Creating the next generation of sailors

Published on December 12th, 2022

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
When my kids were old enough for my yacht club’s junior sailing program, I saw that as the best way for them to learn about sailing. It was my introduction, but what I had forgotten was all the other experiences I had on the water outside of the junior program.

While they learned to sail, I was too focused on my own competitive sailing that it did not allow for family sailing time outside of their classes. While the program was popular for some kids, mine soon moved on to other activities.

I reflect now how important it was for me to mess around in a variety of boats, and now with organized youth programs getting even more structured, there is even less time for kids to experience the wide variety of sailing boats and formats.

When considering how to make the sport of sailing better, Stephen Weissenberger provides a list of how the next generation can gain a deeper attraction to being on the water:

• Get back to basics.
• Take the kids sailing or better, weekend cruising.
• No phones, no electronic devises. Just family.
• Go for a row in the dinghy.
• Go for a swim.
• Go for a walk.
• Just play.
• Spend time together experiencing the joys of sailing.
• Resist the urge for scheduled summer sports, just go sailing.
• Resist all the temptations of modern society, just go sailing.
• Use sailing to teach your kids self-reliance, independence, love of the outdoors, love of adventure.
• Create family memories.

This will create the next generation of sailors and maybe racers.

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