One of the articles in the Sailing: Philosophy for Everyone, classified sailors in one of three types, those that were motivated by 1) socialising 2) competition or 3) the sea itself.
Actually it didn't quite say that, as I changed the first, for the author described sailors of the first kind as those who are interesting in social iconography.
It wasn't, to be honest, the prettiest of pictures, of people that value possessions and status: fancy boats, smart watches, exclusive yacht clubs.
This was part of an argument that these, more mundane, first type of sailor are more substantialists while the sailor of the third kind is the purer and closer to the processist ideal.
The author, you might not be surprised to learn, classed himself as a sailor of the third kind.
I think that is wrong, for there are elements of the processist in sailors of both the 1st and 2nd class, who can also be open to the spiritual side of sailing. Ellen MacArthur was unyieldingly competitive, but also able to appreciate this greater experience, as she responded to dawn at sea:
..as I stood in the cockpit I watched in wonder... my eyes began to fill with tears as I marveled at this intense beauty.
No blinkered fighting machine there.
Sailors with their eyes open can see process in all three types.
Take the social sailor: the individual within a family group might (alas) depart us, but there remains families and friends, and new circles form as new generations grow. There might be faces missing from the yacht club bar but there are new joiners to fill empty stools.
The same is true of the racing sailor: individuals thrive and can dominate a class, but, like Ben Ainslie, at some point they say enough and move on, but the class continues. Similarly a class itself can wither and fade away but new ones take its place.
All three types of sailor have elements of the eternal in them: it is how we relate and experience it that matters.