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Where is Yachting going?

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If you want to know why an event is failing, dont ask the current fleet why. Find those who aren't competing and ask them

FFS Splat, I think a lot of us would prefer that it wasn't laid out in black & white like that! Easier to pretend that it isn't that much if Splat doesn't do a damn spreadsheet!  

One of my favourite hobby horses.  Rum racing should be designed to introduce people to yachting, instead of fun you get protests,  collisions, special rum race sails, blah blah blah  Yawn yawn CBF.

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most people want something closer to a lounge room


No doubt. And as I've got older I've grown more and more convinced that I really don't want to be "most people." Probably why I find Webb Chiles so inspiring. Of course he doesn't have a lounge room, but he does have the "great cabin"...


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In September, Sport New Zealand and the national bodies for rugby, netball, cricket, football and hockey pledged to take emphasis away from winning and specialisation, and place it on fun and development.

A similar approach was launched by USA Ice Hockey 10 years ago and has proven a huge success.

The technical director behind that programme, Ken Martel is in New Zealand to speak to Kiwi administrators and coaches about his organisation's experience.

He said their change in direction had undoubtedly been the right move.

"We're having increased participation, increased retention and an unbelievable throughput to the highest level of our sport.

"The breadth and depth of the player pool at the elite level for us has grown dramatically. There's no doubt why that's happened is because we've gone down this path."



It appears there is a sound basis to this 'involvement for fun' rather than 'pathway to elite success', Sports NZ are now starting to get onto it...

BoIGuy and Funfish are already ahead of curve.


From my perception, there appears to be more younger owners and families with young kids getting into boating (keel boats). It may be just around my club. Certainly the availability of very cheap but perfectly adequate modest family cruisers is a help, and a good pathway into family boating. Noting also the Taikaka YC call for more Frostbite dinghies, so people can get into cheap easy one design racing...


I've no direct involvement with kids sailing yet, but I am interested in things like the Open Bic and their obstacle course based races etc. More fun for the kids.



Crewed on a friends 930 a few weeks ago for winter series race, took my 8 year old son, the owner had his son on board - similar age and we had a girl from the highschool team who we got to helm for the whole race. I raced a lot years ago and it definitely wasn't like this.

Turned out to be one of the most enjoyable races I've had for a long time, good breeze about 10 boats in the fleet, flew all the right sails, no yelling and screaming, no agressive match racing wannabees ... We got back to the club and found about 4 or 5 more kids had been out on some of the other boats too, they all had a ball and so did I. 

got me thinking a bit about what its all about. Found a couple of posts on another forum that fitted in well and give a bit of food for thought:


Three Laser sailors get Olympic medals every four years. Some get multiple medals by participating in multiple Olympics

Why the hell would any reasonable  person  believe thousands of kids are on an Olympic path ??


There are no trickledown effects from our governing body, no kickbacks, no special deals, nothing! You must fund it all yourself. Which has actually created a clicky/snooty group of Trophy Hunting families going back generations controlling clubs and classes (N.Z) I have to do my best and turn a blind eye to this sort of crap, which I was well and truly warned about prior to getting involved with....

I have come to realise that my kid will never amount to anything in the sporting world. But loves turning up to have a sail. That’s all I can be happy about. 

We recently had a regatta (in winter) kids had more fun jumping out of boats and swimming around laughing than worrying about racing, a reality check for some parents and myself also. But boy were they happy.


I'm pretty sure I was at the regatta mentioned above, helping out on the water, I could see that the Aucklanders were a bit out of their comfort zone but by the end of the weekend most of them had a little light bulb go on. I'd like to think our club did quite a bit for the future of yachting during that regatta.






We’ve just restructured our youth sailing approach with huge success...
Key changes were
Focus for post learn to sail is “adventures and fun days” ...with racing an option for those interested.
Parents of learn to sailers are targeted and drawn into crews so they get the experience and sailing bug,,,
We’ve searched for and found the old boats in the community that have been parked up in sheds... given them a tidy up ( many were donated to the club) and made them part of the fun fleet.
Our youth sailers have been connected to the Elliott 6 fleet at a bigger club nearby and raced the Twilight series together as crews,
Our current project is setting up a small fleet of ( mostly donated) trailer yachts that out newbie families can take away for holiday sailing...
Club is growing,,, everyone having fun... no Olympic champions but three youth looking at marine industry careers...

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