When Nicholas Hayes’ book Saving Sailing (Crickhollow Books) burst onto the scene, it quickly reached Amazon’s bestseller lists in the Sailing and Outdoor categories, and stayed there for 64 weeks. More importantly, it re-introduced sailing to American families, not as a sport of the wealthy, but as a surprisingly accessible, affordable, lifelong family activity.
Saving Sailing advocates intergenerational mentoring (to encourage more young sailors to stick with the activity into adulthood), and for families to look at sailing and other complex outdoor activities as an opportunity to learn and grow together. Sailors appreciate it for its familiar stories and the opportunity to reflect on sailing in the bigger picture. Sailing clubs and programmers appreciate its advocacy of the core role of sailing in building leadership and problem solving skills and stronger communities.
Hayes continues to write about sailing, parenting and families.
- His latest published work is “What the Race to Mackinac Means” for the book Sailing – Philosophy for Everyone (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)
- He is currently collaborating with renowned illustrator Renee Graef on a new series of sailing books for children and families.
Hayes contributes significant time to community work. He chaired the Program Committee of the YMCA Camping Services Group and served on its Board for three years. He was a Director of the Milwaukee Yacht Club for four years, helping to renew its youth training facilities. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, leading its Program Committee, helping to set long term strategy.
Hayes is an avid sailor with thirty years racing experience, starting on penguins, scows, and Solings, and graduating to big boats and sport boats. His sailing resume boasts thousands of course races and offshore miles in the Chicago-Mackinac, Queen’s Cup, Hook, and Trans-Superior races, winning many.
Hayes lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin with his wife Angela, and his daughters Kate (17) and Elizabeth (14), all decorated sailors. The Hayes family actively races and cruises together on Syrena, a B-32, out of the South Shore Yacht club.
Hayes is a partner at the research and strategy consultancy FiveTwelve Group since 1998, where he studies global water, energy, infrastructure and technology markets for Fortune 250 clients.