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.
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.
It was great to see so many people in attendance at this year’s blustery Steak and Sail. The venue was most welcoming in reserving the the water taxis for us and providing such a great menu for our group. In return, we filled their panoramic dinning room with gregarious sailors, a win-win for everybody. We were not alone in our campaign to fill the restaurant, we were joined by representatives from the Englewood Sailing Association, with whom we are picnicking this Saturday. It was a fantastic day out on the key and a great day for the Venice area sailing community.
So far this year our first meeting, the first race and first event were canceled. We even had a rain issue over the summer with an event as well. This is proving to be an eventful - noneventful watch year with two hurricanes interfering with our schedule. It was good to finally have a VSS event and come together as a club at the community center last week. I am excited to get the season underway and past all this storm damage.
Greetings from Venice. Our community is still cleaning up and emerging from a visit with hurricane Irma. Even though we were spared the worst of the winds and the tidal surge never materialized, the area did not weather the event entirely unscathed. The VSS September meeting was one minor casualty of the storm, some the VSS offshore buoy's are scattered and the VYBA lost half of their 420 fleet due to a tree limb crashing the trailer parked under it. None the less we consider ourselves lucky as we look to the devastated communities in the wake of this year's ongoing storm season and consider ourselves thankful for what we still have.