by Ray Cullum
Is it getting harder to find crew? Is it becoming a little more difficult for your trusted mates to move about the boat as nimbly as they once did? You might consider stacking the deck with a young group of bright, willing and enthusiastic sailors for the offshore trip of a lifetime.
2013 Marion Bermuda Race
The Marion Bermuda Race recognizes that there is an age gap in participants of offshore racing and understandably so. It takes time to have the means to invest in a solid cruising boat and the resources to put it together to do an offshore event. For years the Naval Academy and Mass Maritime have fielded boats with a select group of 18 to 22 year old sailors and have done very well. You don't have to go to an academy to be a competent sailor and a good crew member. You just need a good boat!
So what is the opportunity? If you belong to a yacht club or boating organization you most likely have a pool of young sailors that would be extremely excited about sailing in an offshore race like the Marion Bermuda. But you don't have to belong to a sailing organization, you can put an excellent crew of young adults together from friends and family you sail with.
The requirements are simple...crew members must be between the ages and 16 and 22 years of age and each boat must have a 3:1 ratio crew to adults. The remaining requirements will parallel what is required of every sailor doing the race (see Notice of Race) Look for additional details on the Youth Class on the Marion Bermuda Race website in a couple of weeks.
We have already received an excellent response to the addition of the Youth Class and a number of boats are ready to participate. So don't waste a moment, give a group of young enthusiastic sailors an opportunity to realize the joy of sailing offshore in a well-founded boat and experience the joy in doing so.