Keeping it fun
Thriving one-design classes have found the right formula to keep sailing flourishing
It’s been a tough decade for sailing. Between 2004 and 2014, one-design class participation declined 12%, and according to US Sailing, this is reflective of the sport as a whole. One-time and would-be sailors are still reeling from the recent recession’s economic aftershocks, and they’re experiencing dwindling amounts of free time while facing an exploding number of options for the limited time that’s left. Longtime sailors have left the sport, youth sailors stop after college and newbies are staying on land.
Yet some one-design classes are managing to maintain healthy membership numbers, despite the turmoil. One-designs such as the Lightning, Thistle, Flying Scot, Melges 24 and J/70 that are on the front lines are using creativity, resourcefulness and innovation to keep their classes healthy and vibrant—it’s still all about the fun.