President's Letter for Issue 174
By David Brawner

This is the time of year that a lot of skippers are making their travel plans for next year. Does your club's regatta appear on the AMYA regatta schedule yet? If not, it is quite easy to submit a regatta via the website. Today would be a great day to take care of that. Using the website to submit your regatta will also assure it gets listed in the schedule in Model Yachting and in the Bulletin.

There is a group of active class secretaries that make every effort to have all their class regattas show on the AMYA website. Take a look at the schedule and you'll see that there are some active classes and active states that could do a better job posting their regattas on the AMYA regatta schedule. Please, please, pretty please, take the time to let us know about your regatta. This really does help others find your regatta.

I just got word of interesting events being organized by the RC Laser Class. In late February and early March, they are having a week with regattas in Pompano Beach, Punta Gorda, and Marco Island. There is time in between regattas to travel and tour Florida. Details of the events can be found in Nick Mortgu's Class News column. Southern Florida is not a bad place to hang out for a week in the winter.

It would be hard to imagine enjoying a road trip any more than our trip to San Francisco for the Santa Barbara NCR. Five of us from the EC12 fleet entered the regatta. While Rick West is a local, the other four of us, Dave Ramos, Ken Shaw, Tom Germer, and I came from a few time zones away. As you can imagine, there are a lot of logistics involved in getting all the boats and people from one side of the country to the other in one piece. The trip was worth the effort.

The members of San Francisco Model Yacht Club could not have been better hosts. This group knows how to make you feel welcome. Heck, they even fed us on the practice day. That was just one of many nice touches throughout the event. Two members of the America's Cup promotional team were on hand giving out America's Cup goodies. They must have drawn the short straw, as the catamarans were racing on the bay one of those days. We made sure to put transmitters in their hands at the end of the regatta.

The racing was as close as it gets. Going into the last heat, four of us were within just one point. Yes, one stinking point after two days of racing with 23 boats. Congratulations to Ken Campbell, Ryan Schofield, and Dave Ramos who all out-sailed me in that last heat to take first through third, respectively. Ken Campbell is the first winner of the Rich Matt Memorial Trophy, created by Class Secretary Mark Baldacchino. This entire regatta was a great chance to make some new friends. A fan favorite certainly was 85-years-young Bill Robinson, a Santa Barbara manufacturer, who readily admitted he joined our good natured chorus of boos for Dave Ramos as passed John Hanks on the way to the finish line. We all left with smiles after having a great time. Thanks SFMYC for making us feel at home.

Thankfully, my wife, Lisa found a way to get us to Alcatraz for races 6 and 7 of the America's Cup. Contrary to its intended purpose, the island prison was the best seat in all of San Francisco to watch the races, with a clear view of the entire course. With the course boundary up against the Alcatraz shore and the leeward marks just off to our left, the boats were close enough that we could make out each individual crew member. The picture off to the right was taken from under the lighthouse on Alcatraz during race 7.

The only disappointment of the Santa Barbara regatta was the fact there was only one entry from Southern California. What happened to all those SoCal Santa Barbaras from Race Week last year? Please don't tell me it's too far to travel.

Race Week Chicago, September 12-20, 2014, is fast approaching. AMYA Region 4 Director Rob Hill has confirmed the classes holding their NCRs will be the Soling One Meter, Santa Barbara, J Class, and the East Coast 12 Meters. It sure would be nice to see some of those talented Santa Barbara skippers from California attend. The racing schedule is set up to also give you time to see the city of Chicago while you're there. Come on boys, start your planning now.

Also, I had the chance to participate in the V-32 NCR in Des Moines, Iowa, thanks to Charlie Rhinehart, who lent me a boat; John Davis, who gave me a place to stay; and Bruce Zemke, who organized the event. As expected, John Davis has included an excellent report in this issue of Model Yachting. This was a terrific day of racing in less than ideal weather, with a true champion, Charlie Rhinehart, taking the day.

Even though we have just completed this year's election process, it is not too early to start planning for the next election. Both the president and vice president positions will be on the ballot next year. Is it your time to row the boat? There is no requirement to climb through the ranks before having your name placed on the ballot for any position. For inclusion in the next ballot, nominations are due by March 3. Please give the idea some consideration.

In the better-late-than-never department, the motion to create Region 7 passed easily this time, by a nine-to-one margin. Thank you for the support. On January 1, Bob Greer will become the first director of the newly formed Region 7, which includes Florida and the Islands. Gerry Cobley, currently an Associate Regional Director of Region 3, will move up to become the director of Region 3. Both areas are in good hands with this change.

I hope see you at the lake sometime soon.

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