sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Putting family and fun back into sailing

Putting family and fun back into sailing

'The Princing family'    .
In most of the sailing countries of the world, racing is currently passing through troubled times, yet non-competitive sailing - cruising - is gaining popularity. Here Matthew Princing asks what IS going wrong with the sport, explores his own relationship with sailing and his family, and draws some interesting conclusions: (Matthew Princing lives in Michigan, USA, with his wife Jenny and daughter Sydney, enjoying sailing their lightning Scars and Scrapes.)

There are many articles and books floating around about the state of sailing today. They discuss the decline in our sport by various demographics and point towards influences like the economy, access to sailing and perception.


The economy is certainly an issue, especially in the Midwest where my family lives and sails. We are somewhat challenged by the fact that we are a blue collar area and we have lost a record number of well paying jobs which limit our spendable income. Boats unfortunately are quite easy to put on the back burner and become deemed not a priority (this is blasphemy to a true sailor but it happens). Our sailing clubs in turn suffer due to lack of members and income coming in that drives our sailing programs so access to sailing suffers. There is a whole generation of kids out there that haven’t had the chance to try sailing, and to me that is a shame.

Perception of sailing has never really been stellar. Many uneducated journalists have mistakenly reported that sailing is a sport of the rich, the elite. This of course couldn’t be farther from the truth. Are there wealthy sailors? Yes, there are - but there are many more middle class sailors and quite a few that would be considered poor by many standards. You certainly don’t have to be wealthy to afford a very nice sailboat.

My belief is that we need to put the fun and the family back into sailing. It starts with me. I will do what I can. These two go hand in hand and we can raise the next generation of sailing families.
Putting the family back into sailing -  .. .  

I grew up the son of a power boater, a floating condo kind of situation. We were a very small minority at a predominantly sailing club. It wasn’t long before my brother and I were sailing and soon the whole family were too.

I bought my first boat about a month before I graduated college. I was bitten by the Lightning (www.lightningclass.org) bug by a family friend who let me sail an old woodie off his beach. I bought the first of four Lightning’s (so far) that spring and joined the local fleet in Bay City, MI. That was 1991, I am still there. Why? Friends and family. We have fun. The Lightning class is very family oriented as are other classes we participate in, like the J/22 Class (www.j22usa.com). We have made life long friends in both classes and plan our schedules to meet up with our friends somewhere on the regatta scene or at fleet races.

I wasn’t the 'family' sailor though, I was probably part of the problem. I drove my family away from sailing early on due to a competitive streak that was relentless and then perhaps a short fuse. Age has mellowed me but also increased my desire to sail and be surrounded by my family.

Blessings come in small packages. Mine is my youngest daughter Sydney, who on her own put the 'family' back into our sailing lives. She chose to sail with me when she was about six years old. We would sail first and then do the swimming or the ice cream or the pizza. It was a difficult time in our lives as our family structure was changing, but we found joy and comfort in our family sails.

Skip ahead a couple of years and Sydney and I introduced my wife Jenny to sailing. We spend many lazy days on Tawas Bay day sailing our J/22 and also mix it up in the fleet races and family races. Jenny had never been on a sail boat before the summer of 2007. She has become a pretty good bow person on our J boat.

This fall I introduced her to our Lightning, kind of a baptism-by-fire. You see I have sailed my Lightning with my brother and sister-in-law for the past 10 years or so. My sister-in-law and I were going to Wawasee Yacht Club in Syracuse, IN for the annual Hoosier Regatta in October. We needed a third and couldn’t come up with one so I volunteered my wife (we are still happily married). The plan was always to get her on the Lightning but schedules hadn’t allowed it. So off to a very windy and very cold Lake Wawasee we go. I must confess the last time I was there I took the crew swimming in very similar conditions. Nervous? Most of us, yes.
Scars and Scrapes - sail No. 14937 -  .. .   Click Here to view large photo

We had a blast. We worked out our bugs in the first race and never looked back. We were very light and very fast. Jenny was a quick learner up front and did a great job and Jennifer (yes it is confusing, this is my sister-in-law) is always good in the middle. We didn’t win any trophies (we were 1 point out of fifth) but were a top 5 boat in the last 3 of 5 races.

No swimming and best of all…I got to hang out with my wife, my family, all weekend doing what I love to do with the ones I love. Next we will introduce Sydney to the Lightning and truly make it a family affair.

Nobody does 'family' better than Wawasee Yacht Club. It is not on our list of regattas because it’s nice in Northern Indiana in October, far from it. We had winds in the 20’s with huge puffs and a wind chill of 31 degrees on Sunday morning. It’s the people that make it. A barrage of members and families welcome you with open arms the minute you walk in the door.

We were welcome in to their homes as guests and treated like royalty. Our host Jeff Schmahl waded into the water each morning to help boats get out as the wind direction made it difficult. What service! When we arrived at the dock after sailing on Saturday the members were on hand to help and offer us a glass of hot buttered rum (delicious and warm). We felt like we were at home, with family, warm, fuzzy, good. In my opinion this is the best regatta in the Midwest bar none.

Oh the sailing? It was pretty darn good too.

To read more about Matthew Princing and his blog on many subjects, http://mdprincing.wordpress.com/click_here




by Matthew Princing

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=79231

7:31 PM Sun 16 Jan 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Still tight at front as Roaring Forties beckon *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
According to the routing function of Predictwind, the three boats are covered by just 10 miles in terms of distance to be sailed to the finish on their optimum course, more telling is that on the same basis just seven minutes would cover the first and third boats to finish. Sail-World interviewed Team Vestas skipper, Chris Nicholson this morning - he comments in this report. ... [more]  

Talent, passion, ability, success. All qualities that spring to mind with regard to Luke Patience, the 28 year old 470 Class silver medallist from London 2012. SSL is delighted to announce that Luke has now accepted the Star Sailors League invitation to participate in our 2014 Finals, becoming the second UK special guest star, alongside newly-crowned Finn World Champion Giles Scott. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Like in the old English tale of Robin Hood, it’s a case of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. That is what we have been seeing over the last few days. More wind just behind the leaders has allowed the middle, poorer pack to catch the rich leaders. ... [more]  

The International Kiteboarding Association’s (IKA) annual general meeting next Tuesday (Nov 4) is likely to debate measures put forward by the Polish Kiteboarding Association (PKA) that would effectively outlaw ram-air kites from the beginning of next year. ... [more]  

The Aloha Classic is the longest existing windsurfing wave event (together with Sylt in Germany). 2014 marks 30 years since the very first event and the 25th edition of the Aloha Classic. Let me rewind back to when I was a young journalist, following the evolution of windsurfing, back then windsurfing was called ‘the fastest growing sport’… ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica heads south by Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica
OBR Amory Ross reports on Team Alvimedica’s progress in the Volvo Ocean Race. It’s wild that after six days of sailing down the coast of South America we finally found ourselves pointed directly at Cape Town (going 16 knots) but all the routing indicates we’re not far enough to the south so down we go! ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team SCA coach Brad Jackson gives his thoughts on Leg 1. 'We very much understand what the girls are trying to do and who they are competing against and if they do things well they are right up there in the mix. ... [more]  

Little Traverse Yacht Club (Harbor Springs, Michigan) won the Yacht Club Challenge in the 106th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. ... [more]  

Want to see 40 great sailing champions in action in stunning Nassau in the Bahamas? The Star Sailors League, an emerging international circuit, is offering the chance to win a four-day holiday for two people with accommodation at the luxury Atlantis resort and water park. ... [more]  

Bidding is now open in the auction to join the Volvo Ocean Race as a part of Team Alvimedica and support heart charities around the world! Team Alvimedica supporters have the unique chance to bid on two experiences that will take place at each stopover throughout the race. ... [more]  

The seventh edition of the St Barth Cata Cup is set to be thrilling. Sixty teams will go head to head aboard the last generation of F18 boats: Hobbie Wild Cat, Nacra Infusion MKII, Cirrus R, Phantom and C2. It is a high-speed, tactical, technical and spectacular discipline! ... [more]  

AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014 - The day started early with a traditional Hawaiian blessing, welcoming everyone to the beach and setting the wheels in motion for a fantastic contest. As the ceremony continued the wind started to blow and straight after the skipper's meeting it was straight on with the pro men competition. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - After 19 days of Leg one, the leaders are still within sight of each other, something we don’t think we’ve ever seen at such a stage between Alicante and Cape Town. It’s the ultimate inshore race, staged hundreds of miles offshore. Abu Dhabi, Team Brunel and Team Vestas Wind are locked against each other with Dongfeng Race Team just 17NM further adrift. ... [more]  

The Taiwan 2014 Kitesurfing Open & Green Tourism Miaoli proved to be an interesting event for the Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) to get involved with at the Longfong Fish Harbour beach front in Jhunan. As the KTA had been wanting for some time to bring an event to the renowned high wind shores of Taiwan, which is famous for its windy conditions 300 days a year. ... [more]  

Best possible conditions are expected when 2014 World Championships in ISAF-class Kona One is about to start in Islamorada, Florida on Saturday, November 1. A total of 115 sailors from five continents will line up making it the largest Kona event ever. The outcome is very open with a number of high-profiled sailors with multiple international championship wins in different windsurfing classes. ... [more]  

2015 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships - The dates for the 2015 U.S. Youth Championships, hosted by Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass., have been changed to July 6-10 from the traditional second week in August ... [more]  

'It is no less important to the Commodore as air or water,' said Staff Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club Chuck Nichols. The Lipton Cup is arguably one of the most iconic regattas in the sailing community. This three-day regatta is an invitation-only event where the best sailors from around the country compete to represent their yacht clubs. ... [more]  

Year in and year out, the U.S. Disabled Championships is one of the most fascinating sailing events in the world. A strong collection of the top sailors in the country are in Galveston, Texas preparing for this week’s three-day championship, which begins Thursday, October 30 and concludes Saturday, November 1. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas back-slams both race leaders *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The Chris Nicholson skippered Team Vestas Wind, has made a big gain in the last 12 hours in the Volvo Ocean Race, and is now positioned between the two lead boats. The Danish flagged entry had been positioned to the west of the leaders, who were in the fringe of the St Helena High. ... [more]  

Last night all the American Windsurfing Tour riders, and some of the top PWA sailors, enjoyed a fantastic opening party and registration for the Aloha Classic at Adventure Sports Maui. Food, drinks, photos and lots of chat was the order of the evening, and this morning all with gather again at 9am for the official opening blessing. ... [more]  

Many know Bill Erkelens as a former rigger, team manager for the Maxi Sayonara and subsequently Campaign manager for Oracle Racing during the IACC efforts and a really good sailor with a solid Rolodex of connections in the yacht racing world. When the opportunity to manage a Volvo team arose, Bill did not hesitate, and in late 2013, the Bay Area Native accepted the roles as COO for Team Alvimedica ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica OBR Amory Ross reports on the crew’s progress in the Volvo Ocean Race. Even in the 'straight-line' sailing that has dominated the last portion of the race, the dynamic of our fleet position has been in a state of constant change. ... [more]  

Team SCA OBR Corinna Halloran reports on day 18 for the crew in the Volvo Ocean Race. We are fighting. We are determined. We are focused. Yes, today was not easy, but we did not allow ourselves to slow down-- we sailed with the conditions given and sailed at 100% performance. ... [more]  

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) published its 2015 Anti-Doping Code on Wednesday (29 October), which will apply to all Member organisations, Paralympic Games and IPC recognised International Federations, from 1 January 2015. ... [more]  

Sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston hopes to inspire greater French participation in ocean racing through his entry in the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe. 'France is a nation of sailors with excellent role models; legends in their own right,' said Sir Robin. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - The big news of yesterday was the introduction of an ice gate by Race Director Jack Lloyd. Designed to take away the temptation for the teams to dive deep south in the search for better pressure and a better angle to Cape Town. The Ice Gate is placed at 42 deg South between 20W and 10W, seen on the screenshot below. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Up until now the comment from the boats to the east has been that Team Vestas Wind had made a bad move by digging west. But now, with the high pressure to the east expanding, perhaps Wouter on the Danish boat has read the future a little better and has set his team up for a comeback. ... [more]  

Optimist World Championship 2014 - Six races were made last week and the fleet was divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze. Each fleet has 70 sailors. This first part of this championship had light winds, lot of current and little waves but today it changed completely: The wind gauge marked 23 Knots on the race area, the waves were high and short. ... [more]  

2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have finally given ground to Team Brunel after almost exactly a week at the head of the fleet but the new leaders’ thin advantage may well be very short-lived as the Volvo Ocean Race Leg 1 turned into a game of hunt-the-breeze. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Ice Gate laid in Southern Ocean on Leg 1 *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Volvo Ocean Race have specified an Ice Gate in the Southern Ocean of which all competitors must stay to the North, or pass on their starboard side. The gate has been set along the line of 42degrees South and runs for 10 degrees of longitude. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Reality for Team Vestas Wind by Brian Carlin, Team Vestas Wind
The Volvo Ocean Race is an event that you get to watch unfold as something real. What happens on these boats day-to-day, what’s sent, what’s written about, what’s photographed, what’s on video is REAL. When you wake at 3am, it’s dark, really dark. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team Alvimedica OBR Amory Ross reports on the crew’s progress. It’s beginning to feel a bit like Groundhog Day onboard! Our straight-line progress south continues without significant change and after 48 hours of port tack bliss we’re still free running in the South Equatorial Current at steady speeds in excess of 20 knots. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team SCA OBR Corinna Halloran reports on day 17 for the team as they enter the Southern Ocean. Entering the Southern Ocean and racing to Cape Town is not as easy as sailing a straight line South. Currently, we are heading west in order to catch a Low pressure that spins out of the South. ... [more]  

Comanche ocean trials in Newport + Video
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Title race thrown wide open
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards one week away
Clipper Race - Is this the toughest job on the ocean?
PIC Coastal Classic Roundup: Almost 30 minutes slashed off record
America's Cup: Artemis Racing signs seventh Olympic Gold medalist
Pieces in place for the 2015 GC32 Racing Tour
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Behind the numbers
Volvo Ocean Race: Front runners open gap for Cape Town *Feature
AWT - PWA Finale 2014: Severne Starboard Aloha Classic - One day to go
2014 International Masters Regatta - Augie Diaz takes the trophy
Volvo Ocean Race - Supreme sailing for Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA, united by one
A big shift for Pumpkin Pursuit in Richmond
ISAF Annual Conference to take place in Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15: Latest position report: October 27, 1700 UTC
Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team to race RORC Transatlantic Race
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - The search for skippers is on
China Cup Int'l Regatta - Windier weather brings victory for Vanke
Argo Group Gold Cup - Stena Sailing Team wins in Bermuda
GC 32 Foiling Cat Argo sets Mount Gay Rum Around Jamestown Record   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15: Latest position report, October 27, 0630 UTC   
2014 RS:X Youth Worlds - Going out with a bang! + Video   
2015 Flying Dutchman World Championships - Winners will be Grinners!   
RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup - Denmark’s Christian Spodsberg wins   
Argo Group Gold Cup 2014 - Berntsson joins sailing’s elite   
Sand Flies versus Foiling Moths - Moth World Championship 2015 *Feature   
2015 International 14 World Championship - Frasch leads German team   
Ian Williams and GAC Pindar set up an exciting AWMRT finale   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg one – South Atlantic tactics   
Volvo Ocean Race: Steady run to the finish at Cape Town   
18ft Skiffs: Club Championship - Race one   
2014 Optimist World Championship - Race started with a clear day   
2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - Fernando de Noronha   
2014 - 15 Volvo Ocean Race - The longest route   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Semi Final matches set for Sunday   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Light air drama in Bermuda   
Renaissance Re Jr Gold Cup - Searching for breeze on the race course   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Radical wave tow-in on day 8   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - 35th edition one to remember + Video   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT