Racing Dreams….

Hello!

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season and your boats are snuggled in for this last stretch of cold weather. Before you know it, we’ll put them back in the lake for another year of FFaF (Fun, Family & Friends) — annnnd RACING!

Remembering Last Season…

Relaxing over the holiday, I remembered the good times from GPYC’s first season and thought about this coming season.

Our first full year opened Memorial Day weekend with Ben and Peter’s racing chalk talk followed by the traditional round-Hoyt’s Island race and then a party on Witkins’ beach. The party highlight was Captain Weenie and his famous dogs cooked in bacon fat. (Interesting strategy, Capt. Weenie: Kill off the competition?)

The next event was the Rasta Race and Raft-Up. After a late start, Jack Shultz smoked us all in his Hobie. Then it was off to Crooked Island for some Jamaican Jerk kabobs. If only we had a lighter for the grill! With a little creative problem solving, we got a spark from the committee boat battery, and the food was promptly devoured.

Racing wrapped up with a pre-hurricane regatta hosted by Mark and Pam at Camp Runoia. We raced when we should have been prepping for the storm…but it was so nice out there! Peter took the prize, on corrected time (of course!).

…and Planning for This Season

We learned last year that sailing lessons are in demand. Adults want to sharpen their skills, and parents are looking for something for the kids to do. So, we plan to team up with local organizations to establish a youth sailing program and adult lessons. If you want to help with this, please email Mimi Kopp or Barb Ford. We also plan to start a women’s sailing program. If you’d like to help with this, please contact Barb.

We’ve begun building two training vessels called El Toros, eight-foot prams with a single sail. The boats are small but very stable and super fun for kids as well as adults to sail. They’re easy to build and maintain. We plan to build at least two and then involve other community groups in building more.

We also learned we need to decide on race dates well in advance of the season, so you can plan to be there. We’ll also make every effort to start each race on time. Below is a tentative schedule. Please let us know what you think!

Proposed 2012 Schedule:

Saturday, April 21 — Spring will be here before we know it, and it’s time to start planning. At this meeting, we’ll hold elections to fill our open officer positions (Social Director, Youth Director, and Communications Director), set the calendar for 2012, and discuss our youth and adult sailing programs. Please let us know if this date does not work for you — we’d love to see you there.

Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday) – Chalk talk at Witkins’ (pending their approval) followed by the annual ’Round Hoyt’s Race and BBQ. Start time to be announced.

Saturday, June 23rd — Rasta Race and Raft-Up. Join us for a race followed by a little island time, mon. Start time to be announced.

Saturday, July 21st – King Kababa Kup. Perhaps we can get Runoia and Pine Island to join us and duke it out. Start time to be announced.

Saturday, August 25th — Hurricane Cup. We’re working on details for this one!

Beer Can Racing — Every Saturday, 1:00 pm sharp. In addition to event races (above), this year we’ll establish a set time to race every Saturday that we don’t have an event race scheduled. We’ll develop a few courses that involve landmarks or navigational buoys, so we don’t have to set marks. On race day, depending on the wind, we’ll simply announce the course from the committee boat. We’ll post the courses will on the GPYC website and provide them to racers in hard copy.

All rain dates will be the following Saturday.

We always welcome volunteers to staff the committee boat; please let us know if you’re interested (training is available, and it’s an easy way to participate).

Dues Are Due

It’s also time to renew your membership — or become a new member.

Dues for 2012 are $50 per member to cover our group insurance plan, which allows us to organize races and use other people’s boats without incurring personal liability. We’ll also use the funds to organize further fundraising efforts to benefit the junior sailing program.

At your earliest convenience, please make your check payable to Great Pond Yacht Club and mail it to:

Great Pond Yacht Club
℅ Ben Ford
267 West Elm Street
Yarmouth, ME 04096

Send Your Membership Survey

If you’d like to become a new member — or you’re already a member but have never filled out a membership survey, please do so — download one here and tell us all about how you’d like to participate in the Yacht Club.

We welcome suggestions for the upcoming season. Our goal is to grow membership, and we tdhink the youth sailing program is the key to getting more families involved — your thoughts? Anything else we need to think about? Just let us know!

Ben Ford
GPYC Commodore

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About Great Pond Yacht Club

Great Pond Yacht Club is for avid sailors as well as those new to the sport on Great Pond in Maine's Belgrade Lakes region. Our goal is to create and foster a culture of sailing, racing, and camaraderie on Great Pond.
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