American Sailing Association in 2019: 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.  2019 saw the implementation of an ASA directive to increase participation by women. Our goal is to increase the number of women taking our courses to be equal to the number of men enrolled.

2019 brought upon growing Environmental Stewardship at the American Sailing Association. As the number of ASA Certified sailors has eclipsed the half-million mark and with over 400 sailing schools worldwide our voice is vital in the effort for environmental awareness. Along with our 225,000 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. 

In 2019, an effort was made to take the next step in the evolution of a sailing education.  The natural progression in learning to sail is the ability to charter a boat safely and confidently while on a sailing vacation. Through webinars on weather, navigation and the basics of a first-time charter, ASA members were exposed to details important to chartering a boat of their own. Through a partnership with Dream Yacht Charter, ASA Members now receive discounts on bareboat charters in over 60 locations worldwide. 

Looking back at 2019 this is how the American Sailing Association worked toward the goals of expanding our voice and presence to promote sailing while fostering environmental awareness.

  • ASA is committed to attracting more women to sailing. In 2019, ASA launched the  “Women on the Water” campaign to encourage women to take up sailing. It is ASA’s goal to reach the point where 50% of all new students are women. Through outreach, women’s programs at select sailing schools and excellent women instructors the goal of encouraging more women to sail is attainable. In 2019, over 5,000 women obtained their ASA 101 certifications.
  • In 2019 ASA Arabella Cruises returned as a benefit for ASA Members. ASA Members enjoyed discounts on cruises aboard Arabella, a 157-foot three-masted mega sailing yacht. Members toured the waters off of Massachusetts with visits to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Snowbirds flocked to the British Virgin Islands to explore the warm clear waters of the BVI from the deck of Arabella. 
  • ASA Affiliate, Nautilus Sailing, was selected by Dream Yacht Charters to be their official school partner. With this partnership, sailors can obtain ASA certifications in 60+ locations around the world with Dream Yacht Charters. ASA members will enjoy discounts on bareboat and crewed charter sailing vacations through this arrangement.
  • In 2019, ASA partnered with the Manhattan Yacht Club to change the way ASA 108, Offshore Passagemaking is being delivered. 24 students experienced this course in a new innovative way to teaching the course. One group of 12 sailed from New York City to Bermuda while a second group made the passage from Bermuda to the British Virgin Islands.
  • ASA launched its Veteran Sailing Education Program in November 2018 and extended the program to run through November 2020. IN 2019 ASA donated more than $13,000 to help veterans earn their sailing certifications. 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.
  • In 2019 ASA members donated over $40,000 to Hands Across The Sea. 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 500,000 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. 
  • Utilizing social media along with the help of local media and our sailing school affiliates, our Plastic Pollution Purge Program reached over 131 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 520,000 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 245,000 followers across our Facebook pages, user groups and community forums allow for the largest engagement community of any sailing entity in the United States. 

The ocean we call our playground requires our attention and the American Sailing Association continues to do its part to keep the conversation at the forefront of its message to both its members and the audience at large.