The tell tale is finally written. It's been delayed becuase of sailing, lot's of sailing. This past weekend saw a great effort between sailing clubs to pull off another successful Shark's Tooth Regatta. The race is part of the greater SYBA racing circuit and attracts sailors from all over the region. The regatta saw 13 boats register and race two races on the Venice offshore marks. The VYC provided the venue for the skipper's meeting and the awards after the racing. Much thanks to Bob Eppinger and Bill Gately for doing a great job at the yacht club. The regatta raised over $7,000 towards VYBA scholarships. It was also great to see so many VSS volunteers giving their time and skills to the event. It's what makes it possible.
One of the high lights of the awards ceremony on Saturday was the 2019 SBYA sailor of the year award. It was awarded to John Lynch for his achievements and contributions to the sport of sailing in the region. John received the award to a loud round of applause from the racing crews in the audience poolside at the yacht club.
I am really excited to introduce the candidate's for the next watch. This is the first time in 4 years that we have a complete board. The new watch brings with it leadership, sailing experience and enthusiasm that will lead the club forward. I can honestly say that I am leaving things better than when I inherited them. The continued success of the squadron is central and I am satisfied that the nominating committee's recommendations will continue to improve on the momentum of the past few years.
As this watch is not over just yet, I am pleased to mention again that Frank Hill has been organizing cruising events. He was approved by the board and the general membership last month and has been installed as the Cruising Captain. I am thrilled to see this component developing again. Frank is looking for other boat owners who are willing to participate in raft ups and general day sailing. Also, qualified crew are welcome to come out. Drop Frank a line or sign up at the next member meeting.
The VYBA is looking for volunteers for their annual regatta on the 27th of April. The event based at the VYC has race courses on Robert's and on the Gulf. It attracts over a hundred youth boaters from all over Florida. Opportunities to help out abound. Contact the VYBA director Tara Foster for more details and information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Into the Season!
Ahoy and Happy New Year sailors!
January is a busy month for the club. January 1st saw another Fly Boy's Regatta in honor of past VSS member Jack Hildebrand. The race course, just off shore was raced on with the newly purchased and recently set marks. The latest course is available on the VSS site Thanks to all the members who volunteered their time and expertise with this joint VYC project. Our "permanent" ocean marks and the plan to maintain them distinguish us among sailing clubs.
In an effort to get more people comfortable sailing and racing their boats, a new event is being added to the calendar. The event called Race Clinic will introduce VSS skippers and their crew to the VSS race course with on the water training in their own boats. The more skippers who participate in this racing simulation, the more realistic and fun it is for all participating. The Race Clinic will go over race course basics, such as gps and compass headings, provide assistance with the PHRF handicapping system that gives boats a start time, and a review of saling rules as they pertain to right away on the water. The class is tentatively planed for Feb 17 interested VSS skippers and those looking to crew should send me a note about what you are looking for out of this Intro to racing event.
As we begin our sailing season, we do so with an uneasy trepidation about the waters in which we sail. Luckily for us, we sail offshore and not be inside in the bays. Nonetheless we a have a responsibility to what US Sailing calls environmental awareness and a stewardship relationship to the ocean. The stewardship principal is one of the four pillars of US Sailing's mission. We've seen how delicate our local waters are and know all too well why our national sailing organization puts such a high priority in taking responsibility for the environments we sail in.
This watch is will start with attentions focused on the sea. Last year at this time Irma was plowing into the Naples. Our coastal town was spared from the ravages of a storm bouncing up the Gulf coast as South Florida took it on the chin and the storm turned slightly towards the east. Although not left completely unscathed Venice considering the alternatives, ducked a potential disaster. This year as we monitor September’s storm season amidst the ravages of a another disaster. Our coast is besieged by a horrible, persistent toxic condition that unlike a hurricane, hasn’t blown off.
We were able to have two events this summer. In a Red TIde, the group kayaked to Midnight Pass from Black Burn Pt. The event was planned on the tide so it was behind us for each leg. Kudos to the nautical planning that went into that. We were met for lunch by more members upon returning to the Casey Key Fish House. It was a good time and was I pleased at the turn out. The second event was at Snook Haven. The event was well attended. It was a good time to keep up on the ties that bind us but the fact remained that the event was replacing the favorite VSS annual Crab Feast. The fish kills have created such a market for crabs that to meet our crab order, charges would have exceeded $1500 from a wholesaler in North Port. Last year a bushel of large males from a local restaurant cost the club $275. It wasn’t crabs but still was a good time to see the group together and excited for a new watch season.
This watch started last May on the North Jetty. with a focus on our roots as a sailing club. From that point, we’ve seen the continuation and expansion of VSS programs with a focus on our defined mission to encourage sailing, promote seamanship, foster a spirit of good sportsmanship, hold races, sponsor cruises, give instruction and sponsor entertainment for the members and their guests. We've expanded the calendar with self funding Summer events like with kayak trips, picnics and the August Crab Feast.
It is February and we are busy sailing. Sea temps are chilly but the days are getting longer as we make way into the VSS spring calendar. Club activities and programming are designed, planned and administered through the coordinated efforts of volunteers. This past weekend’s Windjammer regatta saw an example of such coordinated efforts from passionate volunteers. Sailors from multiple area SBYA sail clubs combined resources and collaborated their skills in producing a great regatta. Thanks to all the volunteers who gave of their time and expertise for this year’s sailing classic contest off Casey Key.
This year the Sailing Squadron turns 45. It’s a milestone in our club’s history that reminds us that we are part of something that’s been in Venice for longer than most of us. The simple mission to build and foster the local sailing community sets the course and provides us with the direction we still sail today.
The VSS is mandated by it’s laws to organize sailing competitions. The month of January sees the VSS as the authority for two club races, one club regatta, and one regional SBYA race - the Windjammer Regatta. The Windjammer is a classic point to point race in the Gulf from Big Pass down Casey Key to Venice with a reception at the Venice Yacht Club. The next day, the race starts off from the Venice Jetty and heads back up to Big Pass. This is one of the best events in the SBYA calendar and is part of the Boat of the Year circuit, a favorite among the local racing community.