January 28, 2019
Dear Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Sailors, Sponsors and Friends,
With approximately 170 days left until 2019 RACE day, we’re off to a great start with 52 boats registered. Please talk to your friends at your yacht club, boat basin, and marina to encourage them to join the fun and register for this race. With more boats registered, we will have larger classes and tighter rating bands per class.
I want to thank all of those who attended the ORR/ORR-ez rating seminar in January at Bayview Yacht Club. The discussion was informative and lively. Special thanks to Jim Teeters from ORR-ez and Nathan Titcomb from ORR for flying in to address rating questions.
Jim Teeters has informed me that they are ready to process 2019 ORR-ez rating certificates. You can now apply online for your rating at https://offshoreracingassociation.org/orr-ez.
We are entering the time of year when owners start thinking about assembling their crew for the season. Some owners grow their crew with the purchase of the boat and others rotate people through positions looking for the perfect team chemistry over the season. Beyond crew assembly, owners also educate their crew on safety, position responsibility and communication on the boat.
I’ve had the good fortune to crew with the same owner for over 12 years. My skipper would use the first part of every racing day for a safety meeting. This meeting included man overboard review and sometimes hands-on practice and review of where the first aid kit is located. We would also review crew member responsibilities. I was a bowman for many years, and after some pointed feedback from the skipper, I did my best to anticipate tactical decisions before they were called to the bow such as sail changes, gybe sets, staysail use and spinnaker changes. This learning process was not possible without talking with the skipper before each race to determine what his plans were for the race that day. I also got into the habit of checking sails after each race day and repairing what I could or sending to the sail loft for repair before the next race. An active debrief at days end is ALWAYS a good idea. An active debrief right after the race on the dock helps the team come together and improve for the next race.
We also need to actively recruit new people to the sport. There are always people looking to crew from yacht club learn to sail programs including junior sailors. I was recruited at a Christmas party, I had stopped sailing for long time and the person asked if I was interested. The person took a risk in asking and it helped me get back into sailing and grow as a crew member. We are all the best agents in growing our sport.
Looking forward to seeing you all on the water on July 20th!
Cordially, Robert Nutter
Chair, 2019 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race