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Campaign 101: What you don’t know will hurt you

Published on August 25th, 2014

by David Dellenbaugh,
Sailing campaigns come in all shapes and sizes. The most well-known campaigns involve challenging and high-profile goals such as winning the America’s Cup or an Olympic gold medal. These types of campaigns often last for several years, or even longer! And they usually require a full-time commitment to sailing, planning and fund-raising!

However, a sailing campaign can also be much shorter and simpler. It might involve only one sailor and one regatta, campaign typesand last for just a few days or weeks. For example, you might decide to train for three weeks in order to win your Laser District Championship. Or you could plan to race at several local regattas to prepare for the Optimist Nationals.

The dictionary defines a campaign as “a systematic course of activities for some specific purpose.” This means any time you make a sailing plan with a goal in mind, you are basically organizing a campaign. In fact, many sailors organize sailing campaigns without even knowing it.

The purpose of putting together a “campaign” is to help you achieve a particular goal. Your chances of success are much better if you make an organized plan about how to get from where you are now to where you want to go. That’s what is all about.

Why Campaign?
This guide is all about how to organize a great sailing campaign, whether you are trying to win a national championship or an Olympic gold medal. But before we talk about the how of campaigning, an important question is why? Why would anyone want to get involved in something that requires such hard work, costs so much money and is incredibly challenging? The reason is all the intangible benefits and the skills you learn. You have to view a campaign as a long-term learning process rather than just something you do for a momentary result. If you can maintain that perspective, you may find that, in the long run, the rewards are worth the effort.

Top 10 Reasons to organize a sailing campaign:

10. Better than getting a real job (though it might be more work!).
9. Be your own boss.
8. Being on the water every day will give you a great tan.
7. You might even go to the Olympics!
6. Learn useful life skills such as planning, strategizing and pursuing goals.
5. It’s a lot of fun to go sailing and racing almost every day.
4. Meet lots of new people and make good friends.
3. Learn business skills like asking for money, marketing yourself and budgeting.
2. Get to travel and see the world.
1. Come away with memories that last a lifetime.

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