President's Letter for Issue 169
by David Brawner

With the recent passing of Rich Matt and Chuck Black, the AMYA and model yachting recently lost two amazing champions and supporters of our hobby and association for over forty years. The names of these men are simply synonymous with model yachting. Though we miss them immediately, their positive influence will be lasting.

My good friend, the "Grand Poobah" of the East Coast 12 Meter Class, Rick West, will be retiring from the class secretary position, with Joe Walter replacing him, as of January 1. Rick, along with Frank Angel and recently Tom Phillips, transformed this class into a juggernaut of activity during his tenure. On a personal level, I canít say thank you enough. Though we donít always agree, Iíll always respect the effort he put into making this class better. Twenty-plus two-day regattas a year gives me plenty of opportunity to sail my toys. Thank you, sir.

Not only is this the ballot issue of Model Yachting, but if your AMYA membership expires on September 30, your renewal form is also included with the address page of your Model Yachting Magazine shipment, so please donít throw away those pieces of paper inside the plastic jacket.

Speaking of the ballot, there is a motion to bring the RC Laser Class rules into conformance with the AMYA by-laws. The motion requires no action by boat owners to keep their boats legal. The same principle remains that the boat is to be raced as it comes out of the box, which keeps all the sailors on a "level playing field" and the class strong for years to come. As an RC Laser owner, I will be supporting this motion.

As always, the ballot deadline is September 30, but there is no harm in sending it in before then. It makes Dougís job of tallying the votes a bit easier. Itís sitting right next to you—go ahead—fill it out and send it in.

The Board is presently working on the budget for next year. I am pleased to report that because the AMYA is again on a firm financial footing, initial discussions include bringing back the regatta subsidy program for the AMYA Nationals in 2013. The budget is our working financial roadmap, to keep us on course throughout the year.

My travels this quarter have included a model yachting wedding in Charleston, South Carolina, and regattas in York, Pennsylvania; Stowe, Vermont; and Chicago, Illinois. At the 2009 EC12 Nationals in St. Augustine, Ricky Gerry met Alan Perkinís daughter, Becky, who at the time was still living in England. Three years later, they held a spectacular wedding. As Ricky and Alan often compete against each other, it will be interesting to see how the Racing Rules of Sailing handle "when in-laws meet on opposite tacks."

While in Charleston for the wedding, I had the chance to mentor my niece during her first Soling One Meter race. I appreciate the Charleston MYC for the warm welcome Haley received. The entire group came up one by one to say hello and make her feel comfortable. This was southern hospitality at its finest.

We set the lofty goal of finishing ahead of one boat in any of the races. That was a goal that I couldnít meet on my first day. With an entire sixty minutes of R/C sailing time under her belt, she nailed her first start and managed to keep a couple of the other 13 boats behind her. She may have gone the entire race without taking a breath. Later in the day, she sailed herself into an eight place finish in one race. Thankfully, she is too polite to rub it in that she did better than I on my first day. Sheíll be back when the school starts again.

Have you ever undertaken a task that makes no sense at all? It didnít take much effort to figure out that I just canít categorize my Santa Barbara project as sane. But, I guess that is what makes it so much fun. To have four friends join me in this act of lunacy seems to make it all the more worthwhile.

So what started out as a solo effort has turned into five new Santa Barbaras being built and shipped to San Diego for Race Week. Iíve been joined by Rick West, from California; Ken Shaw, from Vermont; Dave Ramos, from Maryland; and Nick Mortgu, from New Jersey. Rick, Ken, and Dave joined voluntarily, but Nick was sort of Shanghaied, as we built him a boat when he wasnít looking and got his wife, Beth, to keep the calendar clear for August. Seeing as she is looking forward to visiting San Diego, how could he say no?

Until late June, none of us had ever seen a Santa Barbara race. Many thanks go to our friends at the Chicago MYC who set up a regatta to give us the chance to compete with our boats before shipping them to San Diego. In the scheme of things, eight hundred miles for a test sail seemed almost rational. Nick and I were part of the fleet of twelve boats on Big Bear Lake for two days of racing. The results were favorable enough to consider the building process a success. Now the next step is to get them to San Diego in one piece and on time.

The next issue of Model Yachting will have extensive coverage of San Diego Race Week.

Donít forget to list your regattas in the AMYA regatta schedule on the website. Also, the Bulletin is always looking for regatta results and pictures to publish. Submissions to the AMYA Bulletin can be sent to ( Have you used Bob Armbrusterís scoresheet for your regatta yet? They are available right on our website, (

After San Diego, my regatta schedule is Tilghman Island, Maryland, for EC12s and Js; Detroit for the J Nationals; St. Augustine, Florida, for the EC12 Nationals; and Annapolis, Maryland for EC12s. San Diego is in the fifth region Iíve sailed in this year. Now I just have to find an excuse to get to Region 5 to visit with either Mike Eades or Ray Seta.

You know where Iíll be. Come out to the lake and say hello.


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