Zephyr – Exposing Sailing
In the broader community, the sport of sailing is often underestimated for the physical exercise, intellectual challenges and sense of competitive achievement. This results in lower participation rates and presence than many other sports in Australia. This project seeks to understand the barriers facing people entering and participating in the sport of sailing, implementing change through the design of a new sailing class. The design focuses on the increasing participation in the sport of sailing, by supporting a new generation of sailors entering the sport and to incrementally develop skills required for sailing in a supportive and simple manner.
The designed object is learner focused, with features that are deployed together with the developing abilities of young sailors. Changing the dynamics of the junior sailing to support teamwork through a ‘double handed’ class bridging the gap between current junior and youth classes. This project uses a combination of user-centered design methods and stakeholder engagement combined with engineering principles through computer-aided design, validation, and iterative development, to embody the author’s tacit knowledge as a participant, coach, and competitor at an international level of 15 years to deliver the design outcome. The design has been viewed and validated by a selection of stakeholders within the sailing community including participants, organisers and industry leaders to gather support for a new approach to junior sailing. Through design, this project visualises an understanding of the issues within sailing and removes many of the perceived barriers for children to participate in the sport of sailing.