American Sailing Association in 2018: The Year in Review

By: American Sailing Association

Our commitment is to be a voice for the sailing community and a role player in the global arena when it comes to environmental stewardship and awareness.

At the American Sailing Association, the goal was and is to share the love of sailing with as many people as possible while being a steward for the lifestyle in our community. 2018 saw the implementation of an ASA directive to increase its reach not just within the sailing world but on a global scale. As sailors and as members of the worldwide community ASA understands its place and its responsibility to the environment, to the people it serves and to the greater good of the planet.

The world has become far more interconnected through technology and social media and our populations are closer than ever. Meanwhile, the world’s oceans are finally getting the attention they deserve as we realize they are an interconnected series of currents, weather patterns, and ever-evolving ecosystems.

With that said, 2018 brought upon Environmental Stewardship at the American Sailing Association. As the number of ASA Certified sailors has eclipsed the half-million mark and with over 350 sailing schools worldwide our voice is vital in the effort for environmental awareness. Along with our 200,000 Facebook followers and our growing numbers of social media engagements, ASA has been able to implement and spread the word of environmental advocacy and news to an ever-growing audience.

Looking back at 2018 this is how the American Sailing Association worked toward the goals of expanding our voice and presence to promote sailing while fostering environmental awareness.

  • Utilizing social media along with the help of local media and our sailing school affiliates, our Plastic Pollution Purge Program reached over 111 million people. With the great Pacific Garbage Patch growing at an alarming rate and 18 billion pounds of plastic blowing into our oceans on a yearly basis ASA sailors can and will make a difference in the health of the world’s oceans.
  • By eclipsing 500,000 ASA certified sailors not only does ASA continue to be the most extensive network of schools and sailors in North America but it expands its reach to promote proactive engagement by ASA members.
  • ASA’s over 200,000 followers across our Facebook pages, user groups and community forums allow for the largest engagement community of any sailing entity in the United States.
  • ASA has committed to disseminating environmental news, tips, and recommendation and has brought on staff, a Marine Conservationist. From insightful commentary on the environment to useful tips for the consumer to critical news and updates, ASA is a portal for ecological and environmental news for sailors and non-sailors alike.
  • As members of the global community ASA has partnered with Hands Across the Sea in the Caribbean to support the increased access to educational materials to island communities that would otherwise be underfunded and ill-prepared to tackle the growing need for an informed global population. To date, ASA has been part of an effort that has donated over 460,000 books to more than 400 schools and libraries in the Eastern Caribbean. Over 100,000 students have benefitted from the support of generous sailors and other donors.
  • ASA launched its Veteran Sailing Education Program in November 2018 and it will run through November 2019. As a token of our appreciation, and our way of saying thank you, we are inviting veterans and active military personnel to share our passion for sailing by offering a discount on our ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Course at participating ASA affiliated sailing schools.

2018 saw exceptional gains in ASA’s outreach and there is no time to slow down. The ocean we call our playground requires our attention and the American Sailing Association will continue to do its part to keep the conversation at the forefront of its message to both its members and the audience at large.