Want to perform and promote local sailing? Consider a “No MaM” Policy.

5 thoughts on “Want to perform and promote local sailing? Consider a “No MaM” Policy.”

  1. The MaM suffers from a bad case of “Do what I Do!” with a side case of “Do what I Did!”. Its not there fault, Its a social disease spread by other MaM’s while drinking libations after sailing.

    The other reason that “kid” is not out racing beer can sailing with you is that the only day they have to go sailing is the same day you have. Choosing to do something they want to do, such as, compete in a dinghy program and racing locally, regionally, nationally or internationally is a choice they have made. So is sailing for thier School, College or University. We shoud applaud them for it.

    The same goes for the non competitive MaM. The Cruising MaM. If you want your kid to cruise take them cruising. Its a great way to spend time together as a family. While your cruising teach them what your parents taught you. How to navigate, plot, plan, be safe and cruise. You only get so many oppurtunties. Don’t squander them by sending them below or sending them away from a task. Once they get it let them go sail on thier own or take more of an active role in the cruise. I have seen many successful adaptations of this process. If your kid joins a dinghy sailing school or a race program and you have not taught them what you condider to be important, don’t blame the programs they are not geared to do that.

    If the “kids” don’t want to sail like you let them sail on thier own terms. They will find cruising and beer can racing when they are ready. If they do want to sail with you let them; by letting them sail.

    The big boats get the glory but the dinghy makes the sailor.

  2. Jen – thanks very much for your article, and I concur with your observations.

    It is exactly what the Royal Van YC Race Team son of an active Vancouver Martin242 racer said to him recently, and I think we all have to take his and your observations seriously as the only way to get more Junior members involved in keelboat racing and thus maintain or even possibly increase keelboat numbers over time.

    RVYC held an Open House recently, the 2nd in 2 years, and once again the topic of Junior participation in keelboat racing (or lack thereof) was discussed at length, and a number of remedies offered again, none of which were quite as incisive as yours. It was the son’s comments, coupled with a few others, that caused me to back off doing any changes to the status quo this year re keelboat rating or scoring adjustments in exchange for getting Juniors on board, because they all said that we had not gotten at the core of the issue, whatever that was, and now we have an answer.

    I recall when I was 17-18, the only way I would ever get on a big boat is if I could steer or call tactics, because otherwise I’d rather just practice in my Laser for 80-100 boat regattas, so nothing’s changed in 33 years. Human nature is what it is.

    Our Junior Advisor, coaches, Sailing Director, VARC rep, some racers, and other members of the RVYC Sailing Committee have now seen your blog post, so it will help us formulate a Strategy to deal with our own Junior keelboat participation issue and conversion into long-term racers, regardless of whether it’s in dinghies or keelboats.

    Best regards,

    Michael Clements
    Fleet Captain & MaM
    Royal Vancouver Yacht Club

    1. Michael, thanks so much for your eloquent comment. As is so often the case in our sport, the answer often represents itself as simply “just go sailing.” In this case, that sailing happens to be the type that will let kids and MaM’s shine. May English Bay be filled with sport boats driven by sailors who buy their Sperry’s in the kid’s section and teens who sport N’s on their rides to the club.

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