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Letter from the Commodore
It has been a week since the conclusion of the Hurricane Irma delayed 2017 E National Regatta in Charleston, South Carolina. Regatta Chair Walter Prause worked tirelessly with his Team at the Carolina Yacht Club to host a World Class Event, in the World Class Venue that Charleston once again proves to be. There was a lot of behind the scenes logistical adaptation that was beyond the usual scope of hosting the regatta due to the challenges that the hurricane presented last September. I personally want to thank Walter, and his team, for providing the E Fleet with an opportunity to have the National Regatta in Charleston. We love going to Charleston. The sailing was tough, but that happens when the best come together to compete anywhere - let alone in a venue as notoriously challenging as Charleston’s currents and tides posed to all of us as competitors. In that regard, I think most attendees would agree — Charleston delivered big time.
Looking back at the overall event provided several take-a-ways from the regatta that your Executive Board of Directors of the NCESA have noted and discussed since the event. Action items are now being compiled. We all collectively strive to ensure that we provide each other as E Scow sailors the best on the water experience as possible - it is my major priority as the current Commodore of the Class. Further, I feel my major responsibilities are to keep abreast of the feedback that participants have about the venues to which we travel to race by listening to competitors and show respect for the protection of the investment of time and money that people make to be part of our class. We are all blessed to share time with family and friends playing the coolest game in the coolest boats that exist. What we enjoy as a class, the heritage and history of our class, as well as the direction of the class, is of utmost concern to me as Commodore. Proper respect, reverence and stewardship of these concerns are not to be taken for granted by those of us who have spent a lifetime making lifelong friendships because of what we share collectively together in the Class.
A few opportunities to make some adjustments to the way the Class conducts business of coordinating the Nationals has wide implications and sets the tone for regional events - which are the life blood of the Class. The regional events need to look to the Class at the National level for guidance, communication, and protocols which we need to collectively agree to adhere to, because what we have - what we enjoy and share together is precious - and can be fragile. Many of us follow what has been going on in other one-design classes elsewhere worldwide and, due to lack of foresight, for a host of reasons, their event and participation numbers are waning. As a class, we need to be cognizant of that. We need to protect and nurture what we have - the best boats, sailed at some of the most spectacular locations anywhere on earth, with people that we care about.
Comparatively, our Class is STRONG! The PROOF is in the pudding - we had 15 new first-time skippers at the Charleston event. As I mentioned briefly at the skippers meeting, this is a very healthy sign for our class. We do a lot of things well and have successfully cultivated enthusiastic support of competitors and the crucial support of volunteers at our events nationwide. As such, we are all extremely blessed to be part of this incredibly wonderful organization - and the BOD of the NCESA works together with this in mind. It is in our culture to recognize this - have respect for it - and nurture it for generations to come.
That being stated, the BOD has some questions for the class as a whole. We are going to be posting a survey for some feedback on the NCESA web site soon. We have to make some ‘tweaks’ to ensure we are respecting the class membership as a whole, again in an effort to provide the absolute finest racing experience on the water that we can and that competitors continue to want to spend their hard-earned dollars and vacation time. What happens off the water has a direct correlation to what happens on the race course.
Some things we on the Executive Board of the NCESA are reviewing are:
Again, these are just of few of the immediate actions that are under review, and my intent is to get these changes implemented in time for the Oshkosh Nationals this fall. I hope to have all of your support as a class to succeed in this effort.
As the summer sailing season for all of us ramps up, I hope to hear from many of you with ideas as to what you feel is important to assure we keep our rocking class rolling along into the foreseeable future and beyond. Look for the survey on the class website in the next week or two. Your BOD welcomes and needs your feedback to preserve and always celebrate what we care so much about - keeping the E Scow Fleet the preeminent one-design sailing class on-and-off the water. Have a great summer racing and I hope to cross tacks with many of you in the near future.