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Living in the Scuttlebutt World

Published on June 1st, 2023

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The shift to June at Scuttlebutt HQ requires flipping our Ultimate Sailing wall calendar and loading the new computer monitor calendar from Cory Silken. Don’t miss his offering for June 2023.

The month of June is the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, with a report by George Day on what to expect this year. Inclusivity is also in the spotlight as June is Pride Month for the world’s LGBT communities to come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves.

Noted Sara Sutcliffe, CEO for the Royal Yachting Association: “We believe that participating in boating activities can have tremendous positive effects on a person’s well-being, an opportunity that should be available to everyone, regardless of a person’s romantic and sexual orientation, sex or gender identity.”

Ben Houston, CEO for Australian Sailing added, “We are committed to ensuring that sailing is a welcoming and inclusive sport for all. Sailing is a great way to show how diverse and inclusive we can be as a nation, and we want to see sailing reflecting our communities. Inclusive sport equals inclusive communities, and sailing is part of this.”

As North American students begin their summer break, sailing programs rev into a higher gear for youth sailors, so this is a timely reminder that any desire to structure sailing similarly to other youth sports needs a wake-up call as nearly every kid ages-out of those sports, and the overall attrition rate in those sports has risen.

New Optimist parent Ethan Doyle, past US I-420 Class Association Present Larry Law, and college sailor Alex Makoid share their experiences and observations from the youth path.

As for the youth sailing coaches, they are likely products of a system that emphasizes racing and are continuing that pattern, and possibly are promoting their worth by the trophies they help accumulate. Observed marine store owner Morten Fogh, “Most sailing and yacht clubs have about 80-95% cruising sailboats and the rest are racing. Learn to sail programs should follow that ratio.”

Sailing is a life sport, not a youth sport. If your summer youth sailing program is not boasting its retention rates, ask why.

I am super excited to be presenting the screening of Melges: The Wizard of Zenda at San Diego Yacht Club on June 8. Over a decade ago, it was a rare privilege to be with Buddy as he was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame, and now I look forward to watching his extraordinary journey on film. Good times ahead!

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