Winter Meeting Re-cap

Despite Mother Nature’s attempt to keep the number to a minimum of those attending the 2017 GYA Winter Meeting we had great attendance. Every committee meeting was full (some had to bring in extra chairs), roughly 100 attendees at the Awards Banquet and 18 clubs represented at the Board of Directors meeting.

The 2017 GYA Bridge: Michael Hage (GYC), Commodore; Chris Luppens (MYC), Vice Commodore; Shan Kirk (SYC/PontYC), Rear Commodore; Cathy Cromartie (FYC), Past Commodore; Jennifer Schmidt (SYC/MYC), Secretary/Treasurer.

The ExCom met on Friday evening. During that meeting it was decided to close the GYA savings account and move that money to our investment accounts. The ExCom feels there is little to no benefit to have funds sitting in an account that draws so little interest. It was also decided that at the end of each year any funds in the checking account in excess of $5,000 will be moved to the investment accounts. The primary goal of the investment accounts is the self-insurance of GYA perpetual trophies.

The GYA ExCom and the Safety Advisory Committee encourages all GYA Clubs, Jr. Programs and individuals to purchase a subscription to the Storm Trysail Foundation Safety At Sea videos. The SaS videos, narrated by Storm Trysail Club member Gary Jobson, vary in length from 3 minutes to 27 minutes and cover subjects from Man Overboard Recovery, safety equipment, understanding weather and more. For a one-time fee of $40 you receive lifetime access to the full library to view over and over. More information here.

Full Committee reports will be published with the minutes, but some items of note that came from the various Committee meetings:

The Fish Class Curren Perpetual Trophy will permanently reside at Buccaneer YC. Due to the trophy’s age and fragility, it will not travel. A suitable keep award is being considered to award to the winner of the trophy.

The One-Design Council will have “Demo Days” in 2017 at various regattas, with the goal being to expose sailors to new and existing boats and classes they may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience. The first demo day will be in conjunction with the Opening Regatta at Gulfport YC on May 6-7.

The Offshore Council reported that regulations for the GYC PHRF Circuit are almost complete and will include regattas along the Gulf Coast to determine the GYA PHRF Boat of the Year. Navy YC will host the GYA PHRF Women’s Championship in 2017. The 2017 Challenge Cup will include a steeplechase/fixed mark race to be sailed after a windward/leeward race on either Friday or Saturday. Be on the look-out for some updated Offshore Regulations and By-Laws which will be noticed and voted on at the Opening Regatta Board of Directors meeting. Good response from safety measures implemented in 2016.

The Appeals Committee had three appeals in 2017; one was resolved and two have been appealed to US Sailing. It is anticipated that a decision on the US Sailing appeals will come in January or February 2017.

Bernard Moseby was selected as the President of the GYA Foundation Board. The Foundation considered three requests from sailors for financial assistance and made disbursements totaling $2338. A fourth request was incomplete but will be considered once proper documentation is received.

The Judges Committee reported there is still a need for more certified Race Officials and Judges in the GYA.

Capdevielle: Until there is a ruling on one of the appeals with US Sailing, the 2016 Overall Capdevielle Winner cannot be awarded. Biloxi YC won the Mississippi Challenger Division. No club in Alabama or Louisiana met all of the requirements for Challenger Division, and the Florida winner will be determined once a ruling is handed down on the aforementioned appeal. Modifications to the Regulations for the Challenger Division are being considered.  At the Viper 640 Annual General Meeting the GYA sail numbering was approved, which allows for GYA sailing numbering to be recognized at sanctioned Viper events. Other Viper 640 class rule changes were discussed. Buccaneer YC was the winner of the 2016 Sportboat Championship, with Gulfport YC 2nd and St. Andrews Bay YC 3rd. Eight regattas in 2017 will be included in the Sportboat Championship: Mardi Gras, Opening, Candler, Meigs, Summer, Weatherly, Wadewitz and Sugar Bowl. See the GYA Sailing Schedule for full details and dates.

Elizabeth McGriff (Fairhope YC) was appointed Chair of the Youth Committee. At the Opening Regatta there will be a trial format for a youth event to be comprised of 3 fleets – singled-handed to be sailed in the Laser Radial, doublehanded in the 420 with trap/spin and triplehanded in the Flying Scot. Team scores in the 3 fleets will be combined to determine overall winner. High performance clinics will be held throughout the year at various clubs with high level coaches brought in. Fairhope YC will host the Area D Championship June 9-11, a qualifier for the US Sailing Youth Championship.

The 2017 Schedule is on-line at  Clubs are strongly encouraged to use the link sent to them to post NoRs and results. If any club needs their link resent, contact Randy Fitz-Wainwright.

As you can see, it was a very productive weekend and there is a lot of momentum in the GYA, from youth events to big boat sailing and everything in between.