Winds and Currents - Sailing's Gatekeepers

Sailing’s Gatekeepers

By: American Sailing Association

One of the greatest things about specializing in teaching sailing for over 30 years is that we’ve learned so much about ourselves during that time. Teaching over a half a million people has helped us see how people digest information most efficiently and how they can most effectively recall that information.

Here at ASA, we’ve created all kinds of teaching aids, textbooks, online courses, an instructional video game, a social networking app, and lots of other support materials and programs for people wanting to continue to develop their sailing prowess.

We’re so mindful about what happens after the basic education takes place,” said Executive Director Charlie Nobles. “At this point we understand how things typically flow. There is interest, action and, hopefully, the desire for continuation. We are always striving to fulfill all of those aspects so students not only continue sailing but also continue to learn the correct way and grow as sailors.

Sailing is a fascinating world and it’s not lost on us that we are, in many ways, the gatekeepers for a large number of future sailors. For that reason we look to preserve the rich heritage of the sport/ lifestyle through teaching age-old terminology and traditions while keeping in mind a changing world.

Peoples’ recreational time is now allotted differently than it used to be and we get that,” said Affiliate Representative Elbert “Ash” Ashbaugh. “Sailing isn’t passed on through the generations quite like it once was, but I don’t think that is necessarily good or bad. In many ways sailing is just as important and relevant today as it forces us to unplug. Sailing has found a different role but it’s still a positive part of so many of our lives.

The blending of tradition and technology seems to be the direction we’re moving. With our GO SAILING app we’re using technology to connect sailors all over the world and when they do, they unplug and do what we all love to do.

No doubt the future of being the gatekeepers will involve more of this integration. Our task is to recognize which technologies will ultimately make sailing a safer and more rewarding experience… and one that will provide joy and friendships with a good dose of health and happiness.

Winds and Currents is a double page spread written by the ASA that is featured monthly in Sailing Magazine. See more issues of Winds and Currents ⟩⟩