Dawn Riley challenges SAIC participants to change the face of sailing

Dawn Riley
Kelley Anne Vreeken
Renowned competitive sailor and executive director of Oakcliff Sailing, Dawn Riley, challenged participants at the Sail America Industry Conference (SAIC) to change the face of sailing during her keynote presentation 'Be the Force of Change-Every Day and in Every Way' this morning. The conference continues through tomorrow, June 11, at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in Charleston, SC.

'We can no longer wring our hands, reminisce about the good old days, lament today's youth's lacking attention span, or complain about unbeatable competition for people's time,' Riley said in her speech. 'Let's blow open the norms, take control, and change the face of our sport.'

During her presentation, Riley talked about diversity and marketing to new potential customers.

'From show rooms, to yacht clubs, to boats on the water, your advertising must include people who look like your potential customers. We have a choice in what message we put out there...in what we're saying.'

The first woman to manage an America's Cup campaign, Riley will use the keynote as a call to action. Oakcliff Sailing, a training and coaching center based in New York, builds leaders through sailing and is seeing tremendous growth from non-traditional markets.

Later today Riley will moderate a panel focused on the emerging markets within the sailing industry as well as how to market to women, who still remain an untapped purchasing demographic. Other panel members include Margaret Podlich from BoatU.S. and Katie Pettibone from Rising Tide Leadership Institute.

Tomorrow's speakers include author Nick Hayes; Dean Brenner, President of the Latimer Group; and Ken Read, President of North Sails Group. Topics include drones and aerial photography within the boating industry, how dealers/brokers and manufacturers work together to attract and keep new sailors, and how to keep youth involved in sailing.

Onsite registration will be available throughout the conference. For more information, click here.

Sail America's Industry Conference is the place for Sailing Industry professionals to learn about new topics and trends, receive updates, and networking with over 150 participants. The conference will feature a regatta, a day and a half of educational sessions, and an industry dinner.

Sail America--Sail America is the trade association for the U.S. sailing industry and plays a vital role for all companies that are involved in providing sailing-related products and services. Established in 1990 by members of the U.S. sailing industry, Sail America now has over 200 members representing all segments of the sailing market. With a professional staff, a dedicated Board of Directors, and a team of volunteers and supporters, Sail America works hard to promote the health and growth of sailing.