LAUNCHING TOMORROW'S SAILORS — M
their own special world of enjoyment with sailing." Jaimie Bartlett: "Sailing became a lifelong activity after I experienced the team aspect of racing sailboats with everyone working together for a common
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ost Latitude readers are extremely passionate about sailing, regardless if their time on the water is spent racing, cruising or casual daysailing. Yet in the wider world, industry stats indicate that participation in our glorious sport is slowly declining. Why? We'd bet it's due to a variety
If everyone is as stoked as this young woman, then the future of sailing is looking bright.
of societal factors, including increased time demands of work and school, obsession with digital gadgetry and lack of prioritizing time spent outdoors bonding with Mother Nature. But here in California, a dedicated group of sail-training educators is working hard to reverse that trend by introducing both youngsters and young-atheart adults to the magic of sailing. In February many of them compared techniques and training strategies while attending US Sailing's annual National Sailing Programs Symposium. So we used that opportunity to tap into their insights on the current state of West Coast sail training. Lat 38: First, we're curious to know: What was the spark that made sailing a lifelong activity for you? Kent Prater: "For me,' says Kent Prater, volunteer director of the junior sailing program at San Diego's Silver Gate Yacht Club, "the mixture of serenity and excitement, the technical aspects of sailing, plus the camaraderie with fellow sailors are what has kept me engaged with the sport [for 46 years]." Kent didn't learn to sail until he was 20, but today he enjoys "watching kids in our program learn to sail and find Page 74 •
• April, 2019
goal," says Jaime, who owns the training organization Nautical Solutions, and is a guest coach at Encinal Yacht Club. "I love being on the water. So, when I had the opportunity to get out there every day to coach — and get paid for it — that was another hook. "There is no better feeling than getting paid to pursue your passion. Now, my passion for sailing has transformed into a passion for teaching, inspiring young sailors to find what will give them the lifelong passion for sailing, and encouraging boating safety for boaters of all kinds and ages." Jaime grew up sailing and coaching in New Jersey, and later moved to CA to direct a college sailing program. Brent Harrill: "It's incredibly rewarding watching both new and experienced sailors challenge themselves to become better sailors and people. And
being on the water daily is a reward in itself," says Brent, who has been a fulltime coach at St Francis YC for eight years. He grew up racing competitively and pleasure sailing in Monterey Bay. Lat 38: What do kids get from sailing nowadays? Paul Lang: "Kids still get the same things from sailing that I did when I first learned," says Paul Lang, Instructional Coordinator of San Diego’s Mission Bay Aquatic Center. "That is, feelings of freedom and independence and the joy of overcoming challenges. Kids now also get to take a break from their phones and online worlds through sailing — a hands-on activity that requires full awareness and engagement from the individual to do it well." Paul first learned to sail in high school during a two-week junior program at Sausalito YC. Kent Prater: "Kids these days are very bright and digitally savvy. But, so many of them are not being exposed to the rewards of outdoor activities of any kind. Many of the kids that come into our program are not from sailing families, so this is a whole new exciting and somewhat frightening world for them. "We find, and are told by parents, that kids who embrace sailing are gaining confidence, self-esteem, indepenThe Treasure Island Sailing Center does a fantastic job getting a diverse range of kids (as well as adults) out onto Clipper Cove.
The April 2019 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.