Starting a Junior Instructional Program was the First Priority of 2010
I came into 2010 convinced that CYC needed to reach out to other organizations, to make an earnest and real effort to find a long range Leschi solution, to make new initiatives to get new and younger members, and to make its finances sustainable during this economic downturn.
On the first head, I held meetings and discussions with SYC, SBYC, and Sail Sand Point, and was encouraged by positive developments with Sloop Tavern Yacht Club. All of these remain a work in progress, but beginnings have been made and are continuing.
About Leschi, the reconstituted Long Range Planning Committee was temporarily tasked with this one effort. Composed entirely of Lake sailors, we met once or twice a month from February through June at Wayne Balsiger’s house, fortified by wine and cheese during meetings that lasted three hours. We did not give up, but identified and explored all possibilities and got a realistic sense of the problem space. There really is no easy or realistic near-term solution, as detailed in Remmert Wolters reports.
To renew our membership, we had ongoing Board discussions of new membership categories, which you may be seeing up for a vote by the membership in a Special Meeting in 2011. I personally recruited a number of sailors in their 20s who are new to CYC, and formed a committee which, initially chaired by Rusty Lhamon, resulted in a proposal that included having CYC run match racing and team racing in boats belonging to or under the control of CYC. This has yet to be implemented, but I hope to see it flower next year. One key to getting recent college sailors to participate is, clearly, to provide them boats they can drive and crew. There are a number of clubs – in Chicago, Long Island Sound, and Copenhagen – that have recently been formed successfully around this model and that are flourishing.
The first priority for 2010, however, was to start a CYC Junior Instructional and Racing Program. This will not only nourish the future sailors but also bring their parents into a CYC family environment. Incoming Director Jonathan Flack has made detailed researches and projections which should result in a self-sustaining program beginning in June 2011. In addition, we are already coaching a cadre of CYC Junior members who are advanced Opti racers throughout Fall 2010 and Winter 2011, at little or no cost, using volunteer coaches. One of these kids has just qualified for the Opti Worlds in Lake Garda.
In this regard, consider whether you can make a contribution tax deductible in 2010, or 2011, or both years. We are aiming for a total of $100,000 for 16 Optis, 6 420s, and gear, but we can scale down the program for the first year if we fall short. In my opinion, this is a large part of the future of CYC.
Isn’t it about time we got used to seeing kids around the clubhouse, jumping up and down because they want to get out there and race?
Make your check payable to The Sailing Foundation, with a note on the check that it is for CYC Jrs. Mail the check to the CYC office, which will note the details and forward it to The Sailing Foundation.
And finally, the key to flourishing as a club not just in this downturn but in general, is greater involvement by our members. All successful yacht clubs have greater general volunteerism than is currently the case at CYC. For some clubs, people join in order to experience the volunteer society and solidarity, which is itself the major attraction. I think we can all learn to enjoy working more with each other for the activities of the club. Like anything else – you get out what you put in, but with dividends. Please consider how you could enjoy working with other club members in 2011, and volunteer.