President's Letter for Issue 167 (Spring 2012)
by David Brawner

There are a couple changes that you need to be aware of. The first is that starting with the next issue we are going to be taking advantage of Model Yachting magazine to deliver your membership renewal form. This means the AMYA will no longer mail your renewal form in separate mailing. The second is the upgrade to the online regatta schedule, giving race directors the ability to post a link directly to their posted NOR and Sailing Instructions, and the addition of online regatta registration.

In our continued effort to reduce labor and costs related to membership renewal, we met with our printer, Graphics Plus, in Chicago, last December to discuss the idea of printing and including the form, which you would usually receive in a the mail, in Model Yachting instead. The end result will come from a coordinated effort between Graphics Plus and our Data Manager, Doug Hemingway. Starting with members whose membership expires on June 30, 2012, your renewal form will be in with the next magazine. Please don.t throw this out by accident. We will also continue with the additional e-mailed membership reminders.

Another group effort that includes our hero Doug Hemingway, with the help of Gerry Cobley, is the upgrade to the regatta schedule. The online AMYA regatta schedule will now include the helpful links to all the information a competitor needs to register for your regatta. Based on your preferences, you can post a link to your website to download a registration form and/or the Sailing Instructions and even offer online regatta registration. Regatta Coordinator Ernie Thorpe is in charge of managing the schedule and getting the chevrons to you. With any upgrade, some bumps along the way are to be expected. Please be patient as we work through them.

John Skerry has included the year-end financial report in this issue. The commentary along with the report is from me. I am quite comfortable in saying that we are now where we intended to be financially. While every volunteer deserves a thank you for this, John Davis deserves the biggest for keeping the magazine well under budget.

Rich Matt was a very happy camper on that first Friday in December when he was able to hand over the job of Insurance Committee Secretary to Nick Mortgu. Nick joined me on the flight to Chicago to meet with our insurance broker, Glenn McCarthy, to get an education on the AMYA insurance policies and to let Rich Matt retire from a position that he has held for close to forever. Every club that has ever needed insurance has Rich to thank for it. All those last-minute requests that got handled much more quickly than anyone thought possible were handled by Rich. He did a great job for all of us ... thank you, thank you, and thank you. Now that it's Nick's job, we continue to be in good hands.

OK, to continue an effort to prove that I may be one of world's most boring people, my mid-life crisis mobile is a used 2010 Dodge Caravan that I just purchased. In the past 18 years and 330,000 miles, I have gone through two Chevy Astro vans travelling to regattas and soccer tournaments. Ironically, both suffered confidence zapping mechanical issues at 165,000 miles. Having gotten every good mile out of the last one, I traded it for a quart of white gel coat, some of which will be used on the Santa Barbara deck. There is some debate as to which party got the better end of the deal. If President Obama tools around in Air Force One, is there any reason I can't call this van Road Trip One?

With my regatta season about to kick off, it's time to get these building projects done. A Soling One Meter and my very first Santa Barbara are well underway. I have little to no experience with building either of these boats. Most of my building experience has been with EC12s and Js, both of which I can pretty much build from memory. It is very interesting to see what different classes offer in the way of help to newcomers. The Soling website is top of line. My bible has been Mike Wyatt's building guide. Thanks to Ken Shaw, there is a chance the rudder and keel may even be straight.

The Soling gets delivered to my niece, Haley, next month in Charleston where she is attending college. It will be interesting to see if she gives the guys in Charleston a run for their money. Between Haley and Becky Perkin, they won't know what hit them. The Santa Barbara project continues moving forward. Scott Todd, of Blue Crab Model Yachts, delivered a beautiful hull, keel, and rudder. Building this one seems to be more of a science project.

There is a lot of sailing to do in the upcoming months. If your club's regattas aren't posted on the AMYA Regatta Schedule, please get that done soon. I hope to see you at the pond.


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