Tag Archives: year in review

American Sailing Association in 2019: The Year in Review

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. 

2010: The Year in American Sailing

2010 has been a year of drama on the high seas, and one of change and excitement for ASA. Here’s a rundown of some of the big news from the past year:

TOP SAILING STORY OF THE YEAR: Abby Sunderland

Wild Eyes adrift
Photo courtesy of Australian Search & Rescue, via http://soloround.blogspot.com
Nothing else in the maritime world even came close to equaling the notoriety (and controversy) of this 16-year-old Californian sailor’s odyssey. Sunderland departed from ASA’s home port of Marina Del Rey, CA in January, attempting to become the youngest solo circumnavigator ever (a record previously held by her older brother Zac). She successfully rounded Cape Horn, but on June 10, in the stormy Indian Ocean, she lost radio contact, and shortly afterward activated her emergency beacons. It was widely feared that she was lost at sea. However, she was found alive and well by a search & rescue aircraft and retrieved by a French fishing vessel on June 12. The event sparked a massive debate in the media and among sailors about the wisdom of this, and other, similar, world record attempts, as well as who should be responsible for the cost of the rescue, estimated to be between $200,000 and $300,000. Sunderland has been criticized as reckless by some, and praised for her courage and fortitude by others.

For her part, Sunderland is undeterred and has stated her desire to attempt another circumnavigation in the near future. She also has a book about her experiences due out in 2011, and apparently there is a documentary in the works (just announced today). (ASA’s Meghan Cleary covered the incident as it happened here and here.)

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES: The Gulf Oil Spill, Laura Dekker embarking on circumnavigation at age 14, Jessica Watson completing solo circumnavigation at age 16.

BIGGEST NEWS FOR ASA MEMBERS: Sailing Made Easy and ASA Social Media
sailing made easy
In March, ASA released Sailing Made Easy, the official textbook for ASA 101, the Basic Keelboating course. A great deal of effort and expertise went into creating this book, a full-color introduction to the essential skills and lifestyle of sailing. It’s an indispensable manual for new sailors and a handy reference even for experienced salts, featuring beautiful photography from Bob Grieser and edited by sailing legend Peter Isler. Heck, it even has waterproof covers. (Available through our store.)

2010 also saw the emergence of ASA’s Social Media Gateway. Meghan Cleary was brought on as our first Social Media Coordinator and got us off the ground. In October Meghan moved on to become ASA’s writer-at-large and, more importantly, to cruise the tropics in her 35′ cutter Velella. I (Ben Miller) replaced her and it’s been a blast getting to know ASA members and immersing myself in the sailing lifestyle (even if most of that immersion has taken place in an office). My New Year’s Resolution? To get out on the water with ASA! (You can find my “Introduction” post here.)

NOT TO MENTION: The launch of the ASA iPhone App, flotillas to a number of alluring locales, and our ever-increasing membership, to whom we want to say a huge THANK YOU!

WHAT DOES 2011 HAVE IN STORE?

Short answer: Who knows?
sailing away
ASA certainly has a number of exciting projects in the works, including the continued expansion of our Local Sailing Clubs, more fantastic flotillas, and other things I’m not even at liberty to talk about yet! My personal goal is to get as many people as possible press-ganged into our scurrilous crew on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to reading this blog.

However, as all sailors know, the true adventure often lies in the things you can’t plan. So here’s to 2011 and the mysteries it may hold. We’re crowding sail toward the horizon, and very glad you’re with us.