Diversity in Sailing

By: American Sailing Association, Partners

The American Sailing Association is helping college sailing organization TIDE: The Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity task force, deliver a message on their campaign to increase diversity in sailing.  Through a series of updates, ASA is lending its voice and platform to highlight work being done by the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) TIDE and its subcommittees to aid in the representation and inclusion of historically underrepresented groups.  Nicole Moeder is the contributing writer from the ICSA TIDE Task Force.

By Nicole Moeder

Change is a complicated thing. It takes time; it takes volume; it takes initiative. Change comes from the bottom up. Change comes from within. What does it take to make change? That’s a question that stands the test of time, one that college sailors started asking themselves this past summer. 

And it seems that they have come up with an answer. There is a new force within the world of college sailing called TIDE: The Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity task force. TIDE, in short, is dedicated to making college sailing more inclusive and accessible through education and outreach. Their work has brought together current sailors, coaches, alumni, and outside advisors to achieve this goal. But this goal is lofty, and achieving it is no easy feat. It feels, in many ways, insurmountable.

Why Should We Care?

So here is the question I am sure you all have: who cares? Why does diversity and inclusion matter in the world of sailing? People ask me this question all the time. Why does it matter? And the answer, to me, is simple. The reality is apparent: that our community, a community full of love and passion, determination and drive, is monolithic, sometimes exclusive and homogeneous. This reality often goes unspoken, unacknowledged, unavowed. And this is no one’s fault; the silence behind our identity comes not out of malice. But regardless of the intention, the task of inclusion still remains in our hands. 

We are all here for one reason: love for the sport of sailing. And there are so many individuals who could love the sport of sailing, but are not afforded the opportunity. There are individuals who endure tremendous hardship and struggles in regards to their identities; it is up to us, as community members, to educate ourselves and dismantle the irons of oppression they might face. 

And I can already anticipate your next question: why does TIDE matter to the American Sailing Association? I’ll call your attention back to my opening phrase: change comes from within. In order to create change in the sailing world, we need sailors from all walks of life, from competitive racers to recreational participants, from students to instructors, to join us in our mission. 

TIDE cannot do this work on its own; it is not enough for the organization to exist in singularity. It is up to us, in the broader sailing world, to engage with TIDE’s work as well, to make all our communities more inclusive and better educated. We must not only support TIDE’s initiatives but ask ourselves how we can contribute. 

The work that TIDE has done, the seeds of change they have planted, must be nurtured and cultivated by people like you here at the American Sailing Association. We must go above and beyond, reach out, buy-in, get engaged. Let us come together and continue to build a community that attracts and welcomes sailors and athletes from all walks of life with compassionate, open arms. 

For more information or any questions one might have, please visit the ICSA website, or email equity@collegesailing.org

Nicole Moeder is a junior at Boston College studying sociology, journalism, and art history. She is a dedicated member of the BC Sailing team, and BC’s school representative on the NEISA TIDE Committee. She is the Press, Media, and External Publications Coordinator for NEISA TIDE, and chief coordinator for the ICSA TIDE Task Force media team.