It will soon be obvious that I’m a horrible writer, but I’m compelled to write Sailing Anarchy, because the voice they have could ultimately change sailing.
I’m so tired of reading about how to save sailing or this is why sailing is dying or_________ fill in the blank. Most of what I read is so full of useless air that you could sail dead down and never change course.
Take a drive around your community and look at what your tax dollars provide, parks with baseball diamonds, soccer fields, basketball courts, golf courses or our educational institutions providing gyms for other sports, or they complement the sport a kids been playing most of his life.
Where does a lot of sailing take place, yacht clubs. Where do regattas start and finish, yacht clubs. What is one of the most exclusive organizations next to country clubs, I’ll say it, yacht clubs. Who are they subsidized by, it’s members. Many purposely join just for the exclusivity, and there are some of those members that try to make clubs more inclusive, but let’s face it, most municipalities won’t subsidize the sport, because of that exclusivity. So most sailing programs cater only to the children of their members. As yacht club membership shrinks so does the interest in sailing.
Children today have more options than parents have time to filter them out. To be a parent these days is to be there for your child. It’s difficult to raise children, two parents are ideal, two incomes are ideal. So as families proceed through life they save for retirement, they save for college, they save for weddings, and family vacations to Disney, and they still don’t have enough.
Henry Ford did a novel thing back in the day. He realized that most of his employees couldn’t afford the automobiles they were building, so he doubled their wages, he basically subsidized is own industry. So just maybe the titans of the sailing industry should consider spending less money on cutting edge technology, and invest sustainable programs around our country so that just maybe when you ask a kid to go sailing he’ll bring is friend who just maybe your next foredeck guy. – Anarchist Garry.