President's Letter
by David Brawner

Using the ballot contained with this issue, please take the time to vote. I note that there is a motion to form a seventh region, on which everyone is eligible to vote. John Davis and I have submitted comments on this motion, which can be found on page XX.

A handful of classes have already held their national championship regattas. And, I am happy to report that they have already received their regatta subsidies from the AMYA. For those that are hosting NCRs in the coming months, the process to get the subsidy is pretty straightforward. First, all regatta participants need to be members of the AMYA or their appropriate national authority; then, simply submit a regatta report for publication in Model Yachting-not exactly a difficult task.

During the first half of the year, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend events in five of the six regions, featuring many different classes. The events really ran the gamut of our model sailing offerings, from NCRs in San Francisco and New Hampshire; to annual regattas in Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maryland, and South Carolina; to club racing in Phoenix, Arizona.

With my sample size growing, my main observation is that lakeside boorish behavior is diminishing and is less and less acceptable. I am crediting strong regatta management and strong club leadership.

My first ever IOM regatta was the NCR in San Francisco, and I was just a spectator. Simply put, in many ways this was one of the best regattas I have ever seen. With many of the world's top sailors attending, there was never any doubt in my mind that this would be a highly competitive event; however, I was caught a bit off guard by how calm and controlled the competitors were.

The setting for this regatta was Pier 80 in San Francisco. It is better known as the home of Oracle Racing. As you drive on to the pier, you are met by the Oracle trimaran, which brought the cup home from Valencia in 2010. Heck, it's just sitting there in the parking lot. Trust me, there are plenty of pictures of it on my cell phone.

The site, while not exactly picturesque, is absolutely perfect for a regatta. I don't know what it is about California, but my experience is the breeze always starts at 10 a.m., not 9:30, not 9:45; it's always 10 a.m., and it always seems to come from the same direction. In this case, it funnels down the hill and flows parallel to the bulkhead where the skippers stand, elevated about 8-10 feet above the water. The windward mark would be set toward the head of this 400-ft.-wide body of water, formed by bulkheads on either side. The limiting factor for the leeward mark would have been Alameda on the other side of San Francisco Bay. For this regatta, the leeward mark was about 800 feet away from the windward mark. It was a long course, with room to roam side to side.

So, back to a point I made earlier. Though the competition at this regatta was at the highest level I had ever witnessed, the competitors were extremely well behaved and very quiet. I expected tension. I expected loud disagreements. What I found was my preconceived notions were entirely wrong. In this case, I welcome being wrong.

As it seems with all IOM regattas, Fred Rocha was the Regatta Director. Fred deserves a lot of credit for the exciting things happening in this class. They used the "observer system" during each heat, which meant three skippers from another heat were each assigned to watch a different part of the fleet (front, middle, or rear) and call contact or fouls. Roy Langbord was in charge of gathering and assigning the observers. As far I could tell, the system worked extremely well. I left the regatta with the feeling that I would love a chance to sail in this class. Do I blame Fred for that?

My schedule cleared up at the last moment, and I was able to join in as part of the race committee for the Soling One Meter NCR, hosted by the New Hampshire Boat Museum-Back Bay Skippers, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Mark Whitehead and the gang took care of every detail and creature comfort possible. My role was to step in and start the two-minute clock. It was a bit unfortunate that Mother Nature couldn't find it in her heart to provide a bit more breeze, and that the township couldn't have waited just one more week to cut the weeds from the bay. Nonetheless, it was clear that the organizing committee had worked long and hard to plan this event. I appreciated the opportunity to join in the fun, meet a great bunch of folks, and visit such a neat town.

My upcoming travels include sailing in the NCR the J Class in Mystic, Conn., the Santa Barbara in San Francisco, and the EC12 in High Point, N.C. Also, I'll get to be Regatta Director for the RC Laser NCR in Oxford, Md., and the V-32 NCR in Des Moines, Iowa. Sorry, I didn't mean to turn my letter into a travelogue, but it certainly has that appearance. Needless to say, I am enjoying our hobby.

I'd like to thank Robert Franklin for taking the Class Secretary position for the Nirvana Class, when Rodney Leathers decided to step down. The class held a very successful regatta in Black Mountain, N.C., in June.

Also, I'd like to thank Will Lesh, of Tippecanoe Boats, for his efforts in increasing the AMYA membership rates among the purchasers of his very popular T-37. He and Michelle Dannenhoffer have worked on a coordinated marketing effort, supported by the AMYA, for both his boats and the AMYA. Michelle has noted that presently a large percentage of our new members are coming from the T-37 Class.

I am continually thankful for the vast number of volunteers who make this organization, and our hobby in general, run smoothly. My job at the head of the table is made easier by each and every one of these volunteers. I hope you enjoy the rest this issue of the magazine. See you at the lake sometime soon.


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