Boat Ownership and Intergenerational Sailing
Published on September 10th, 2014
This comes from the September 10 issue of Scowlines, the newsletter of the Inland Lake Yachting Association (ILYA):
Ever wonder how three months of Midwest sailing can produce Rolex Yachtspersons of the Year? Or the current #1 ranked U.S. Women’s Match Racer, or previous College sailors of the year and U.S. Youth Champs winners? They often and almost always sailed the 16-foot X boat, the predominant club racer exclusively for boys and girls up to 16 years of age.
What other region can boast 100+ privately-owned youth boats? And don’t think that is not an important factor in youth progressing to adult boats. It all begins with our successful X boat. Our retention of youth sailors, and their participation in adult scow classes, is exploding.
The ILYA has every right to be proud. Through the growth of youth-only sailing events, the ILYA has not lost sight of the importance of boat ownership and intergenerational sailing.
If the only avenue for a kid is youth sailing in institutionally-owned boats, the trend is that they will leave sailing when they are no longer a youth. Investing in equipment, and introducing young people to adult classes, gives them an avenue to remain in the sport beyond their youth years.