President's Letter for Issue 177
By David Brawner

Wow! It's already championship season again. There are 13 National Championship Regattas on the AMYA Regatta Schedule from August through October, including four in one location, Chicago Race Week, and even three in one weekend at various locations at the end of September. To say the least, you have options if you want to compete.

Chicago Race Week is just about a month away, with championships on the line for the Soling One Meter, Santa Barbara, J Class, and the East Coast 12 Meter Class. You can find all the links to the regatta site from the AMYA Regatta Schedule on the AMYA website. The Chicago Model Yacht Club members have done a fantastic job preparing for this event.

I am personally excited about the East Coast 12 Meter NCR. While the fleet may be slightly smaller than normal, it's going to be one of the most competitive ever assembled. My goal is to have every winner from the past 15 years take part in the event. Though I may miss that goal by a couple, most of them will be there. If you have ever wanted to test your sailing mettle, this is your chance.

At the end of September, the Vintage Model Yacht Group will hold the 20th Anniversary Vintage Model Yachting Days at Marsh Creek State Park in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, hosted by Chester Springs Model Yacht Club. This multi-class event, which is their NCR, will include the Skipjacks, Schooners, Vintage 36s, and Vintage Marbleheads. These multi-class events have the positive effect of cross-pollinating classes. It’s not unusual to find skippers sticking around to sail in a different class with a borrowed boat. Our by-laws require only that the skipper is an AMYA member and that the boat is properly registered to be eligible to sail in either a national or regional championship. Because there is no mention that the skipper must be the owner, the borrowing of boats is not only legal, but should be encouraged. We are, after all, in the business of promoting participation, not limiting it. The more the merrier.

Regatta organizers should keep in mind that the National Championship Regatta Subsidy program is still in effect. To qualify for the subsidy, just make sure that all your competitors are members of the AMYA or their national authority, and submit a regatta report for inclusion in Model Yachting.

Our featured class in this issue, the International One Metre, will be hosting its World Championship next May in Foster City, California. They will be looking for volunteer help, as this is a weeklong event. If you have ever wanted to participate at the highest level but may not qualify to race, the race committee is looking for you. Contact IOM Class Secretary Fred Rocha for more information.

I certainly don't want to give the impression that the big races are all that's important. Many more of us are going to sail in club races than in the championships. The incredible amount of competition and enjoyment found at the local club level is really what keeps this sport going. Most of our time spent on the water is with our buddies at the local pond. Thanks to the promotional efforts of Ivor Walton, John Stoudt, and Skip Hall, we had 17 East Coast 12 Meters out for our most recent club race. It doesn't get to be any more fun than that.

As of January 1, we’ll have two new leaders of the AMYA. As I stated earlier, I am thrilled that Ray Seta, Region 5 Director, and Ron Stephanz (pronounced “Stevens”) will be our new President and Vice President, respectively. For those of you who already know Ray, you’ll agree that his energy and unbridled ability to hype and publicize events will be an asset to the AMYA. Ron has been an organizer, active sailor, and winner of multiple national championships dating back the 70s. After four years of having me in charge, we will all benefit from the new ideas and new energy that Ray and Ron will bring to the top of the Masthead.

There is going to be what appears to be the perfect blend of continuity and turnover for the rest of the Board of Directors. Of the seven Regional Directors, four will be new and three will be returning. Also, the Board will benefit from having Treasurer John Skerry and Executive Secretary Doug Hemingway carry on in their positions. I could not have functioned in my role as President without their help during the entire time.

When was the last time you saw a 10 Rater Class regatta? If you’re as I am, you are scratching your head right now. I can’t remember the last time I even heard of one being held. Well, for those of you who have one collecting dust in your basement, I have some good news for you. Bill Hagerup has taken on the position of class secretary for the class. You'll even see him listed as the incumbent on the ballot because he was appointed before the election. His enthusiasm for this international class will give you good reason to blow the dust off that 10R, charge the batteries, and see if that old AM radio still works.

Another bit of good news is the newly formed American Marblehead Class is about to gain sanctioned status. This is another great example of breathing life into a class where all those once fine racing machines were spending too much time collecting dust. Appropriately, members of Marblehead Model Yacht Club spearheaded this effort. Biff Martin, who has been sailing these boats on Redd’s Pond since he was a kid, many moons ago, has put in a lot of effort over the past few years to make this a reality. Congratulations, Biff, for a job well done.

The Marblehead Model Yacht Club website has all the information for the class. The final details are coming together as this issue is being assembled. The new class secretary will be listed in the next issue of Model Yachting and on the AMYA website.

It's time to race. Charge some batteries, and I'll see you at the lake.

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