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Where are the youth?


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#1 harrytom

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 08:01 AM

Following on from membership thread.

5 of us( 50+)Discussing this last night and looking back on our youth. Sunday was race race day at the lake in our "Ps" and every opportunity would drag them down the beach,after school,holidays just couldn't sail enough.

The odd invite to sail on keel boat one day or weekend we jumped at it,brought our our own trailer sailers/small keelers and away when ever possible and raced different series either on own vessel or crewed depending on the event.

Today you see under 16s away looking totally bored why?? we would be sailing the dinghy/rowing etc

was it because there were no electronic gadgets to occupy us?

Then we discussed why has the yacht market reached bargain basement prices,sails to expensive to replace etc?

Considering that the fizzy/launch market seems bouyant,20yr old sea nymph clapped out trailer with a 115hp 20 yr old motor done 700 hrs they still want $12/15k for it,see a lot of youth out,now is it because they can get from a to b in minutes or knowing full well they will be home by 4.00pm?

 

We were guessing that only 5/10% carry on sailing.Gave a hand at sailing club with mad Yotie to promote sailing in our local area but the youth never seemed keen or showed up once and failed to return,only club I know where you can borrow a sunburst/opti/starling for $2 or $3 for a day sail

 

One suggested we have got to serious or had to many restrictions placed upon us by the PC brigade and H&S

 

Thoughts on how get youth activly back in to a sport,which dare I say is dying when you look at fleet numbers during the 70s/80s early 90s


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#2 Cazzate

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 06:34 PM

It’s a tough one but having a blended family of 6 kids four of them teenagers and two of them in their early twenties my opinion is that devices and internet have killed off that desire for physical activities that you expect from kids .

None of my teenage kids have the self motivation to go to the beach which is across the road let alone go yachting or even ride a bloody bike !. But on the bright side my two adult kids are really getting interested again in sailing . After helping me bring the boat back from the coastal my daughter promptly signed up as crew for the Route 66 and is trying to talk me into doing Bay week . The two older kids have grown out of watching stupid sh*t on YouTube and playing mind numbing games on their phones . So I guess you just have to introduce kids to sailing and try your best to engage them and hope that some of them will come back to it .

We have a pretty good number of youth sailors at our club but they seldom come out on the bigger boats , dunno why that is
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#3 madyottie

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 06:27 AM

I'm all out of ideas.

My eldest (12) is adamant that we ARE doing the rum race, and they all love picnics on a gulf island, but as for solo club racing, not much interest.

Weymouth YC is likely folding at the end of the season, no new members, and no driving force as time gets more precious, I've left the area, and the sailing master is retiring. The costs of building maintenance have outstripped income for the last few years, so the building will likely get returned to council control.

Add to that the new housing development right next door and things look grim.

Shame really, as great sailing water for dinghies and small trailer yachts
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#4 chariot

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 07:57 AM

That's a shame. Used to sail there occasionaly when I was at high school. Jump on an old IA and go for it. Most of the time I was on my NZ Moth at Howick sailing club.


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#5 philstar

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 08:31 AM

The youth are there, but in a minority and sailing is definitely competing with other activities. 

 

I see a fantastic group of youth sailing dinghys, crewing on big boats and owning their own sr 26's and piedies etc bt these guys are generally from die hard sailing families.

 

One of the biggest issues is that adult dinghy sailing seems to be dying. 

Apart from the die hard zephyr fleet and few lasers where are the adult dinghy fleets?

At Manly we've had a resurgence of kids sailing thanks to the Russell Coutts sailing foundation pumping resources into the club - yay!!

 

But with 30 odd kids sailing bics, 29'ers, rs feva's and lasers there are 30 odd parents standing around watching and may be 3 or 4 of us actually sailing. 

I turn up with either a javelin or a nacra and start rigging and feel weird that I'm one of the few adults who actually sail. 

 

So when the kids start aging out of the junior programs at 12 or 13 and discover girls/boys and other things, the parents also disappear because they don't actually sail.

Its really interesting that there are youth sailors around but they all come from the die hard families who own big and small boats and continue to keep the kids sailing into their teens. 

 

I think we're losing the other youth because we are simply not getting the parents sailing.

 

The best thing I reckon we could do is more adult learn to sail programs. then the youth will follow....hopefully.


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#6 MarkMT

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 09:08 AM

Apart from the die hard zephyr fleet and few lasers where are the adult dinghy fleets?

 

My impression is that the 3.7 is also going reasonably well, but in general yes I think your point is valid. Incidentally, there was also some hand-wringing about more or less the same issue in Sailing Anarchy a while back... http://sailinganarch...ling-in-the-us/


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#7 Knot Me... maybe

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 09:40 AM

The problem we have here is these days discussing things like this involves bring in things like YNZ and other organisations. As soon as that happens people get upset, like far too many subjects these days.

 

So part of the problem we have is we can't discuss things openly without grizzling about attacks and so on.

 

Until people learn to discuss and realise that's all it is, not a declaration of war on any one or body, the conversation will not happen in the manner it should and will make the changes needed.


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#8 smitty

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 09:59 AM

Wakatere last weekend, couldn't move for old codgers pulling their ok dinghies up from the beach.  Definitely no lack in numbers there for an adult dinghy class.  Also much more mid week after school sailing happening there for kids than when I was at school.  Maybe that club has just got it's act together?


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#9 Knot Me... maybe

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 02:22 PM

WOWW and with a capital W.

 

My inbox has exploded with comments about this.

 

I'm seriously disappointed those people do not feel like they can say the same things out loud like you'd think a group of grown ups discussing a genuine issue should be able to do. I am quite surprised at some of the names.

 

And there's a huge part of the problem.

 

How weird it is that in these days of supposed enlightenment, whistle blower encouragement, #metoo like movements and with a government that is based entirely on 'having a conversation',  people seem to feel less able to speak openly than they used too.

 

One theme in the comments is how the only 'push' in yachting is into Olympic classes which tend to be sailed not that widely locally, are very expensive boats to buy and campaign but come with some support..... if the crew looks like a possible good news story. The other option is well made local designs sailed far widely locally at considerably less cost but with zero support.

 

One other is kids aren't growing up with the knowledge they can knock up a pocket rocket in the back shed as the only boats that get any coverage are not suited to that (hard to whip up a AC50 or Volvo70) or are OD tupperware (Olympic classes). There is no boats or boating being promoted someone can have a crack at knocking up something and giving it a go, something that NZ used to excel at not that long ago.

 


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#10 Fish

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 03:19 PM

I'm seriously disappointed those people do not feel like they can say the same things out loud like you'd think a group of grown ups discussing a genuine issue should be able to do. I am quite surprised at some of the names.

 

And there's a huge part of the problem.

Maybe they read the thread where I raised a barrier to participation, only to be called a 'moaner', 'a good way to stop all the bluggers', 'it's not really that much money', and 'just harden up'.

 

I certainly got the feeling "how dare I question the establishment".

 

The problem with questions around participation is that its is those on the fringes of the sport that are most effected, and have the least voice.

Certainly those already heavily immersed in the sport are least effected, but in the case of compulsory crew membership it is just another barrier to participation for the marginal entrant. 

And I see it as directly applicable to youth involvement. The Gold Cup races are the ideal opportunity to take some keen young dinghy sailors out for a taste of a proper keel boat race.

 

Wait for it, I can just hear the clamouring "But the Squadron run a youth keel boat programme" - I'm not talking about elite dinghy sailors here destined for the Olympics. I'm talking about the neighbours kids who are into their learn to sail programme at Manly, but aren't at the level of being pinched as a bowman on a TP 52, but would get a lot of benefit just having a wider experience of yacht racing.

 

And in terms of the perception that yachting is an elite sport. I'd say any organisation with 'Royal' in its title is by definition elitists.


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