Balancing social issues with sailing

Published on August 17th, 2021

Where once sport was an escape from real world drama, now it is a platform to address headline issues. Perhaps it was ignorance before, and while heightened awareness is healthy, can sport become too obsessive in its support?

Viewership for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics saw a massive drop from the television audience for the 2016 Games in Rio. While some of the reasoning was due to streaming options and time difference, politics and protests steered viewers to other entertainment options.

Sailing has sought to be a leader in social issues, but can too much emphasis turn people off? It’s a balance which John Ford wonders about:

Is there presently a refuge on this earth that is bereft of the inclusivity, diversity, and political correctness nonsense? Sailing once provided me with such a luxury, pure enjoyment.

Whether being taught the rudiments of handling a lively sailboat with sensible acumen and the teaching of the same, or just slipping along on a moonlit sea, the total blend of common sense and unencumbered pleasure were easily experienced.

One would simply follow the rules of seamanship and reap their fruitful rewards. Helmsman and crew had the opportunity to air out the common challenges of life and benefit from genuine camaraderie. No games, posturing, or brainwashing. I miss the ease of carefree sailing.

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