Greetings Sailors!

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.

The plague of toxic water has been taking its toll on sailing throughout our community. For the first time since I've lived in Florida, the Green Flash Series of races wasn't run this summer in part due to the red tide. I started to run into VSS sailors at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron until the tide made into Sarasota Bay.  In late summer, the SSS cancelled their Labor Day Regatta, for only the second time since its inception in 1946.  I just received notice that the annual Junior Olympic event at the Edison Sailing Center in Fort Myers has also been cancelled.  The River Romp is a pinnacle event for youth sailing in Florida. The event sees hundreds of youth sailors from all over Florida and beyond competing for points to qualify for the Junior Olympics. It was cancelled as the Caloosahatchee River is a major source of red tide in the Gulf and it was deemed unsafe for the youth sailors in their dinghies and prams. Personally, I've taken my teenager out of the youth sailing program. That was not an easy decision. 

With that said, I am hopeful and excited about this year's sailing season. We are a volunteer organization and I guarantee you will get more out of the club if you lend your time to it. Whether it's joining the board or a committee, or offering your time for a single event, we are a hands-on club and rely on our members to get things done.

FWC RED TIDE PAGE - Links to Florida Fish & Wildlife extensive red tide page with maps.

October is a busy month for our club and our annual membership efforts are underway. It's time to renew your membership if you haven't already.  The Venice Sun Fiesta on the weekend of the 19th - 21st is traditionally the VSS's annual community contact event. This year, like last, the VSS booth will be present but unlike last year the event will be held at the Venice Airport. We have a new booth that will be very attractive and distinctive.  Come join the fun and sign up at this week's potluck Wednesday at the community center.

I am truly encouraged by the energy of this year's watch members.  It's inspiring to work with people who bring such a positive, constructive and enthusiastic approach to an endeavour. The board members have risen to the task and the club is in sound and able hands.  However, vacant board positions means double duties for the club's officers and directors.

The club appreciates the extra work and efforts from so many of it's volunteers. We could do more with more hands on deck. The  squadron needs volunteers to assist with various committees like:

  • planning and logistics for  social events

  • organizing a cruising program

  • editing and publishing the newsletter

  • social media management

  • regatta committee

Hope to see everyone at this week's member meeting

Jonathan Phillips
VSS Commodore
2018 - 19 Watch