after my last post, I wanted to make sure that I don’t give the impression that I don’t like Annapolis Performance Sailing (APS) or the great service that they provide. I’ve ordered several parts from them, and will continue to do so in the future. they have also started a blog – the APS Stern Scoop, providing commentary from employees (all “racing” sailors), as well as good product reviews, and notices of sales at APS.
this year APS celebrates their 20th year in business – as the business started in 1991 when the founder, Kyle Gross:
…recognized the need for a local business that would supply dinghy racers with everything they needed – from foul weather gear to obscure boat parts that seemed impossible to find.
you can find a pretty thorough history on the APS website, including old magazine covers, a video, and an interview with Kyle Gross. Kyle talks a bit about changes over the last 20 years:
The other thing has been the threat to sailing. Perceived (and in many cases, real) barriers: water access, cost, historically, an elitism had to be overcome. It seems that every sport has become a little more intense, whether it’s lacrosse or soccer or whatever you happen to do , there’s more equipment, the bar has been raised, it’s a bigger commitment. Therefore, the person that participated in 4 to 8 activities from organized sports to recreational whatever it is—scuba diving, I think the economic pressures and the commitment levels have required that people pick their top 1, 2, or 3 and there’s no room for others. There are so many barriers to sailing that it’s an easy one to just drop off of people’s radar, and it’s hard to overcome that. The sport has grown, and trust me, I’ve been happy for that change.
[full disclosure: this is not a sponsored post or anything like that – just wanted to pass on the news for their 20th anniversary.]