February 15, 2013 § 1 Comment
SA is reporting on “Saving Sailing” in Hawaii, happening right now…
Every year Hawaii Yacht Club and Waikiki Yacht Club, and their sailing directors Scott Melander and Guy Fleming make available their boats, and their yacht club facilities to high school kids on Oahu, and have an amazing season with two divisions of Varsity Sailing, and JV. Hundreds of kids are introduced to the sport, or continue their Junior development. Talk about “Saving Sailing”…these guys live it every day. Photo: Guy Fleming, Waikiki Yacht Club.
Read more: saving hawaiian style | Sailing Anarchy.
July 12, 2012 § 21 Comments
On the subject of kids learning to sail, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a discussion thread on a sailing website or an op/ed in a sailing magazine that doesn’t include extreme opinions about the Optimist Dinghy (Opti) and other similar one-person prams like the El Toro. Folks either hate them or they’re resigned to them.
Generally, the Opti-resigned assume that the only way for a kid to learn is in a pram, starting precisely at the age of eight. Opti haters blame the boats for scaring kids away, or, at least, for not being enough fun to sail to hold their interest after a time. The resigned often get their cues from people who sell prams. And haters get theirs from people who sell something else.
Of course, neither claim is true. Optis can be a heckuva lot of fun, but they aren’t the only way to learn.
Deeper thinking than rants and promotions takes you to a place where the flaws and the benefits are found in the programs, not the boats. « Read the rest of this entry »
July 4, 2012 § 3 Comments
In about a week, sailing kids from all over the midwest will arrive at South Shore Yacht Club (SSYC), my home club, for the annual, traditional Kaszube Cup regatta.
Usually, there are about thirty 8-13 year olds sailing Optimist dinghies, and another fifty or sixty teenagers on Lasers and 420’s. There are typically two race courses, one inside the Milwaukee break wall for the younger kids, and another about a mile and a half offshore for the rest.
Like many large youth sailing regattas, this one will depend on parents to volunteer to make sandwiches for lunch, supply berths for out-of-town kids, and they’ll board spectator boats to snap pictures and offer encouragement.
The regatta has a special place in my family’s collective heart, in part because of the fun sailing memories that it provides my kids, but more importantly, because it celebrates a people who might otherwise be forgotten. My wife and daughters have deep Polish ancestry, some of it Kaszube.