Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Gary Jobson is a good guy (he used to be a Laser sailor) but I can't agree with what he just said. He was recently elected president of US Sailing and it was reported that in his acceptance speech he said, "We want to make sailing safe, easy, and fair."
Easy? I don't want sailing to be easy. It wouldn't be any fun if it were easy.
Watching TV is easy.
Mowing the lawn is easy.
Chatting with friends on Facebook is easy.
Sailing is difficult. That's what makes it so engaging. I have spent half a lifetime just trying to learn the skills to race one relatively simple boat as well as I can, and I still feel that I have so much to learn. It's the challenge of trying to learn something that is difficult and then attempting to use my hard-won skills that keeps me involved. I don't want sailing to be easy.
Having written the above I decided that, to be fair, I ought to watch the full video of Gary's speech. It is true that the context of his first remark about "making sailing easy" does leave open the possibility that what he actually meant to say was that he wants to make access to the water easy. And then later in the speech he gives three other examples of things about sailing he would like to make easier: handicaps, racing rules and measurement. So maybe I shouldn't blame Gary for that sound bite of, "we want to make sailing safe, easy, and fair." Maybe we should blame the PR person who wrote the press release.
Whatever. US Sailing should not be trying to give the impression that they are going to make sailing easy. It ain't easy. And I, for one, don't want it to be easy.
What do you think?
Posted by Tillerman at 1:20 PM