ASA West Coast National Meeting this weekend

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. – The first Japanese sailor to circumnavigate the globe, Yoh Aoki, will be the keynote speaker at the American Sailing Association’s West Coast National Meeting, which runs from today through Sunday at the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club, the ASA said in a recent statement.

Aoki was 22 when he sailed a 21-foot boat around the world alone, in a voyage that took three years and two months. While today’s sailors can rely upon modern technology such as GPS systems and satellite phones, Aoki used only a sextant to calculate his position on the water. Today, Aoki is an ASA-affliated instructor and owns the Aoki Sailing School in Japan.

ASA-affiliated sailing school owners, ASA-certified sailing instructors, sailors and representatives will attend the three-day meeting, which will focus on teaching best practices that promote safety and high quality in sailing education. More than 270 professionally accredited schools worldwide are affiliated with ASA, which has established levels of expertise for operating sailboats and defined the skills and knowledge required for certification at each level. ASA produces educational courses, training manuals and exams and manages certification programs for sailing students and instructors.

Two new American Sailing Association courses will make their debut at the West Coast national meeting. David Burch, Starpath Navigation founder, will speak about a new ASA weather course, while Tom Tursi, Maryland School of Sailing founder and owner, will demonstrate the new ASA docking endorsement course.

Experts in several facets of sailing, including weather, navigation, technology, advertising, public relations and web-based marketing, will speak at the ASA West Coast National Meeting, including:

  • John Connolly and Paul Miller, two nationally recognized experts on crew overboard recovery methods. They will hold on-the-water demonstrations and testing to share their knowledge and experience of the best crew overboard recovery methods testing.
  • Richard Wesson, a leading software developer in the sailing industry. He will discuss how to use technology to improve office efficiency for sailing schools and charter companies.
  • Wanda Kenton Smith, president of Kenton Smith Advertising & Public Relations. She will discuss effective and innovative marketing, public relations and web promotional techniques for sailing school owners.
  • The ASA East Coast National Meeting will be held in Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 18 to 20, 2008, at the Rudder Club of Jacksonville.

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