President's Letter for Issue 171
By David Brawner

Have you ever registered for a regatta online? Perhaps you didn't know that the AMYA offers this service. Seriously, we do. This just makes life easier for the skippers and organizers alike. No need to print a form, find an envelope and a stamp. Now, just click, click, click; add some info and you are registered. Your name is added to the registered skippers list, which can be viewed online, and the organizer gets paid.

The option to sign up for this service is available when the race organizer registers a regatta on the AMYA schedule. The link to your registration page will be created and added to the Information column in the online schedule. This is an under-used service that is available to all. Obviously, we need to advertise this better. Thanks go to Gerry Cobley, Doug Hemingway, and Ernie Thorpe for making this available to us.

The standard online regatta registration form will suffice for most regattas, but it can also be customized to meet an organizer's specific needs, such as adding an option for guest meals, tee shirt size, or pretty much any other option that your club desires. If you have any questions or just need a little help to set it up, contact Regatta Coordinator Ernie Thorpe directly at (regatta@theAMYA.org).

Another favorite available on the website is the regatta score sheet that Bob Armbruster made for us. They can be found in the Club Resource section of the website. Simply fill out the PDF file, and then print it using the online services of an office store such as Staples, Office Depot, or FedEx Office. It only cost a few bucks to get a 2' x 3' score sheet printed. If you really like using a yardstick and a magic marker to create your score sheet, feel free to continue. Trust me; having it printed at an office store is a whole lot easier.

How does your club attract new sailors? Have you ever come up with a plan to attract sailors that may be just a bit outside the budget of your club? If so, please feel free ask the AMYA for help. There are some funds that can be put towards worthwhile ideas. We can't say every idea will get funded, but we'll do our best to help out. Your regional director would be your first point of contact for any grant request. Their contact information can be found on the Masthead.

I just want to remind you that the NCR subsidy has been reinstated this year. As a race organizer for a national championship, it's always helpful to have more money to work with. You can find the details of this program on page XX.

I have said in the past that I wouldn't be bashful asking for help. Right now, the AMYA website is a very good reference site, manned by Earl Boebert, Charles Hall, and Doug Hemingway. With that side of the equation taken care of, we need to focus on moving forward with our online media and social networking side of web hosting. My problem is that I don't know how to make this happen. We need a volunteer to lend a hand. Is it your turn to step forward? We can start simply with a forum site or discussion page. It would be beneficial to move toward members being able to post regatta results and pictures. I know...the possibilities are endless. We just need some help getting it going. Please contact me at (president@theAMYA.org). Thanks.

While I was able to sail in 13 regattas and RD four more in a total of five different regions, in 2012, I find that my favorite model yachting experiences of last year really had nothing to do with sailing a boat around a course. Visiting the shop of a master builder always ranks high on my list. I had the chance to visit with Jim Utley in Raleigh, N.C., and Alan Suydam in Solomons, Md., in their respective shops. Looking at the results of their work shows me that I have a lot to learn about craftsmanship, ingenuity, and patience.

Joseph Cole is a man that I met at my first day racing RC sailboats in 1988. Though he is nearly 30 years my senior, Joseph, as he now likes to be called, is a bundle of positive energy and always brings his broad smile. Many successful clubs have a person like Joseph. He is always first to volunteer. Even at his age, we'll often see him rowing the dinghy to set the marks. Attending his 80th birthday party and sitting around with my wife, my sailing buddies, the entire Cole family, including his great grandchildren, and all his non-sailing friends made me realize how much being around RC sailing has affected my life in such a positive way.

Without a doubt, my favorite moment of the sailing year occurred while I was at the Soling Nationals in Punta Gorda, Fla. My dear friends and sailing buddies, Curtis and Barbara Wright, showed up to watch the final day of racing. Though that doesn't sound like much, you have to understand that Curtis's health has severely limited his activities in recent years, neither he nor Barbara has been lakeside for about a decade, and Curtis was one of the founders of the Soling One Meter Class. Barbara owned Soling #1. Seeing Curtis sitting there discussing strategy with the skippers, looking at the fluctuations in the breeze, and picking the favored side took me back many years. His smile did the same. The gang at Punta Gorda, besides running a fantastic regatta, could not have been any more welcoming to Curtis and Barbara. I think you'll see them again soon.

I guess what I am saying is that there is so much more to model yachting than just yachting with models. The friendship and camaraderie push the experience to a much higher level. Only one person can take the first place trophy home, but everyone can make a new friend. Enjoy our hobby. See you at the pond soon.

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