Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

Isn't sailing an Outdoor Sport????

by Molly Winans on 9 Feb 2013
Ericsson 3 mastman Anders Dahlsjö on the foredeck - hardly being a couch potato Gustav Morin/Ericsson Racing Team/Volvo Ocean Race © http://www.volvooceanrace.org
Every now and then we need to step back and take a breath... Spinsheet magazine Editor Molly Winans looks at sailing from a mainstream angle in a recent magazine editorial.

Here is an extract from that editorial ...'when interviewing Bob Lippincott, early in his college sailing career, I asked what his favorite television shows were. His response sticks with me: 'I’m an outdoor guy. I’d rather be out bike riding or taking a run than watching TV.' He had me at outdoor.

Every sailor I know is an outdoor guy, but somehow, with the exception of Lippincott and Nicholas Hayes in his book Saving Sailing, few of us use the words 'outdoor' or 'outdoor recreation.' It’s as if we think that campers, backpackers, rock climbers, white-water rafters, and those who own crampons and ice axes own the copyright to them.

In an effort to expand and reach out further with our Start Sailing Now guide’s sixth edition in 2013, I did some research on the websites for Under Armour, Patagonia, REI, and Eastern Mountain Sports. What did I find about sailing on those websites? Zilch. Nada. It was as if the sport of sailing wasn’t invited into the exclusive world of outdoorsiness. As someone who has donned labels from all of those companies, I was surprised.

How strange to be a member of what some perceive as the elitist club of sailing and to realize that we’re not acknowledged by the giant retailers of the outdoor recreation world. Now, you can say, who cares? We have West Marine, Fawcett Boat Supply, Annapolis Performance Sailing, Landfall Navigation, and the like. We have our niche suppliers for our nichey world of sport.

Who cares? I think that anyone who is concerned with the future of our sport should care. A quick keyword search
of the October issue of SpinSheet, the largest one of the year, revealed only five mentions of the word 'outdoor' and 61 of the word 'marine.' I wonder what one would find if they searched the same keywords in Sailing World, Cruising World, SAIL, or Sailing?

We are in the marine industry, so that’s only natural, right? Perhaps in Climbing Magazine, they have fewer mentions of the word 'outdoor' and more of 'boulder' or 'belay,' but I bet that the word 'out-door' gets more ink than sailors give it. It’s worth examining. It’s worth entertaining the thought that perhaps, we in the sport of sailing limit ourselves and build walls around our sport with language.

What if we made an effort, especially in print and digital formats, to replace our favorite words—marine, Corinthian,
yacht race, regatta, commodore, clubhouse, and charter—with a few that would make sense and sound intriguing to non-sailors? A few ideas: waterfront, sportsmanlike, sailboat race, on-the-water challenge, sailing competition director, sail center, sail-sport open house, sail travel, and sail fitness. How about 'novices welcome'?

What if we stopped talking like Thurston Howell III and started talking like cutting-edge outdoorsmen and women who are dedicated to inviting other fit, outdoorsy, adventurous, thrill-seeking, nature-loving, competitive people of all ages and backgrounds into our exciting outdoor world?

If we chose our words to target such souls, would more curious people find sailing opportunities on the Internet? Would REI, Patagonia, and Under Armour start recognizing us as sport enthusiasts in synch with their out- door philosophies? If one of these giants featured sailing among its website’s sports, would it attract newcomers to sailing?

Sailors are inherently outdoorsy.

There’s nothing indoorsy about our sport or the people who get out in the wind, sun, rain, or even sleet to do it.

We just need to mind our words. We must update our vocabularies to welcome the next generation into the sport of sailing.

Southern Spars - 100Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

New Xperformance - Optimising the cruiser/racer range from X-Yachts
X-Yachts have built a wide range of 'Cruiser/Racers' as well as dedicated racing yachts which have won many Intl titles Since the company was founded back in 1979, X-Yachts have built a wide range of 'Cruiser/Racers' as well as dedicated racing yachts which have won many famous International titles, and of course One Design Class yachts such as X-79 and X-99
Posted on 14 Feb
World Sailing unites Kiteboarding governing bodies
World Sailing has today signed a landmark agreement with the IKA and the GKA to unite the kiteboarding community World Sailing has today signed a landmark agreement with the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) to unite the kiteboarding community and provide clarity of kiteboarding's governance structure.
Posted on 13 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
The price of legacy
Malcolm Page OAM, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, became the Chief of Olympic Sailing for the USA on January 1 Malcolm Page OAM, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist (470) with Nathan Wilmot in 2008 and Mat Belcher in 2012, became the Chief of Olympic Sailing for the USA on January 1 this year. In and of itself it is hardly the freshest news, and well and truly yesterday’s fish wrapper. It was also a wise choice on behalf of Team USA, for he has succeeded in both the physical and commercial arms of our sport.
Posted on 5 Feb
Zhik becomes Official Clothing Partner to the Extreme Sailing Series
Extreme Sailing Series™ has established an exciting new partnership with the high-performance clothing brand, Zhik. As it enters the 2017 season, the Extreme Sailing Series™ has established an exciting new partnership with the high-performance clothing brand, Zhik.
Posted on 2 Feb
World Sailing headquarters to relocate to London
World Sailing's headquarters will relocate from Southampton to central London, UK in late summer 2017. World Sailing's headquarters will relocate from Southampton to central London, UK in late summer 2017. The selection of London as the new home for the International Federation comes after an extensive evaluation process of possible locations undertaken since the election of a new President and Board of Directors in November 2016.
Posted on 1 Feb
Henri Lloyd join forces with FAST40+ Class
Henri Lloyd is delighted to announce their three year partnership with the FAST40+ Class. Premium British marine and lifestyle clothing brand, Henri Lloyd is delighted to announce their three year partnership with the FAST40+ Class.
Posted on 1 Feb
Tawera takes the NZ Millennium Cup 2017
The Ron Holland designed and impeccably sailed, Tawera, again dominated a lengthier 27nm course on Day 3 of racing The Ron Holland designed and impeccably sailed, Tawera, again dominated a lengthier 27nm course on Day 3 of racing, taking line honours for a third consecutive day, bringing home the NZ Millennium Cup 2017. Coming into the final day of racing, Pacific Division competitors, Antaeus and Steinlager 2, were tied on points. Rumours of an extensive tactical defence strategy to retain the Pacific
Posted on 1 Feb
Rolex China Sea Race launches new official website
RHKYC today unveiled its new official website and logo for its flagship event, the biennial Rolex China Sea Race Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club today unveiled its new official website and logo for its flagship event, the biennial Rolex China Sea Race - Asia’s principal blue-water classic.
Posted on 28 Jan
Bavaria C57 - Something big has arrived
At the boot 2017 in Düsseldorf, Bavaria Yachts presented the new flagship of their sailing yachts' fleet. At the boot 2017 in Düsseldorf, Bavaria Yachts presented the new flagship of their sailing yachts' fleet. The Bavaria C57 does not only convince with a new modern design but also with many new innovative details.
Posted on 24 Jan