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NJYRA Commodore Nancy ChampersAs we approach summer and our sailing season, here in New Jersey, I am excited about all the upcoming Regattas and Junior Sailing Programs being planned right now. Even as I write this I must also credit some of the Ice Boaters and Frostbite Sailors who sail throughout the winter in our YRA area.

In the past couple of years, a few changes have taken place. We have gone “green” and stopped printing our yearbook, thus making us more reliant on our website, e-mail, facebook and twitter, which are continuously improving. We have added “Socials” in the spring, summer and fall to gather with fellow sailors and talk about sailing and to promote the Mission of NJYRA. We have also added a “Club of the Year Award” given to the club who is involved in a variety of ways in NJYRA, in promoting sailing. We now have “themes” at our regularly scheduled meetings. After Hurricane Sandy, we realized Yacht Clubs had unique needs to address beyond rebuilding our physical facilities. Hearing about what is going on around the country from those who attend National meetings, discussing membership and how to grow it, Junior Programs, how to run big regattas and technology are just some of the topics discussed so far.

Since our last yearbook was printed Jim Ballintine, Georgi Munger and Greg Raybon have served as NJYRA Commodores. I am honored to follow them.

We have 24 member clubs, and four college teams sailing on lakes, rivers and bays in the New Jersey/New York area. Many have active Junior Programs and High School sailing is on the rise. Our Mission is to “support and promote sailing”. As we head into the summer of 2016 be sure to encourage the members of your Yacht Club to get involved. Regattas not only need sailors and their crew but also race committees, rescue and patrol boats, scorers and cheering fans. Sailors also appreciate food and beverages before, during and after an event. Junior Programs not only need young sailors but enthusiastic, qualified instructors. There is a way for everyone to be involved. As PC Bob Slook once said “Sailing is one of the very few lifelong sports”, it is something to be done with family and friends and the place this best happens is at your Yacht Club.

May you all have “Fair Winds and Following Seas” in your sailing ventures this year.

Nancy Chambers

NJYRA Commodore 2016