Make Everyone's Time on the Water Better

Years ago I was fortunate to sail throughout the world: the Med, Caribbean, a few trans-Atlantic and Panama Canal transits, the Gaelic Isles, North Africa, Europe, Central America, the west coast of North America, Alaska; places I was blessed to experience yet I always found myself comparing these fantastic locales to our own Great South Bay, where I spent my childhood learning to sail, fish, build confidence and develop a healthy respect for responsibility. Our Bay has so much to offer: breeze, anchorages, regattas, marinas, fishing, kayaking and beaches make it a memorable place not easily replicated but one that can be sorely missed.

“What?” I responded to Andrew Hemingway’s statement, “I told the Nominating Committee you’d be 1st Vice President.” Trimming the jib on the final upwind beat trying to fend off a rival on our hip left me little time for any rebuttal. And so it began - after years of sometimes being involved and sometimes not with GSBYRA, kicking and screaming I was finally being brought up to the plate. To be honest it was not because it was something I did not want to do; it had more to do with trepidation. Running fleets, programs, or classes is easy but running an organization encompassing it all is daunting.

During the off season the Officers, Executive Committee, Delegates and Fleet Captains met to chart the course for the 2017 season. With many opinions offered on what to do, it soon became apparent we all had the same goal: how to make everyone’s time on the water better.  A few of the considered topics included assisting clubs with promoting their events, tweaking our Junior Regatta format so competitors and organizers alike know what is expected, and addressing the declining participation at weekend Invitational Regattas. While there are no quick or easy answers, many ideas are always brought forward which we hope will succeed.

One of the continued topics we kept hearing was for improving communication. First, clubs must send NORs and information to the webmaster much earlier for updating the GSBYRA website. Second, using social media to get information out quickly to everyone is a priority. Jimi Grover promoted using GSBYRA Remind, a text messaging system. Sign up for GSBYRA Remind from our website. It is so easy…even I was able to sign up with minimal fuss and assistance from my girls, who laugh when I ask, “How do I get this App?” The third idea makes registration for GSBYRA Championships, Junior and invitational Regattas faster with Regatta Network. Sign up for to have much of your information automatically appear on entry forms. Additionally medical information can be uploaded.

In ending I would be remiss if I did not thank 1st Vice President Dave Hale, 2nd Vice President Al Guardino, Secretary Dina Brandenstein, Treasurer Melanie Oswalt, and Fleet Captain Jimi Grover - all of whom took on any task I asked, kept me on track and make this job look easy.

Our Bay is really one of a kind – get out and enjoy it, there are very few places as unique and remarkable!
I expect to see you out there and look forward to seeing you.

Joe Mullé