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Dave Erwin: July 2012, US Sailing – Sailor of the Week

Dave Erwin – Sailor of the Week
Dave Erwin profile
Dave Erwin of Destrehan, La. won five consecutive J/30 North American Championships between 2001 and 2006. However, Dave’s true impact on the sport has come through his leadership and communication skills with sailors in the Gulf Coast.

Dave has fond memories of growing up sailing in Texas at Fort Worth Boat Club on Eagle Mountain Lake and South Padre Island. Over 20 years ago, Dave moved to New Orleans and started one-design sailing a J/30 named Zephyr.

“Our team raced together for such a long period of time that communication happened without speech,” explained Dave. “We started thinking alike knowing each other’s next move.”

In 2002, Dave recruited a volunteer team to develop the New Orleans Yacht Club website and social media channels. “We discovered that it was easy capturing the sailors’ attention, but finding new sailors was a challenge,” he said. “It wasn’t yacht clubs that we were marketing. It was the experience of sailing.”

They started shooting video of Wednesday Night Racing, posting this footage on YouTube and sharing through Facebook.

Dave and his team of volunteers created their first Family Regatta this year. “To build the sport, we have to keep parents interested too,” added Dave. Also, another more recent marketing campaign Dave is working on focuses on big boat mentors for junior sailors.

Dave created a forum on the NOYC website to help everyone collaborate and communicate on events, ideas and issues. “This empowered people to spread the word about sailing,” mentioned Dave. “Everyone had a voice. What I didn’t know is that the forum would become the means to communicate across the Gulf Yachting Association and beyond.” Dave also pointed out that the message board became a reliable source for news and information after Hurricane Katrina.

Dave is looking forward to his role as the Chairman for the 2012 J/30 North American Championship in New Orleans on Oct. 18-21. Learn more about this Championship at http://noyc.org/wordpress/2012-j30-north-americans/.

Source: US Sailing Website

Congratulations Dave! You’re an asset to the J/30 Class and the sailing community!
Bill Kneller

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