In case you haven't noticed, US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, is gearing up for prime time. This preparation is a quadrennial ritual leading up to the Olympics, when sailing gets noticed by the mainstream and only medals count. To that end, US Sailing is tasked to develop and select athletes for the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events in 2012 who can match high expectations that were set in the past when U.S. sailors were Olympic medal machines that produced 21 out of 24 possible podium finishes between 1984 and 1992.
I was at Gig Harbor, Wash., on southern Puget Sound about to try one of the rowing/sailing skiffs built in the Pacific Northwest. To someone who's been prejudiced against rowing as "sitting down and going backward as fast as you can," it was a big leap of faith.
I wanted to sell a book. That's all. I had some hopes, because the svelte young lady looked like she'd spring for a copy of my new book "Sustainable Sailing." Then again, you never know. So I asked what kind of sailing she does.
Generous boat grants plus a mentor help the class hook and keep new recruits
Participation in the sport of sailing has declined during the last few decades and the recent recession hasn't helped reverse this trend. So the challenge facing the industry is to restore a growth pattern by attracting young people to the sport and, more importantly, keeping them interested.
The voyage of David de Rothschild's plastic bottle catamaran could prove useful to boatbuilders
Sailing across an ocean is not a big deal these days. Kids do it, grandmothers do it and just about everyone in between does it. But if you do it on Plastiki, a catamaran that's partially constructed from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles and if you are David de Rothschild, that's a whole different matter.
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