Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Reflections from the President

As part of an individual’s commentary in Scuttlebutt 3888, he requested that US Sailing explain what the organization is doing to grow grassroots sailing. He missed my January memo to members and interested on-lookers:

Our “mission consists of growing the sailing experience for anyone with a drive to learn, whether that person is a novice or a soon-to-be Olympian.” The Leadership Forum in February 2014 will connect leaders from all aspects of our sport such as sail training and education, yacht club and sailing organization management, racing associations and organizations including one-design and handicap classes, race officials, and industry professionals.

To single out a few of US Sailing’s highlights in 2013, so far this year we have...

• certified 1,229 Level I instructors and over 200 Level II & III instructors.
• engaged over 150 educators with the new REACH program which uses sailing to teach STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. 
• organized 18 Junior Olympic events reaching over 3,000 kids. 
• published the Adaptive Sailing Resource Manual, which details how to make sailing available to people with physical limitations.
• launched a Small Boat Safety Clinic
• sponsored 14 Safety at Sea Seminars across the country this year.
Yes, some classes of boats are experiencing a decline perhaps because the baby boom generation is frankly falling out. But several of the larger classes have managed that transition and are in growth mode again: Thistles, Flying Scots, Lightnings, and several newer high-performance small keelboats. Community sailing programs have had explosive growth over the last 15 years.

What US Sailing provides is the backbone for training programs at every level to make this happen. For half the price of a ratchet block, anyone can be a supporter of this goal of US Sailing to grow the sport. 


Tom Hubbell, President of US Sailing

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