Accountability in the Sport

Published on February 8th, 2017

Accountability for change starts by making a plan — and sticking to it. In this Sailing World report, Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck shares his 2017 agenda on how he hopes to have a positive impact on the sport of sailing.

I have a friend who says no goal can be achieved without first saying it aloud. We all find our source of motivation, and putting an agenda out into the public does get the ball rolling. Failure in full view is a bummer. With 2017 looming, I thought about what plans I could make — what I will do differently or better, what actions will have a positive impact on my sport of choice, and what I need to do to remain enthusiastic. A few topics came to mind.

The first comes from a quote attributed to Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin and Mark Twain (pretty good company, right?): “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” When issues impact participation, it’s time for change. Determine what is needed for the whole community to succeed, not just those who are the most vocal.

Another topic involves how our sport thrives. While there are institutions and associations that support our activity, everything is people-­driven. Stability in our sport improves when participants both give and take. And finally, while we may partake in a certain sector of the sport, which is important for both improvement and contribution, variety is good for staying enthused.

Words are nothing without action, however, so to ensure I’m doing my part to help the sport thrive, I present to you, dear reader, my agenda for 2017 and beyond. Ask yourself: What might I do?

Go Windsurfing More than 40 years ago, Hoyle and Diane Schweitzer introduced their board-and-sail contraption, and while in junior sailing classes with their children, I was consumed by the fun, the freedom and the lessons it offered. I can’t recall the last time I went windsurfing, so this year I will go to relive some of the past and enjoy some of the present. Hopefully, people will see me doing it. More people should be windsurfing. Creating interest can be that easy.

Have a Hobie Day My first job was for a boat dealership that sold Hobie Cats. I would race the demo boats in a summer beer-can series. I moved on after a few near-death Hobie 16 pitch-pole experiences, though I returned to win the US Sailing Championship of Champions in a Hobie 18. So I have some roots, shallow as they may be, and in my town there’s a rental outfit where I can lay down a credit card, pay $35 an hour, and push off the beach for some Hobie sailing. There are even a few stops along the shoreline for liquid replenishment, though the best part of the day may be the ease of returning the boat: just pull it up on the beach and walk away. No ownership blues.

Full report…click here.

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