The founders of the «Friendly Regatta» Sergey and Nina Sinitsyna told Insailing how they manage to create large-scale sailing events with a truly friendly atmosphere, and skillfully separate children’s and adult vacations in one regatta, making it an unforgettable experience for everyone.
— We came to the family business after working in large corporations. We both graduated from economic departments. Sergey was the first to go sailing; he was looking for a business that would truly capture him. Initially, yachting was a hobby, and then my husband realized that he could have a beautiful business that he would love. It was in 2013-2014. I continued to work and build a corporate career, but in 2016 I realized that it was time to take the next step. I left the company from the position of vice president and made a startup. However, pretty soon we both realized that having two startups in one family was impractical. So the «Friendly Regatta» became a common project.
— We started with adult regattas. Our children, and we now have three of them, were still small. Our idea was that people on a yacht should feel well being together. We started with friends, then the circle expanded. According to our rules, before each regatta, we meet and personally get acquainted with all the participants. By the way, that’s why we don’t have a «pay» button on our site. At the meeting, we talk about our principles, we get to know the person. If the values and attitude to the trip do not coincide, then this is not our person. For example, sometimes people do not agree with our rule about not drinking alcohol. We offer active vacations, where there are no passive passengers, everyone participates in yacht management and the organization of life on a yacht. This is also our principle. But those who went sailing with us, as a rule, become friends and fellowship with each other happily outside the regattas and come back to us again and again.
— The children’s regatta appeared as a response to a request. People who sail with us are open to the world and traveling, and, as a rule, if they have children, they do not leave them out, but try to show the world in all its diversity. And that’s great! Sharing such a trip with the children is a great joy.
At first, children’s regattas did not make a profit, we kept trying to find the right way to create a product. Now, the family regattas within the framework of the Academy of Young Skippers have become our flagship product.
Usually, the decision on a family vacation is made by the mother. Some like the idea of sharing the first experience on a yacht with their children, often the father of the family, being in love with yachting himself, wants to involve his wife and children in his favorite hobby. But some do not want to go with the children and believe that it is unsafe. This is ok. We do everything so that safety comes first. It happens that people come to participate only five years after our constant communication in social networks, and after the regatta, we laugh together why it took them so long to decide. Probably, they got some critical amount of information. And we, too, have grown. This is not easy, but the emotional response is great. When people like it, and they are grateful to us for the trip, a very large energy exchange takes place.
Speakers: Sergey and Nina Sinitsyna; the interview was prepared by Julia Kochina