Sailing

Published on September 17th, 2013

By Glenn McCarthy, Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation
While some may jump quickly and suggest this article is sexist, it really isn’t. It is just using what is well known and well documented in human nature. It has been said that sailboat racing is a male dominated sport. Looking around most boats, it is easy to say it is true. It has also been said, if you want to grow sailing, get a lot more females sailing, and more males will show up automatically – human nature.

So the question is, how do we get more females into the sport? For the males in this audience, consider your wife, girlfriend, co – workers, family members, neighbors, etc. Can you figure out how to introduce them to sailing, and figure out how to fit them in your crew? There aren’t many boats around that require the deck apes of the past grinding in 130% overlapping jibs. Many functions on a boat don’t require great physical strength as the past required. This makes it easy to bring females into the boats. In my early years, clearly there were sexist boats who didn’t have females aboard. I haven’t heard this “non-sense” in a long time.

In our Mackinac Crew in 2013, we had my wife, daughter, sister, and my dad’s partner’s daughter. Four women out of 14 crew. We planned for more, I know it wasn’t enough! How did it work out? We were first in Section, with equal credit going to all crew. When skippering the Star boat, most of the time, I have my daughter crew, and sometimes my wife.

How about the female sailors today? How can you get more female relations out sailing?

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