saving sailing at the isaf

saving sailing at the isaf

The book Saving Sailing burst onto the scene last October and sent the forums into a frenzy, while quickly reaching the #1 position in the sailing category and the #2 bestseller in the outdoor recreation category on Amazon.com. Since then, it has been among sailing bestsellers 38 weeks straight and continues to receive critical acclaim and literary awards for its back-to-basics approach and as an inspirational story. Most importantly, Saving Sailing has ignited a worldwide grassroots movement to share sailing and spread the word that complex lifelong free-time pursuits like sailing play a large role in strengthening the family.

And Sailing Anarchy broke the story.

The book talks about the need to counteract a steep decline in family shared time that leaves fewer people sailing, fishing, camping, or biking together over recent decades. And Saving Sailing dispels the common myths that sailing is expensive or family-unfriendly. It shows with data and examples, that most sailing costs less than cable TV, and that when sailing becomes a family affair, it thrives and grows. Author Nick Hayes convincingly calls on parents and teachers to aspire to become mentors: to take the lead and make the time to teach through outdoor free-time activities, and for communities and organizations to lower artificial barriers that prevent this from happening.

The results are starting to mount: at last count, over 60 new intergenerational sailing programs in 8 countries have been proposed for the 2010 season. Thousands of dollars have been raised to help not-for-profit sailing clubs stay whole in tough times and to provide scholarships to families in need. And local sailing advocates on four coasts have tapped into the movement to stand up to protect public shoreline access in their communities. 

Such phenomenal response to what has been called an “unpretentious little book” might have been expected, considering the deep-seated enthusiasm for sailing that is evident here. But it’s not enough to paint a vision; what matters is change.

So Hayes will travel to San Diego in September to give a exclusive presentation at Sailing Anarchy’s International Sport-boat Anarchy Festival to highlight some of most promising concepts and the people who are making the biggest difference in the sport. And he’ll make a loud and specific call for long-range reinvestment tapping the best ideas: not baby steps, like social networking, handicap adjustments or race course selection, but a big, bold, modern rethinking of sailing as an instrument of good in the 21st century.

And Sailing Anarchy will break the story. Be there.

Note: Nick will be speaking at Eastern YC, Marblehead, MA tonight. Click here for more info.