US Sailing: Trimming for speed

Published on February 3rd, 2020

US Sailing, the national authority for sailing in the USA, distributed to membership its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan in which the 8-page document addresses five areas of focus:

• Create opportunities for life-long participation in sailing.
• Provide sailors with a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from casual recreational sailing to high-performance competition.
• Capitalize on regional sailing expertise to encourage the development of shared programs that reflect the interests of local sailors.
• Make volunteering with US Sailing easy, rewarding and mutually beneficial.
• Achieve American success in sailing and tell the story.

Jack Gierhart CEO, US Sailing:
Sailing is at an interesting turning point – we have a successful and storied past, but a somewhat unclear future. We can see areas of innovation and success, which many of you who are reading this document are leading. However, I believe we can agree that the sport overall has been sliding sideways for some time.

Generational changes, socio-economic shifts, changes in family structure, youth sports specialization, time starvation, and the battle for attention in a digital world are having a disruptive impact on participation. These challenges, however, present opportunities, and at US Sailing we believe strongly that sailing can have a spectacular next chapter.

In 2017 US Sailing began a significant shift in our organization. We restructured our operations to create a customer-facing organization committed to delivering first-class solutions and service to local sailing organizations and sailors. We also undertook the development of a roadmap for US Sailing to address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

We involved a broad array of stakeholders from across the sport – in all, hundreds of sailors, organizational and industry leaders, staff, volunteers and other thought leaders from across the sailing community participated. We would like to thank everyone involved for their time and valuable input.

The following pages present our strategy, the roadmap for building a strong future for sailing. The plan respects the past but focuses on the future. Our approach is to be bold and embrace change and the disruption that is the norm today as we work with the sailing community to pass on the sailing DNA we all have in our blood to the next generation.

Our challenge is to create a future that is diverse, inclusive and accessible. We must make it easy for new sailors – regardless of age – to get involved and at the same time keep the passion of current sailors alive. We need to cultivate and celebrate success and excellence while not forgetting about having fun.

As with any strategic plan, this one will evolve and be refined. A bright future for sailing requires all of us working together, aligning our efforts, sharing our successes and learning from our stumbles. We look forward to input from the sailing community as we implement this plan and we encourage your involvement.

To read the document… click here.

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