This article is about a success story, the development of an approximately 30 boat large fleet of RS Feva XLs in British Columbia, with both community sailing centers and private clubs such as the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club involved.
The boat, which is simply referred to here as the Feva, is proving to provide a great platform for youth sailing, as it welcomes beginners and advanced sailors alike, boys and girls, in the 10 to 16 age group.Year after year, youth sailing in Canada typically remains pretty similar. Boys and girls join learn to sail programmes, usually in Optimists, and then move to dinghies for teens, mostly the 420 and the Laser.
The 29er is also an option for more advanced competitive sailors, but over the past ten years has seen its ups and downs. The general picture looks very similar year after year. People in charge of the sport, from the club to the provincial and federal levels, try to increase participation, but without much effect. In many clubs, there is actually a decline in participation in youth sailing.
Against this background, a truly noteworthy development occurred this past year in BC. It is the emergence of a substantial fleet of Feva dinghies.