Growing participation in sailing is dear to many of us who both work and play in the sailing world. Increasingly, as I have got more stuck into my work with the RYA’s Participation and Membership Committee and in my role as a Trustee of Portsmouth Sail Training Trust, I feel its important to help secure the future of this amazing sport, and encourage younger generations to benefits from the plethora of fun, exciting and amazing life experiences it offers.
It’s possibly for this reason that I find myself immersed in a significant project for British Marine, the trade association for the marine leisure industry.
The project seeks to establish the significant trends in participation and engagement across sailing, powerboating and the main sail and paddle powered watersports. Plus it will investigate the key influences on the future customer – those from Gen Y and Gen Viz (otherwise know as those born in the latest 20th century and early 21st century).
It’s an honour, and a somewhat daunting responsibility, to produce this first stage analysis for the marine industry. Without doubt there will be some significant recommendations for the key stakeholders, such as British Marine, the key providers and even sailing clubs even at this first stage. And almost certainly there will be gaps in the picture requiring further insights. And I’m already certain there will be some interesting opportunities for businesses that are thinking ahead.