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Ethnic minorities and sailing.

[165264]

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This is not meant to be provocative.

I was musing the other day, with all the speculation about the reasons for increased mortality from Covid in the BAME groups, that I have virtually never seen a BAME person, nor group out sailing. I think, in fact, I have only once seen it and that was about a year ago, when an Asian family were in a boat with a skipper. They looked like they were going for a taster day on the Hamble.
Now, despite the publicity given to the BLM campaign, in the UK only about 3% of our population is, or identifies as, Black. I think twice that are Asian, so that when you add in other groups, we end up with c 14% of our population being non-Caucasian. (My source is the last census, so a bit out of date now. )
Certain things are fairly clear. Black people are concentrated in urban areas like London, so there are fewer around the S coast. They TEND to have lower paid jobs so maybe can't afford a boat. But, equally, around the S coast, or my part of it, we seem to have a large number of successful people of Asian origin, who could afford a boat.
OK, since I left the yacht-share thing I did for two years, I haven't been near the Hamble for c 8 months now, and maybe I have missed them all?

Do people who use the Thames, say, have a different take on it?

I ignore the mega yachts of Saudi princes btw.

Individual cases are no use as statistics, but my own daughter-in-law, who is a person of 50% Pakistani genes, came out for a day on a boat with us, in fair conditions, and just didn't like it- felt a bit sick at times, but just didn't see anything in it, rather as I would feel about knitting. . We did this as a tester as the plan had been to come with us for a week in Croatia.

So, I regard it as interesting, and mildly odd. That's all. I wonder if any sociologist has looked at this? (BTW, this is not meant to be a thread insinuation that sailing is institutionally racist and we "should do more.....etc")
 

Halo

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Interesting point.

Sailing charities such as the Tall Ships Trust do a lot to encourage minority engagement with sailing. For example they paid for a group of St Lucians to do the ARC last year.

When I was in Japan I didn’t see any recreational sailing. Same in many other places not frequented by people of European descent.

I suspect sailing is something you have to want to do in the first place.
 

Easticks28

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Sailing seems not to be a passtime in Sri Lanka either. We have taken many holidays there and have often commented how we just don't see yachts. I can recall only once seeing one anchored oof at Galle, and a commercial operation working very expensive trips with a cat.
 

BlowingOldBoots

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Iliade

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They probably have more sense than to want to freeze in the North Sea or be rammed in the Channel!
Imagine, you have family in the Indian Ocean, Caribbean or coastal Africa and when you visit you get taken out on their boat. Then you return to England...

More likely to be that, mixed with a an element of level of personal disposable income., e.g. Asian wealth has a tendency to be retained for the family rather than spent on frivolities like boats, and the actual proportion of BAME people in this country (very low.)

Or maybe they are just concerned about all the pirates.
 

Solent Sailor

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There are people working to widen access to sailing though - the most notable I am aware of is the Scaramouche Sailing Trust that takes kids from a deprived part of London and sends them off on the Fastnet race/turns them into international yachtsmen if they're up for it. They've done some fantastic work already, and because of their intake area, the vast majority of their pupils appear to be BAME.
 

John the kiwi

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I read a story about Nouveau riche chinese buying 40 -60ft motor boats. Thing is these boats had no engines, and just sat in marinas on shore power. Impress your friends: invite them to dinner on your yacht in the marina. Actually going somewhere is quite beside the point!
Probably quite a bit cheaper to buy with no engines and no batteries, as all shore power, and low insurance as no risk. Haul out and clean? why bother. I suspect there were engine controls and wheel etc, but all for show and not connected to anything.

Actually sailing your own boat on your own agenda is an act of individualism that is not available to (or allowed or tolerated for ) the overcrowded masses in many countries, so i suspect it doesnt even enter their consciousness.
 

Halo

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I read a story about Nouveau riche chinese buying 40 -60ft motor boats. Thing is these boats had no engines, and just sat in marinas on shore power. Impress your friends: invite them to dinner on your yacht in the marina. Actually going somewhere is quite beside the point!
Probably quite a bit cheaper to buy with no engines and no batteries, as all shore power, and low insurance as no risk. Haul out and clean? why bother. I suspect there were engine controls and wheel etc, but all for show and not connected to anything.

Actually sailing your own boat on your own agenda is an act of individualism that is not available to (or allowed or tolerated for ) the overcrowded masses in many countries, so i suspect it doesnt even enter their consciousness.
Hey John
The mouri used to be exceptionally good sailors. Do they sail much now ??
 

flaming

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It is certainly true that there is a significant under representation of BAME people in sailing. And in quite a lot of other sports and passtimes. Partly it is to do with people mostly doing the same hobbies as their parents. It's difficult to get into any niche hobby unless you're introduced to it by someone, and sailing is no different there. And of course your parents are most likely to be the ones introducing you.
Skiing is another one I have experience with that is historically very white. That's definitely changing a lot faster. I've met whole groups in chalets who basically realised that they could afford it, and that a lot their peers in their workplaces were raving about it, so decided to give it a go. But it's a lot easier to decide to give skiing a go and book a week's holiday than it is to decide to go sailing.

However, I think there are some good signs. There is a lot more diversity on the "crew wanted" facebook groups than there ever used to be. And the publicity surrounding the Scaramouche project can only encourage kids who never would have previously considered sailing as either a hobby or a career to look at it.
 

JumbleDuck

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I was musing the other day, with all the speculation about the reasons for increased mortality from Covid in the BAME groups, that I have virtually never seen a BAME person, nor group out sailing.
It's a good point. I can't remember for sure ever seeing someone non-white sailing on the west coast of Scotland, though I have a vague memory of meeting an Asian family somewhere. Sailing is not alone in this; BAME participation in walking/hiking is tiny as well.

Partly this may be because BAME people tend to be poorer, and sailing takes time and resources. However, I do think that sailing presents a very white image. For example, I have just checked the RYA "Start Boating" page and in the five "Sailing" and four "Power" sections, every single person in every single picture is white. That may not look very welcoming.

Likewise with the Cruising Association. I've just checked all their top-level pages and all their section pages and there isn't a non-white face to be seen. Of course that may just reflect their membership (there is hardly a face under retirement age to be seen either) but again it doesn't look welcoming.
 

C08

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In 30 years I have seen only one black person on a boat. We took my son's wife who is Japanese on the boat and she disliked it so we went to anchor in Poole Harbour. In 36 hours she did not venture from the cabin, perhaps a genetic thing. Not been back!?
 

Poignard

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In 30 years I have seen only one black person on a boat. We took my son's wife who is Japanese on the boat and she disliked it so we went to anchor in Poole Harbour. In 36 hours she did not venture from the cabin, perhaps a genetic thing. Not been back!?
There is a fine Japanese yacht kept on the Vilaiine at La Roche Bernard. Registered in Tokyo and her owner, a very pleasant man, lives on board her.
 
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