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2009 Fall Newsletter


What a quick summer.  The weather did not cooperate but the club was very busy with racing, regattas and social activities, as well as the sailing program and junior activities.  I am always impressed with the staff at the club and I commend them for another great season.  This year was a very challenging year for the club financially, but even with no dues or fee increases the club is financially strong.  The funds raised for the Zodiac for the sailing program was success.


I would like to thank the members for allowing me to serve as your Commodore for the last 2 years.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and could not have done the job without the club’s strong board and staff.   I am confident Ken Kaiser will do a fine job as the next Commodore.  I wish you well and hope that you have a great winter.  Spring will come.

Steve Fritch, Commodore

The club finances continue to be in excellent shape.  Despite the dismal outlook for the economy in general, a combination of prudent budgeting and conservative spending has limited the impact upon the club’s finances.  Knowing tough times were in store, we held dues increases to a minimum in budgeting the year’s income and we project that we will fall short of our target by only 1.2%, due in large part to a fall off in membership.  By year’s end, barring any major surprises, we should spend about $800 less than we projected, leaving us with an operating deficit for the year of approximately $2,000.  The result, although not as positive as was the case in the last few years, is none the less very acceptable.  The status of our accounts at the end of the year is projected to be
Operating Account             32,771.48
Capital Projects Account     2,995.52
Vanguard Account            64,560.12
Reserve Accounts             21,102.88
Total                               121,430.00

In addition, the Junior Yacht Club balance is $4,127.30.

In all, smooth sailing.
Frank Hassler, SBYC Treasurer

House Committee:

In general, we are ending the season with the club facilities in good shape. Once again members of the club have stepped up and helped out with many projects throughout the summer. A big thank you to all of you. Thank you also to everyone who volunteered in the ship’s store both on Sunday mornings and also stocking the store with new merchandise.

Thank you to Ron and the launch operators. Throughout the summer they deal daily with broken boats and other unexpected things that pop up around here and get them fixed as quick as possible. They do such a good job that most of us don’t know anything is broken.

The floats came out of the water on October 14th with the help of many club members and other volunteers. This process has become a well-oiled machine over the years.  The years and years of experience show!

We scaled back a bit on planned projects this year due to the uncertainty in revenues but we were able to accomplish getting the floor redone and a few other small projects. We also met with Scott Oil to talk about the status of our oil burner which had been on our capital project list. Scott Oil advised that based on our usage and needs we do not need to replace the furnace at this time. We still are looking to replace the interior lights and add a few additional lights under the awning in the back in the near future. Somewhat larger projects on the horizon include replacing the two upstairs sliders and repair or replace the clubhouse windows. As the season comes to a close we will reassess our capital project list and see where we stand going forward.

Story Reed, House Committee

Race Committee:

The SBYC racing season ended with the Cruising Class Ocean Race as the grand finale.  With 20-30 knot winds and gusts up to 35, the 15 mile course was completed in about three hours by all eight competitors.   

2009RaceCommittee.jpgOverall, the season worked out very well.  Despite less than optimal conditions, we were pleased to complete most of our races, with good turnout from all fleets.  Although we still encourage fleets to designate crews for the Committee boat, this year we were able to staff most weekends with Race Committee members.   

I want to gain thank our volunteers, especially our PROs, who continue to make racing possible.  This year’s race Committee included; Roger Lesch, Russ Smith, Betsy Salas, Frank Hassler, Dana Jorgenson, Mike Farragher, Guy Parsons, Ed Salas, Gil McCarthy, Bob Gray, Charlie Clark, Jim Lidington, Joanne Lavigne and of course, Ron Petoff.  Special thanks to Karen Ouellette, Dana Jorgenson and Jo-Ann Lavigne for handling the prizes.  The Race Committee wrapped up its year with a small gala at the Ouellettes in Rockport.  

Thanks to a generous contribution of a trophy from the Rhodes 19 Fleet, we have established the Bobby Paine Perpetual Award for outstanding Race Committee volunteerism.  This year the award went to Roger Lesch for his longstanding contributions to the Race Committee, including his highly acclaimed Wednesday Night Race Series.   

Over the winter we will be working to further improve racing at the club, with a planned US Sailing seminar to train Principal Race Officers and a Racing Rules Seminar for the Race Committee. We will also be having meetings with the Race Committees at other clubs to further develop interclub racing opportunities.  

As always, Race Committee welcomes new volunteers -we will train anyone willing to make the commitment of time and effort.

Although we continue to update the Race Committee boat and equipment, of primary concern is securing a new mark boat.  We are actively looking for a 20-22 foot center console, either fiberglass or RIB, preferably with a newer engine and a t-top either through a donation or purchase by the club.  Anyone with suggestions, please contact me.

Stephen M. Ouellette, Race Committee Chairman   

Membership Committee:

I’m sure that many of us have been affected by the recent downturn in the economy. During these stressful times it is reassuring to me that I have an avenue to briefly escape and enjoy the ocean, wonderful friends and focus on sailboat racing or other boating and social activities. Sandy Bay Yacht Club is just the right place for this. The fun and friendship at the club and on the race course is “happy” therapy for me. For me, it is well worth the membership dues as I’m sure other forms of therapy would be far more costly. Spread the word among your family, friends, neighbors and business partners; that the SBYC is a “Happy” place and there’s lots of fun and friendship to be had!

As I’ve mentioned in the past, membership is vitally important to our club. In 2008 we had 782 members. The highest year for membership since 1987 was in 1999 with 916 members. The average number of members over the past 22 years is 813. This year (2009) we had a significant decline in membership, only 692. During tough recession times the club is the best deal in town and offers tremendous value for your dollars! I encourage everyone to go out and recruit a new member. If each individual makes this effort we will grow our club back to previous membership levels and help keep dues and fees at the current affordable levels. But, more people, more fun! Go out and recruit.

We had a great membership committee this year: Dana Jorgensson, Lia Farel, Bob Visnick, Marilyn Thompson, Betsy Levick, Henrietta Hung and me, Earl Meredith–Chairman.

Over the years the membership committee has organized special events to entice new members and nurture current members. This year was no different. The Sunday morning coffees had record attendances. New friends and current members joined us for coffee and goodies each Sunday for the entire summer.

The ever popular “Casual Fridays” (cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the front porch!) occurred on July 10th and August 14th. These Friday afternoon social events, for new members, were hugely popular! We had large turn-outs and everyone enjoyed participating in the raffles that were new this year. Whale watch tickets, bottles of wine, and other prizes were handed out.

The Membership Committee is committed to working very closely with the Social Committee and the Junior Yacht Club. It is very important to all of us, on this committee, and indeed our mission, to ensure that the SBYC meets the expectations of all members. In order for us to be successful, we need to hear from you. Committee members were much more visible this year as we wore SBYC membership committee polo shirts to facilitate locating us. I hope that helped everyone find us when you had a membership question or while recruiting new members. Please feel free to contact any committee member if you have any recommendations on membership or need recruitment materials.

We’re looking back on a wonderful club season (with the exception of the first couple of weeks in June—cold, rainy and windy) and we want to welcome you back as returning members, and inviting new folks to join our club next year.

Earl Meredith, Chairman

Social Committee Report:

Summer? What summer? All I remember is rain! Oh wait, and some awesome social events at the club!  Rain or no rain, we still had a great summer sailing, racing, porch sitting and socializing!  The Gods seemed to shine on our social events for the most part, weather-wise, and we had a very successful season!  From the Commodore’s reception to the 4th of July chowder, to the hugely successful Flaming Fling with Alex Razdan and A Train, which brought the semi –annual dance back to the club for the first time in a long time!  The dock looked awesome bathed in pink with flamingos flapping their wings – and a great time was had by all!  And we can’t forget the harvest dinner or the once again hugely popular 2nd (hopefully annual) Italian dinner!  Thank you all so much for supporting the club by attending the events.  Be sure to tell everyone you know how much fun it is at Sandy Bay Yacht Club!  See you at the Pageant!

Katy McGrath & Karen Ouellette
Social Committee Co-Chairs

Development Committee:

We had a successful Thursday Talk Series and concluded a major fundraising initiative for the purchase of a new Zodiac coach boat for the Sandy Bay Sailing and Scholarship Program, Inc.

Six Thursday Talks were held with attendees ranging from sixty to an all-time high of eighty starting with Bill Lee’s insightful and fascinating New Ocean Odyssey.  Barbara Block of Stanford University gave an outstanding presentation on the Migration of Giant Blue Fin Tuna which she follows by satellite throughout the world.  Anita Diamant’s Talk on Writing about Cape Ann drew a large and enthusiastic audience with compelling stories of her Cape Ann research and writing. Bob Hawley of Dartmouth gave a Talk on Ice Cores, Ice Sheets and Sea Level providing a unique look at his original work in more than fifteen years of research in the Antarctic. Joanne and Peter Souza showed a video of the last dorying days of the Schooner Adventure and updated us on their plans for educational funding.  Steve Oullette’s program on American Fisheries was a tour de force of fisheries history, regulation and prospects for the future of fisheries on Cape Ann.

A total of $25,700 was raised for the Sailing Program’s Zodiac coach boat thanks our members’ support, impressive participation, generous contributions, and the substantial matching grant from a member family.  The new boat has already helped make a difference in running a safe and effective program.  

We have lined up several speakers for the 2010 season including Bill Lee’s popular kick-off Talk on marine life; a sailing tactics and strategy seminar by Jud Smith, and a look at ship modeling and sailing vessels throughout the world, especially New England by Erik Ronnberg.  We have formed a group to work on the additional talks and will have more information on that and the additional 2010 Talks in the next newsletter.

Thanks to everyone for your support and help!
Liz Kubik, Development Committee

Sailing Program:

2009NewZodiac.jpgThe SBYC Sailing Program had a full and fun season under the leadership of Program Director Jen Doyle. She was assisted by many returning instructors as well as some new ones.  The program continues to develop strength and depth that bodes well for the future.

In addition to providing beginning, intermediate and advanced sailing instruction, the program offers a racing and non-racing track to suit the needs of our young sailors. This has proved to be the right combination.  

Sailors enjoyed many opportunities for fun whether cruising to Thacher’s Island or racing against themselves or sailors from other clubs. SBYC sent racers to Annisquam, Manchester, Marblehead, Scituate and Newport over the course of the summer.  

While all the boats are now put away for the winter, plans are being made for the 2010 season. Stay tuned for more announcements during the new year.

Charlie Clark, Sailing Program

Junior Committee:

The Junior Co-Commodores, Alexa Jorgensson and Amelia Quinn, did an excellent job for their second summer. The seasons events began with the Fourth of July float, followed by a talent show, beach cookouts, movie nights and election night. The new Co-Commodores and their committee are as follows

Jr. Commodore – Julie Zavrl
Vice Commodore – Ben Zorfas

Junior committee to help them is:
Sarah Visnick, Isabel Fitzpatrick, and Alexandra Paradis.

This new and enthusiastic crew started their reign with a bang as they kicked off the Labor Day games. Fun for all ages as the youth of our Club rowed a race, created "unsinkable" boats, ate watermelon and searched for candy.

Next summer is already shaping up to be a special one as ideas have already begun to be discussed for a beach towel instead of tshirts, maybe an extra beach cookout…. Now we just have to survive the winter. Stay warm and see you all in the Spring.

One final note. I enjoyed being the Junior advisor for the past four years. We have had much help by parents, friends and members of SBYC. Thank you all. And mostly thank you to all the Junior Officers who I have worked with and have become friends with. All their hard work and dedication is what gives all of us our fun memories of being a kid at Sandy Bay.

Beth Leahy, Junior Activities

Posted on November 29th, 2009 by Administrator in General News