Sailing isn’t a sport

August 16, 2012 § 22 Comments

Sailing isn't a sport

Look it up. According to my dictionary, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” And while many sailors I know will say that they enjoy racing sailboats, sailing is so much more than just a lowly sport.

When was the last time you saw tennis played in a pelting, thundering rain squall?

Sailors do it all the time.

When was the last time a basketball player studied emergency and rescue procedures to keep fellow teammates safe and secure?

When was the last time you saw soccer players standing by quietly for hours and sometimes days, waiting for mother nature to join the game?

When was the last time you saw a hockey player invite grandma onto the ice?

When was the last time you saw a quarterback use a star to navigate, the moon to light the field, or pause to gaze upon the aurora borealis during a game?

When was the last time you saw a sprinter stay on the field for hours and hours after the race just to be on the field?

And when was the last time you heard any of these sports-people say that they would play to the very end?

Sailors do it all the time.

No, sailing isn’t a sport. Sport should be so lucky.

– Nicholas Hayes, 2012

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§ 22 Responses to Sailing isn’t a sport

  • Jim Bolland says:

    A simply beautiful ‘heads-up’ to all sailors. Appreciate what you are involved in. Sailing is wonderful!

  • Chip Croft says:

    Yet when was the last time you saw one of those intrepid sailors black or Latino? (Bet you had a white person visualized in your head when you were thinking about this.) In Africa and the Caribbean, yes, but not in the US. Until sailing becomes more PROACTIVE in including non-whites it will always be a minor sport with no growth. Look what Tiger Woods and Serena and Venus did for their sports. They massively increased their popularity. Where are their counterparts in sailing? Look at all the main sports in the US. they are wonderfully diverse. Now look at sailing. Look around the next sailboat show and see how white the crowd. Sailing is a dead sport until it catches up in including the rest of the athletes in the US and it is a long way from it.

    • Charley Mc Bride says:

      You should look up the Brad Johnson, a US Paralympic Team Sailor in the Sonar Class, You may or may not be pleasantly surprised. Based on your logic, the Winter Games should cease to exist.

    • ndhayes says:

      Milwaukee Community Sailing Center Prams in the Park

      It’s not what you see that determines the future, it’s what you do.

      • adam says:

        it is a sport i have been in plenty of situations of a boat that needs strength but you are on a team. you learn to race together. if you wana say somthings not a sport go after formula one racing

    • waterboi says:

      hi. i really do not appreciate how you bring race into a conflict against sailing, and it has nothing to do with it either. I come from a white family but i have a black little sister, and sailing is probably one of the few things that we both love to do. we also do many other sports like wakeboarding or windsurfing, and they all just as beautiful as any watersports and just connect you to nature so much. I can also confirm for you that sailing is a sport, because i am thirteen and going to my second world championship, and i have been doing the required physicl preparation for so long, because it is just so physical to sail at times, so yes… it is a sport. sailing has gotten me fitter than i ever immagined two years ago. just to be fit enough to race as a sailor i train up to four times a week and every day i have a fitness routine i have to follow, so i think your topics were just taken out: it is a sport, because it is actually one of the most physical sports ive tried, it is not a white sport because i know many mixed or black sailors, and it can only be a dead sport if the person calling it that is brain dead

    • Charlie Fensom says:

      So what if the majority of sailors are white that doesn’t say anything about sailing only about who does it, there isn’t anything that sailors can do to change that why don’t other races try sailing then. Every sport had to be a “certain race’s” sport before the others got involved, right? Well that’s what is happening with sailing just wait more will be involved, besides not mainly having white people in sailing doesn’t mean that (if it is what you were implying) sailing is a racist sport it only means that not many other race’s have tried it yet.

  • Stanton Murray says:

    Wikipedia: …sailing is enjoyed as a recreational activity or as a sport…

    Those of us that enjoy racing sailboats need to realize that most sailors enjoy the recreational activity and are not interested in the sport of racing. From children to adults “we” tend to push the sport aspect and ignore the recreation.

  • Really enjoy this . . . I’ve raced, cruised, and just sailed for fun. So many times when a “new” person comes out for the day, we try to push them into racing. I know our club has ended up pushing a few people away because of this. We now try much harder to let people define “sailing” in their own terms, and enjoy it however THEY want to.

  • James says:

    How often do you see minorities near the ocean or even trying to get involved. They have just as much opportunity to get involved and yet they choose to play other sports. Don’t bring racism into the discussion.

  • maverick256 says:

    Enjoy your sailing in whatever way you like ,and do NOT bring race or
    any thing else into our free way of life

  • sailer says:

    sailing is with out a doubt a sport. it involves heavy exercise and team work there are also events when people compete against each other for fun. i hate you so much

    • Nick Hayes says:

      If I’ve done something to deserve your hate, sincerest apologies. But I doubt it, and expect this is more about not actually reading.

      • Owen keepman says:

        I dont agree with you nick But i respect all that you say i am a sailor my self and my dad sailed around the world in 9 months and if you look up Volvo ocean race that will shoe you everything
        But anyways this is not to offend you or anybody who reads this but i respect everyones opinions so thanks and if you could respond, that would be great

  • SailorGirl says:

    I hate to involve myself in this small minded debate about race and minorities but if you have 2 eyes there is no such thing as a minority anymore. Minorities do not exist there are s many black, white, yellow and purple people on the face of this earth. Barriers are the problem. So many people think the sport or recreational idea is sailing is expensive…well it can be. However, many clubs have open house events and try it days. Or offer associate or crewing memberships. Availability, if you can find the time to sit on the couch and watch TV you have the time to visit your local water way and inquire about access to the water.

    Sailing IS a sport or it IS a past time however we see it we must encourage everyone to take interest and show direction to the next steps of getting on the water! Longevity people longevity.

  • Gracie says:

    I do sailing and it is a sport. I know that for a fact because I do it. It involves getting a work out and a sport. None of you guys no anything about sailing.

  • Miles Ushaw says:

    Did anyone read the article? Nick isn’t saying sailing isn’t physical enough to be a sport, in fact, it exactly matches his dictionary definition of one. The whole point is that sailing is more than a sport. It’s an adventure, a way of life that is pretty incomparable. The possibilities are infinite.

    As for people bringing up race; go to any local sailing club and your eyes will be opened. Yes, yacht racing is pretty white, male and rich but that is changing. Check this out-

  • A sailor says:

    Sailing is a sport but it is also much more.

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