The American Sailing Association recently certified its half-millionth sailor. Since the association was founded in 1983, its affiliated schools and instructors have taught and certified more than 507,000 people to ASA’s 101 Keelboat Sailing standard. Many ASA members have also received their ASA 103 and 104 certifications and the organization says it has issued more than one million certifications over the past 35 years.
“None of this could have happened without our very fine association of sailing professionals, organizations and businesses centered around over progressive educational system,” said Lenny Shabe’s ASA’s chairman of the board, in a statement. “United in promoting safety on the water and stimulating the sport of sailing everywhere, ASA has emerged as the clear global leader in sailing education.”
ASA credits much of its growth to its focus on building a base of more than 350 affiliated sailing schools, which employ nearly 2,000 certified instructors. “Our schools are key drives of issuing more ASA certifications because they are located on the front lines of student acquisition,” said Charlie Nobles, executive director of ASA. “By illustrating that sailing is fun, exciting, safe, easy to learn and surprisingly affordable, our schools will remain at the core of our business strategy.”
The association attracts new people to the sport via new sailing programs, partnerships, sponsorships, mobile apps and more. “Going over the 500,000 certified sailors mark is also good news for the sailing industry,” said Shabes. “More sailors on the water signals an increased demand for boats, sailing apparel, sailing gear and other marine-related products and services.”