An interesting and alarmingly well thought out post from our Fabulous Forums…
Greetings Fellow Sailors! I am introducing an idea to all sailboat race organizers in the San Francisco Bay. I would like to share a letter I just sent to a popular local sailing magazine- it lays out the concept. I hope others in the wider racing community embrace and propel the idea forward, as I believe it will seriously increase waning participation in regattas. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Sailing Anarchy for everything you do for our sport!
If it pleases you, I would like to submit an idea to the readership for discussion and, it is my hope, rapid adoption by the local yacht racing community.
The “think globally, act locally” premise of my idea is to help resuscitate yacht racing, including socializing around yacht racing, on the SF Bay and the Gulf of the Farallones. My goal is to help halt the depressing and undeniable contraction of our sport and to reinvigorate racing in our yachting community in the hopes of growing participation again and- dare I say it?- attract newer (and younger) sailors?
I don’t have answers to “the big picture” issue of shrinking participation in sailing, but there is a really easy way to attract more boats to the existing catalog of sailboat races currently in place.
About 15 years ago, I started becoming a fan of the French and European shorthanded offshore racing circuit, and the amazing boats that have been (and are being) developed. I have been considerably influenced by it and have adapted it exclusively for the way I race my boat. Of course I get routinely throttled on the race course as we cannot keep up with fully crewed boats. So in full disclosure- yeah- there is some self-interest here as well, but I digress.
My proposal is simple and straightforward so all race committees- take heed: introduce and offer a Shorthanded Division in every single regatta on the Bay and Gulf of the Farallones.