Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April Mainsheet Column

Hello again Albergers!

Much has transpired since our last publication: the weather has become warmer, the seminars have been completed, NOOD registration has opened, and we have had a ROBUST discussion about masthead replacement! Before I go any further I would like to address my role in that discussion. Those of you who read the e-mail list will probably recall that there was a hearty, spirited (some might say a tad acrimonious) discussion on the subject of a potential replacement masthead fitting. I played a significant role in this conversation, and I am afraid that some of my remarks were a touch too sharp. For that I want to apologize, especially to Michael Grosh. In the end, I think the conversation did come around to a positive, well-reasoned discussion of the merits and demerits of the potential change that some people may want to embark upon regarding masthead fittings. I believe that we are going to have more discussion over the coming weeks and months, but I am confident that, in the end, we are going to see a clear consensus that accommodates all viewpoints and from which we can move forward with clear understanding. I further hope that anybody who may have been offended by my communication will forgive me for writing more quickly than I thought. And that is all I have to say about that.

Thanks to the hard work of Andrew Cole who is the CBYRA Cruising One Design representative, and his efforts at building consensus among the cruising one design fleets (us, the Cal 25's, Catalina 27's, J/35's, J/105's, Benneteau 36.7's, and Ohlson 30's), we have successfully raised the issue of the NOOD regatta cost at the CBYRA, Sailing World, and AYC levels and gotten them to agree to allow us to register for the regatta WITHOUT paying for a party ticket. This will result in a savings of $48 off the price of admission for this year's regatta. Since many of us do not attend the party anyhow, this is a mighty good deal (or at least a much better deal than before!) Of course, if you want to attend the party, you may still purchase a ticket, but now at least you are afforded the option. Regardless of whether or not you purchase a party ticket, everybody is able to attend the awards ceremony on Sunday. I know this for certain as last year I lost my party ticket but was still able to attend the awards (albeit they did not give me a wrist band for the bar...). Regatta cost is one of my main hot-button issues regarding sailboat racing, and we will continue to work on bringing regatta registration fees down so that hopefully next year we will be able to get a price reduction in the already-too-high cost of entry into premier regatta's like the NOOD. I will keep you posted on this.

Speaking of the NOOD, did I mention that registration is open? You can register online at www.sailingworld.com/nood. This is a great event and it will correspond with this year's spring rendezvous so I hope you will consider coming out to race with us in the first big regatta of the year! Keep in mind that the NOOD regatta winner gets the Maple Leaf Trophy which is one of the most awesome trophies ever, so it's definitely something for which to strive! If you are apprehensive, have questions, or if there is anything I can do to help you get out on the water for the NOOD, please don't hesitate to contact me.

The seminar season wound up with a great potpourri where Alon Finkelstein of Farr Yacht Design gave us a run-down of latest developments in racing yacht design and Gordon Laco made the trip all the way from Canada to discuss his role in the making of the "Master and Commander" film as well as his process of becoming an officer in the Canadian Navy which made for great stories. The maintenance seminar was also excellent in particular from the racing perspective with Reid Beigel giving everybody the down-low on rig tuning. I was unfortunately unable to attend that one and boy do I regret it!

Well that is about all I have for right now. I am really looking forward to getting out on the water with the warmer weather. I hope to see you out there. If there is anything I can do to help you get out racing, please don't hesitate to contact me at jbergqui@gmail.com or 410-507-3107. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about racing or help you get out on the water!

Also, don't forget to bookmark the racing blog at http://alberg30racing.blogspot.com in your web browser. We will be providing regatta reports, pictures, and other racing news on this blog throughout the season.

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