Sailor of the Week: December 16-22
Art Bailey has been instrumental in revitalizing the E-Scow class on Barnegat Bay. Two years ago, Art and others initiated the E-Scow grant program with the Island Heights Sailing Foundation. The grant program was designed to provide more access to the E-Scow for young sailors (under the age of 25), and to participate competitively for a season.
Progress has been made. Four different skippers have had the opportunity to put together a crew and campaign a boat. In the past two years, the Barnegat Bay Yachting Association has seen a tremendous growth in E-Scow sailing, and in the number of younger sailors who have caught on with the class.
“Crewing on the scow has become a hot ticket, and the foundation boats open the class to sailors who, most likely, could not afford to compete,” explained Bailey. “In addition, the veteran E-Scow sailors have helped the newer sailors succeed.”
Art started sailing in 1971 at Island Heights Yacht Club (N.J.) in a Diamond. Over the years he moved on to a Laser, and later to the E-Scow and Flying Scot classes. Sailing has become a family affair for the Bailey’s. “I split the skippering of the E-Scow with my son A.J., and my daughter Casey is usually flying the 'chute. My son Ryan sails with his cousin, and my wife Tracey is either our fourth, or competing against us. Most Wednesdays and Saturdays my mother is also out on the race course on an A-Cat,” Art said.
Art and Tracey have been active participants in the Junior Olympics at Island Heights Yacht Club for over 20 years, where they watched the juniors sail Optis and later join them in the E-Scow fleet. Art is also the coach of the Toms River High School South sailing Team, where his children attend school.
Art explained what he enjoys most about the sport: “The thing I enjoy most about sailing is the camaraderie of our extended sailing family. I am enjoying competing against my kids and am looking forward to watching my children and their friends continue to grow the E-Scow fleet, and enjoy their own campaigns.