April 1, 2009
US SAILING Communications Manager
Last Saturday night at US SAILING’s Annual Spring Meeting in Denver, President Jim Capron announced that the Nominating and Governance Committee intends to nominate sailing icon Gary Jobson as the organization’s next president. The position of president will be elected by the board of directors at US SAILING’s Annual General Meeting in Houston on October 25, 2009… We had the chance to sit down with Gary to discuss his views on US SAILING’s future endeavors, including membership outreach, Olympic sailing, the championships, the media, and growing the sport of sailing in the United States.
How are you preparing to be the next US SAILING President?
“Over the next five months, before assuming the role of president, there is a long list of people that I respect and would like to consult with. Initially, I’m going to work hard to make sailing a more visible sport. This will be a major component of my tenure. Next, I plan to re-engage our vast family of yacht clubs to help improve our sport. I believe that the yacht club is the core institution in this country. I have several specific ideas that I will roll out in October. Finally, we have lots of engaged volunteers who are very passionate about our sport. My plan is to listen carefully to many voices on what we should be doing. Part of this initiative will be recruiting lots of young sailors to participate with US SAILING and other important organizations supporting our sport.”
How do you plan to make sailing an attractive competitive and recreational activity for everyone?
“My goal is to see more people on the water at every level. Sailing is a very diverse sport with a lot of pieces, and the challenge is to bring everything together under one roof. The fundamental reward of sailing is simple… It’s all about having a good time. There are many things we can do to streamline the process. Leisure time is extremely valuable and scarce these days. The yacht club, community sailing center, camp, sailing school and individual boat owners all have the same goal of providing user friendly sailing to people of all ages.”
What is your perception of the US SAILING Championships?
“The United States Championships are very important to US SAILING and competitive sailing in this country. Some of these events go back to the 1920’s. There are many heroes in our sport listed on the trophies won at these regattas. The goal of the championships is to attract the top sailors in the country to compete at a high level. We need to work hard to market our championships. This will happen when we give our events more visibility and attract top talent. I am confident we can do so.”
What have you learned by serving on the Olympic Sailing Committee?
“I served during four different quads dating back to 1976. It is very important that we have a national team, and junior sailing in the U.S. is important at every level. The Olympics should be the ultimate goal for aspiring competitive sailors.”
How do you think the organization should communicate with members?
“This is an important time in terms of learning how to communicate with people. New technologies are becoming more available every day. This is a high priority with me. I hope in three years time, people will be proud to be a member and play a role in shaping what US SAILING is all about.”
How will your media background help you on the job?
“I’ve been promoting our sport at every level imaginable since graduating from college in 1973. Even with all the new technology available, there is no substitute for meeting and talking with people in person. I plan to greatly expand our teaching and lecture programs, and make the Internet a center of information that provides lots of value to all sailors.”
What have you learned by serving on the BOD?
“The house of delegates and board of directors are comprised of people with diverse backgrounds, sailing interests and from different geographical regions around the country. There is a lot of collective wisdom. We are going to organize several think tanks with prominent speakers so that collective wisdom will become collective action.”
About US SAILING:
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.