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Festival of Sails 2020 GIF - LEADERBOARD

Sail More in 2018; MySail is helping new sailors find quality sailing opportunities around Australia

by Deborah Dalziel 14 Jan 2018 19:11 PST
The atmosphere at Hobart's Constitution Dock on NYE is one of palpable energy and excitement as crews get ready to celebrate the New Year after the 2017 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. © MySail

For many, the New Year means a time for making new resolutions; or trying to resurrect the ones they made last year, and never quite got around to. Well, if your resolution is to sail more, MySail helps find and manage your crew so you can do just that. Or maybe you're a sailor who's never raced, or someone who's never sailed at all.

Long-time sailor and MySail Founder Deborah Dalziel is passionate about growing the sport to ensure healthy participation rates into the future. By developing MySail as a tool to help people get involved in sailing at a grassroots level, she's working to do just that.

Encouraging Participation Through Accessibility

"Despite what many people think – and what I often hear when talking to the non-sailors – sailing is a very accessible sport. It offers a number of entry points suitable for people of all ages and abilities, and there are many ways to participate at a very low price point," explained Miss Dalziel.

"Yacht owners are constantly looking for new crew to ensure they have enough hands on-board for each race, and many are willing to take along one of two inexperienced crew members and train them up. This is a great way for new crew to get started and learn the ropes from more experienced sailors. Through MySail, I'm working to promote participation in yacht racing beyond existing sailors, to attract people who are interested, but may not know how to get involved."

Miss Dalziel says that MySail has been successful in doing this so far, with over 200 crew registering during 2017 who previously had no yacht racing experience.

Supporting Long-Term Participation and Growth

Deborah's vision for the platform is to not only help new sailors get started in the sport, but to help them join a regular team, learn the ropes and achieve their sailing goals.

Katie O'Mara is one of those sailors. With a long-term interest in the sport, she wasn't sure how to get involved until coming across MySail. Since joining her first team for twilight racing out of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron last year, she's gone from strength to strength in the sailing world. Katie now confidently competes in spinnaker racing around Sydney harbour and has just completed her first significant offshore sail – a 400 nautical mile delivery from Hobart to Melbourne.

Building Confidence for New Sailors

As well as offering the MySail platform to connect new sailors with yacht owners, MySail is also looking at ways to build their confidence and eagerness to go sailing.

"A little bit of knowledge goes a long way in helping build someone's confidence and getting them out on the water," explained Miss Dalziel. "By providing materials that offer some basic guidance we aim to get more people to try sailing. Some of the yacht owners who are using the platform have also been very supportive in giving new sailors a go."

Bryan Moore on Shibumi is one of those yachts owners. He has hosted a few races specifically to invite some of the less experienced sailors out on the water in a fun and supportive environment. "It's fantastic to get some enthusiastic new sailors out on the water. I find the best way to help people learn is to pair up a new sailor with someone who has more experience – this is really a great learning exercise for both sailors. Some of the new sailors I've taken along are now regular crew members on Shibumi; it has been great to watch them learn and grow in the sport."

Start Sailing with MySail

To join over 1,800 sailors across Australia already using MySail, simply head over to mysail.team to register for a free account.

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