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Arresting the Decline and Fall of our Sport.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 19 at 3:58pm
Originally posted by Mark Aged 42

During the week, I work in IT. I sit on my backside and have very little face time with other humans. I race because it is a totally absorbing physical and mental exercise against like minded souls. I think about nothing else when racing, be it in 4 mph as on Sunday, or 30mph.
So many factors to be considered while racing - has the tide turned?, has the wind shifted enough to make a tack worthwhile?, why has that other boat got better wind than me? Can I make that mark? Should I cover those boats over there? Do I need more kicker? Can I dive through that gap at the mark?, Which end of the start line? Must I really hike harder - I only have 1 ab† Smile And more.
When its over, I feel great, mind and body are refreshed. I'm no great racer, just an aging mid fleet weekend warrior (Essex Yacht Club plus Leigh-on-Sea Sailing Club). But the intensity of those few hours each week is priceless to me.
This is why I race, and why I gently encourage others to do so as well.


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A guy I know explained to my none Sailing wife. ĎIt makes me think just enough that I donít think of anything elseí
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Noah View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Noah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 19 at 5:48pm
Originally posted by Mark Aged 42

During the week, I work in IT. I sit on my backside and have very little face time with other humans. I race because it is a totally absorbing physical and mental exercise against like minded souls. I think about nothing else when racing, be it in 4 mph as on Sunday, or 30mph.
So many factors to be considered while racing - has the tide turned?, has the wind shifted enough to make a tack worthwhile?, why has that other boat got better wind than me? Can I make that mark? Should I cover those boats over there? Do I need more kicker? Can I dive through that gap at the mark?, Which end of the start line? Must I really hike harder - I only have 1 ab  Smile And more.
When its over, I feel great, mind and body are refreshed. I'm no great racer, just an aging mid fleet weekend warrior (Essex Yacht Club plus Leigh-on-Sea Sailing Club). But the intensity of those few hours each week is priceless to me.
This is why I race, and why I gently encourage others to do so as well.

You could be describing me. Keg more than 6-pack, but sailing is the only sport / pastime that I have found that has the ability to drive everything else out of my head. Even if I'm not racing hard (aka lapse of concentration) it seems to be just empty headed vacancy - no thought going on at all. The whole thing is just utterly relaxing, even if its blowing dogs off chains & I come home kna**ered.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KazRob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 19 at 7:01pm
Dinghy racing is mindfulness in action, to use a modern expression. Maybe we should get doctors to give prescriptions for it - that would boost participation :-)

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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 19 at 7:12pm
Originally posted by KazRob

Dinghy racing is mindfulness in action, to use a modern expression. Maybe we should get doctors to give prescriptions for it - that would boost participation :-)



Several articles in the press recently along the lines that spending time on/near water has significant mental health benefits:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/03/blue-space-living-near-water-good-secret-of-happiness

I think to be accurate dinghy sailing is mindfulness in action. I recognise Mark's experience, a good days racing puts you in a positive frame of mind - but it can also spill over in to being too intense and (especially given the complex rules, sometimes combative tactics and success defined as a position in a pecking order) end up with the opposite effect. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 19 at 8:49pm
Originally posted by DiscoBall

Originally posted by KazRob

Dinghy racing is mindfulness in action, to use a modern expression. Maybe we should get doctors to give prescriptions for it - that would boost participation :-)



Several articles in the press recently along the lines that spending time on/near water has significant mental health benefits:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/03/blue-space-living-near-water-good-secret-of-happiness

I think to be accurate dinghy sailing is mindfulness in action. I recognise Mark's experience, a good days racing puts you in a positive frame of mind - but it can also spill over in to being too intense and (especially given the complex rules, sometimes combative tactics and success defined as a position in a pecking order) end up with the opposite effect. 

You have to learn to leave the racing on the racecourse and head for the bar.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 19 at 9:01pm
Shouldn't that be in advice
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 19 at 11:11pm
Originally posted by eric_c

You have to learn to leave the racing on the racecourse and head for the bar.

That's the key to it, IME it's the big events where tempers can get heated and everybody is trying a bit harder, at club level it's usually ok 'cos you know everybody personally.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 19 at 7:02am

So it is clear we are all sailing around blissed out but why arenít more people.


What we need is to understand the barriers to participation, which come in three camps


Occasional sailors, our once a month, big events, why arenít these people out more


Lapsed, early in their career, family arrivals, empty nesters


Never done it.


Much focus appears to be on the never done it when actually the lower hanging fruit are probably the other two 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Moo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 19 at 9:30am
Our Club is currently attracting lapsers in reasonable numbers. Longer term this is not the answer because to lapse you need to have done it in the first place. If we can't grab the Never Tried Its now there will be no next generation lapsers....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ian.r.mcdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 19 at 10:36am
Originally posted by The Moo

Our Club is currently attracting lapsers in reasonable numbers. Longer term this is not the answer because to lapse you need to have done it in the first place. If we can't grab the Never Tried Its now there will be no next generation lapsers....


Makes sense, but in reality ( especially the kids) very few trainees will convert into members. They use their RYA certificates to rent boats on holiday or end up joining somewhere else.

So the key is for ALL sailing clubs to have training so the workload is spread fairly.
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