September 1, 2017:
How DID this happen? Here we are at the unofficial end of summer, but EYC is certainly not slowing down its on-the-water activities and shoreside fun.
With Labor Day comes the Annapolis Labor Day Regatta. EYC will be hosting the Saturday night party. This is the last BIG party of summer regatta season for local sailors, so the sailors will be ready to rock-n-roll. The is also one of those times where EYC can really shine and show what we are all about — supporting water-based activities, volunteering, and having a great time! Volunteers are still needed for this event, sign up and be a part of the excitement!
Speaking of excitement and volunteering, the SAP I-505 World Championship is this month. EYC and SSA are partnering together to host this HUGE event — 89 teams from the 12 countries! WAY COOL!! Again, you can be a part of the event by signing up to volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to meet the sailors from around the world, as well as fellow EYC members.
EYC has been in touch with the world quite a bit this year. We have the 505s here this month (I hope everyone has enjoyed the weekly food specials based on the teams coming to compete — yum!), we hosted a contingent from Brazil earlier this year, and diplomats from Estonia in the last few months. What is very cool and is telling about the character of EYC, is that the City of Annapolis initially approached us to do small meetings and EYCers got excited and made it much more meaningful and in the end, more diplomatically important.
Tallinn, Estonia, is a Sister City of Annapolis. EYC now has formal reciprocity agreements with the two yacht clubs in Tallinn, the Tallinn Yacht Club and Kalev Jachtklubi. In honor of the relationship between the clubs, we installed the burgee from the Tallinn Yacht Club on National Rum Day (see more photos on the EYC Facebook page), as well as the burgee from Marina Hemingway Yacht Club in Cuba. I had the honor of presenting the EYC burgee to Commodore José Miguel Diaz Escrich when a bunch of EYCers did the Key West to Cuba race in January 2016.
What I love about this is, relationships between sailors, meaning all yachtsmen, are real. Each of these international relationships were immediate friendships. Our Brazil connections will continue at the Boat Shows, when representatives from the Niteroi will be here to attend the shows. And if you are wondering about the sailing skills of Estonians, check out an amazing account from WWII called Sailing to Freedom.
On the water boaters must rely on one another in times of trouble. One of the most heartwarming and close-to-home examples was this year’s Bermuda 1-2 when our own Vernon Hutzler had a crack develop in the keel of Wichard and other single-hand sailors changed course to get closer in case help was needed. I have believed this to also be the case ashore, and have certainly seen examples of it in a wide variety of ways.
However, my heart was broken a couple of Wednesdays ago when a storm cell descended just as WNR were starting. The wind kicked up to 30 knots and lightning strikes were across the Severn. EYC sailors were struggling to get into the marina and their slips, one Harbor 20 couldn’t get her sails down and was stuck at the mouth of the marina, and EYC-owned boats, ready for evening sailing lessons, had sails escape their ties and start to raise as the boats slammed against the bulkhead because of the wind-swept waves.
My heart broke that night because not a single EYC member sitting on the deck came down to assist our fellow sailors to safe harbor or to protect our boats. No one.
This is not what we do as sailors.
As we head into one of the biggest boating weekends of the year, please watch out for each other. This weekend, all weekends, all days.
That stormy Wednesday did have one very bright spot — our Head Instructor from the Summer Sailing Program, Isaac Merritt. Isaac was incredibly diligent about the safety of the students in the evening program and was everywhere on the docks that night helping members get to safety. Thank you, Isaac!
Isaac is just one example of the incredible team we had for this Summer’s Sailing Program. Under the leadership of Nan Walker, all of the instructors and students—both kids and adults—had a great time and learned a lot, as evidenced by the most wonderful thank you notes we have received.
The wrapping up of this summer’s sailing program marks not just the end of summer, but the end of an era. Holly O’Hare, who has been the driving force behind the Junior Committee and Sailing Program for the past 13 years, is handing over the tiller to new co-chairs, Shannon Lockwood and Greg Hryniewicz. Thank you, Holly, for all you have done to create this amazing program!
The Annual Membership Meeting date has changed. It is now Saturday, November 4. Please be sure to look at the member side of the website for information about issues on which we will be voting. After the Membership Meeting we will be heading to the Tug-o-War to help Eastport win — be sure to join the EYC tug team!
See you on the water,