As I was just finishing up an edit of the prize giving ceremony from the 2013 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta I came up with an idea for what I hope to produce next, what I want to produce next . I have shot a few youth events over the years, and although those productions I have been involved with number far less than other regattas, I absolutely love shooting youth events. The kids are so stoked to be on camera, always waving, always smiling and generally always happy, just kids being kids. When you see this excitement and youthful exuberance it really puts things in perspective and quite frankly brings my old ass back in time to when I was a little nipper sailing every day in the summer without a care in the world.
The youth sailing scene today is far different than when I was that age, I remember sailing beat up tired old butterfly sailboats with sails that I wouldn’t even rake leaves into nowadays. The instructors were in retrospect good local sailors and at the time we all thought they were the coolest in the world.
Hop in the time machine and set the dial to 2014. Top notch and even some smaller sailing schools are funded like political campaigns. The boats are way cooler than what I had (sorry butterfly enthusiasts) and generally the equipment is fresh and competitive. Many sailing schools and youth sailing programs hire trained professional coaches, Olympic medalists and world champions, not just the kid that got 5th in the championship regatta last year but is now too old for the class. Teams travel the world and compete against the best all the time. These kids have a reason to be stoked, they had better be, they have it pretty good. The parents often travel with them and sometimes just hang by the pool while the kids are on the water duking it out. Its funny to me, I see the same faces that I have seen for 30 years, great friends, great people, except I am there filming and their kids are the ones racing. It’s very rewarding for me to be there and still be part of their lives and watch their kids standing on the podium on Sunday afternoons.
The Youth Brigade is a comprehensive look into youth sailing in the modern day. It will document the changes I have witnessed along the way both domestically and internationally. It will focus on the kids, the programs, the coaches, and the regattas that promote youth sailing. It’s all about the youth, we have got to keep them stoked on this sport and have sailing become the lifeblood that flows through their veins…like it flows through mine.
Title inspiration from the 1980’s Los Angeles Punk Band bearing the same name.