A double Olympic silver medalist — in the and Star — winning skipper of the Volvo Ocean Race, coach to Shirley Robertson and the Olympic gold medal winning Yngling crew in in Athens, multiple dinghy class champion, family cruiser and dinghy racer. In this excerpt he discusses the health of the sport… What is your own biggest concern right now in your role? The thing that concerns me most right now is the general health of the sport and the feeling that I would love to do something in terms of turning things around at club sailing and racing. But that is a massive challenge because of the way society has changed.
It is like turning an oil tanker round. Nothing is going to happen in a year, maybe in five years.
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And it is not about me, it is about all the people involved in the process. I think we can change the rhetoric quite quickly though. We are making massive changes to our youth program, with much less emphasis on results and much more on learning, participation and skills development.
There is just no point in training up lots of really good young sailors if they then all give up the sport. That is a waste of investment.
We are considering a huge change in how we deliver junior performance sailing. But that will take years. Britain is very different to Spain, France and Italy? There are such differences between other nations. In the UK we are not club based like most. In Italy parents drop their kids down at the club, the club has a professional coach or coaches who takes them to events. In Britain we are parents and class association driven.
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In Spain, France and Italy, for example, they are club driven. It is so different. And if you go to Singapore, they do it at school, the Oppie kids sail five times a week and are coached to within an inch of their lives, their funding is linked to fitness testing. We want to get further removed from that.
What do the good clubs do right? I think the good clubs just work really hard at everything, whether it is communications with their members, they have different forms of racing and make it very social, they are extremely proactive at every level and not all of it works.
Hoge of Cabin John, Md. The family will receive friends, following the graveside services, which will be held Monday, October 25, at 10 a. Bill Ricketts officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, the National Autism Association or the charity of one's choice. Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at www.
Athens Banner-Herald, Sunday, October 24, Read More.
Ian Walker: Turning the oil tanker >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News
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