by Jake Fish
US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, will take the lead in hosting a groundbreaking event on February 6-8, 2014 at the Hilton San Diego Resort. For the first time, the Sailing Leadership Forum will bring together leaders from all aspects of our sport such as sail training and education, yacht club and sailing organization management, racing associations and organizations including one-design and handicap classes, race officials, and industry professionals.
Sailing Leadership Forum 2014 logo
The primary objective of the Leadership Forum is to bring the sport together by assembling leaders and innovators from these areas of sailing for an all-inclusive learning and networking experience. The Sailing Leadership Forum will offer focused group sessions, while addressing subjects relevant to all.
'For years, US Sailing has hosted successful events for all types of sailors,' said Jack Gierhart, Executive Director of US Sailing. 'There are common issues and shared goals associated with these events, such as the National Sailing Program Symposium, One-Design Sailing Symposium and Yacht Club Summit. We want to create a unique setting that enables leaders from all areas of our sport to interact, discover and learn from one another.'
The Leadership Forum will consist of three fun and captivating days of keynote speakers, presentations, seminars, panel discussions, and break-out sessions that will provide attendees with a fresh perspective and new ideas on how to strengthen and grow our sport for the 21st Century sailor. Topics will be themed around how we can grow the sport, make it safer, and improve our educational programs and regatta management. Instructors, coaches, race officers, program directors, class/fleet leaders, yacht club management, organization leaders, and volunteers will find key takeaways from this pioneering event.
A preliminary list of industry speakers and presenters includes Chuck Hawley, Vice President of West Marine and Chair of the Safety-at-Sea Committee; Stan Honey, Co-founder of Sportvision and Volvo Ocean Race and Jules Verne Trophy Navigator; Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing; John Craig, Principal Race Officer for the 2013 America’s Cup; Sally Honey, Chair of the 2012 Low Speed Chase Safety Report; Greg Fisher, Director of Sailing at the College of Charleston; Tom Duggan, ISAF International Race Officer; John Rousmaniere, noted sailing author and safety expert; and Bill Lee, Chair of the Offshore/Big Boat Sailing Disciplines Division. Stay tuned for regular updates to the list of attending contributors.
The Sailing Leadership Forum will also feature lively social events, exhibitor displays and demonstrations, pre- and post- forum clinics and seminars for instructor certification, race management seminars, Safety-at-Sea Seminars, and much more.
Registration opens in April, 2013.
For more information about the inaugural Sailing Leadership Forum 2014, visit the event website.