Tuesday, November 5, 2013
One has to have a plan
So if the current method of teaching youth ice boaters is perhaps less effective what is perhaps the better way to get more younger sailors involved. The road map to building iceboat culture lies in enjoying the thrill of sport first and then the racing aspect comes along second after that. Over the last few years our club has spent time building the entry level boats, the Ice Opti. It provides a great platform for the kids to have the freedom of their own boat, experience the thrill themselves and also the power and speed that only one can create. Sometimes though you need that security blanket, that an extra person provides. This is where a strong two seater helps in the progression. Hence the Nite.
The best thing you can do with the younger sailors is to mix up the exposure with Nite sailing both
in a racing environment and also cruising/instruction, then have the Ice Opti's as a way of turning the younger sailors loose with their new found freedom. The ability to have controlled experiences in the two seater and then the ability for the younger sailors to have the freedom and ability to do it themselves. This makes the fear factor a lot less. Ice Optis work great once the initial concerns are conquered.
Our goal this season is to have a number of get togethers that are children driven and offer the opportunity for the kids to have exposure to everything. When we do these events it has to be strictly focused on fun with no other fleet or club racing distractions. A weekend of point to point type events, laps and two seater type of instruction followed by late afternoon or early evening fun and it is a full day. Now if you are able to do this 2, 3-4 times over a season, those that are more familiar and comfortable will tend to break out and do there own thing with less instruction and supervision. This being the ultimate goal. The best term for these events is probably a rally. Some intro racing but mostly fun and enjoyment, casual but none the less learning time focused on the kids.
We all know how ice conditions are the weak link, the more of these events that fall into place the easier it is to build a following and keep the children coming. If it is spotty at best then you suffer from less participation, if you keep it constant then they show up pretty regularly. As it becomes
scheduled everything gets easier.
This season there will be two of us working with the younger sailors, we already have a number of inquires from our summer sailing program looking to be involved, and more asking about instruction.
There is a need for this so stay tuned we will let you know how this evolves.