Having fun through the youth years
Published on November 9th, 2023
The emphasis in the USA on High School and College competition has directed young people toward institutional-type boats. But for kids looking for a doublehanded option, the 29er offers both a domestic and international racing schedule. International 29er Class President Peter Lubeck (DEN) explains why:
Why the 29er?
The 29er is a fantastic boat for developing skills in sailing. It is a boat which supports both sailing for fun and enjoyment with a partner and all round skill development towards more professional sailing futures – Olympic sailing and beyond. No matter what, it is a class where there are great opportunities for learning and developing in a fast boat, preparing sailors to bring all the skills into another class whilst having great fun!
What do you love about the 29er Class?
29er is a youth class meaning that is a class for teenagers that are at an exponential developing phase of their lives. So, the combination of serious development into talented sailors and having fun at the same time is important, and in my opinion the 29er uniquely offers both these aspects to our young sailors.
What areas of the 29er Class do you think are exceptional?
I really like that it is a fast boat where you learn to make fast decisions all the time when racing. You are two sailors and to have the chance to race well it is extremely important to collaborate at a high level – listen to each other and help each other when racing. You can only win if you work well as a team, and the way to do that is to have a respectful tight collaboration!
Where do you see the future of the International 29er Class?
The 29er Class is an important class for developing talented teenage sailors into well rounded sailors that for many can move into careers as Olympic sailors and professional sailors. I would like to see the class support sailors from Junior classes e.g. the Optimist and Feva classes to integrate into the 29er Class and when they are ready to continue onwards, help them into their future sailing.
How can we improve as a Class?
There are always ways to improve and I maybe only mention a few here:
• International training camps where the crews train collaboratively with each other across countries.
• Continuing to build on the community of the class creating open-minded communication and behaviour among sailors, coaches and parents.
• Train the trainers – we have very good coaches, but many can be even better with the right input and support to create international growth.
• Supporting countries that have no, or few 29er sailors, to establish ways to introduce the class and improve growth and skill level.