2016 MYA Council Newsletter

Hello to all members.

Many of you will be aware of the difficulty the Association has had in finding a volunteer to take on the job of Editor for the Acquaint Magazine after the retirement of Charles Smith at the AGM last November.

This has given the MYA Council a real headache in what to do for the best in this situation. In truth the Association has in the past, with the benefit and experience of a seasoned editor in Charles, over delivered by producing a first class magazine three times a year. We have found that this situation is just not sustainable for the future. The ability to provide goods and services when relying on volunteers to give of their time is always going to be a problem when those volunteers are no longer available and are not able to be replaced.

Our solution is to scale down the previous magazine to become more of a newsletter, but even so to do that properly needs someone to coordinate and search out interesting features and articles. The various newsletters from North America and Australia are good examples of what can be produced but again each of those has an editor.

As previously minuted Council have regrettably reached the decision that the Acquaint as a Magazine format can no longer be produced. Thisnewsletter will be printed and posted to all members to advise you of the decision and future plans. Further newsletters will be produced but not posted, they will be published on the MYA website. This is in line with the reported objective of moving to a digital form of communication ongoing

Council recognise that part of your subscription paid for 2016 included a budget for the production and mailing of the magazine. This budget remains unspent. It is not feasible to refund each member for any unspent money. Council have therefore agreed to review the financial position prior to the AGM and to take account of the cash surplus. Based on that information and the planned budget for 2017 Council will recommend a subscription fee (as they do each year). It is highly likely that the subscription for 2017 will show a reduction for that year

When considering any future costs the MYA Council need to take in to consideration the costs of providing many of the backroom roles that are maybe forgotten by all us at times, many of which are done for low (Nil) cost but in today’s increasingly more technological society require updating or renewing and may have to be put out in to the commercial world.

Some of the items that may not be apparent at 1st glance, but are funded through the MYA membership include:

· Public Liability Insurance

· Membership Database

· MYA Yearbook

· MYA Website

· Register of Boats for all MYA and International Classes within the UK

· Measurement and Certification of Classes

· MYA Racing Calendar

· MYA Technical Team

· MYA Regulations Team

· District Teams

· HMS Scoring System

· HMS Scoring Software

· Representation within the International Radio Sailing Association

Although many may say that they don’t use these, the facts are that these items cascade down to all levels of the sport, and are an intrinsic part of what the MYA provides

It is planned that the contributors to each future newsletter will be:

· The Chairman giving an overview on how things are going,

· The Treasurer covering club or membership issues.

· The Race Officer giving the latest news on all things racing.

· The Development Officer on publicity and web developments

· The Technical Officer on the technical scene and latest results from the league results

Plus any other contributions received

For this newsletter it will be just me as Chairman with an overview. (this was written prior to the recent resignation of Keith)

Current membership numbers remain relatively static (showing a small drop) with most clubs and members re-affiliating for the 2016 year. The yearbook was posted to all affiliated members at the beginning of the year which shows the full calendar of racing events. I recently looked at what was going on around the country on each weekend, it is very impressive and shows how active the sport is at national level with numerous events each and every weekend.

As of writing this piece we have a full 84 entry for the 2016 MYA IOM National Championships at West Kirby, and over 40 entered for the Marblehead National Championships; although these are considered by some to be the top end of the sport, those who have entered vary in club location, experience and ability. Why not take a look yourself and maybe consider entering one of the MYA District, Ranking or National events. They are great fun for all and the MYA, District and Club websites have all the news and information. If you subscribe to Facebook we now have a Facebook page which also details information from the Associations activities that is cascaded to many people and a “group” called MYA Downwind! Which has less formal chat about the sport in the UK – Take a look and join in the banter…..

Many of these events are now regularly reported on MYA, District and Club websites and Facebook to keep members up to date.

If you get a chance, take a look at the ACERSAIL results on the website, these show that many club or district skippers are keenly contesting events close to home or only a few miles down the road and the scoring system allows those who do not wish to travel great distances to see their results highlighted, in fact it’s these very skippers who are getting the most out of ACERSAIL, being able to compare their positions and result against their local mates. With the majority of 2016 (and the warmer weather) to come, try entering a couple of open meetings if you haven’t done so before. They are a great way to meet fellow skippers and prove that you or your club are up there with best.

So my view is that the national programme is in good shape; but of course every club is also active with race events at a local level supporting the nine MYA classes. These events not only take place just at weekends but also for those 'silver sailors,' me included, there are regular race days throughout the week as well and the MYA continues to try to recognise the various sectors within our sport, and acknowledging that we don’t always get the balance quite right, will continue to try to provide a balanced service to our members.

Returning to the theme of sustainability my greatest concern is how the Association can be managed in the future. I am aware that we will have at least five vacancies when we come to the AGM in November with current Council members retiring. When we have asked for volunteers over the last year or so we have met with very little if any response from members who feel able to give of their time for the good of the sport. Unless we are able to fill the vacant posts Council may have no option but to scale back its activities looking to manage only issues that can be delivered upon.

The MYA is entering a new era with the continuing transition into the digital age and planned promotion to the full size sailing world, so please, whatever your age, why not step forward and help the MYA.

The positions that are currently open for suitably enthusiastic volunteers are 2016:

Vice Chairman

Editor

IOMICA Officer and Permanent IOM Class Captain

If the above remain vacant for the year 2017 onwards (In practice from the AGM in Nov 2016)

Chairman

Vice Chairman

Membership Secretary (New role)

MYA Race Officer

Development Officer

Digital Communications Officer

Editor

IOMICA Officer and Permanent IOM Class Captain

I cannot overstate the importance of the need to recruit new Council members.

All of these roles can be rewarding for any member with the right enthusiasm and willingness to “get stuck in” but even if you can’t commit or wish to be a front line officer why not join one of the backroom teams in Promotion, Membership or Race Team?

For more information please contact Chris Cook, Secretary to Council:cookcsn@sky.com

End.

Further to this piece the MYA Council will be discussing the Present and Future roles of the MYA over the next few months and welcome any comments or suggestions for the membership for inclusion within this review.

Any member who wishes to be part of a review in to the MYA and its workings, without commitment to join the MYA Council, please contact Chris Cook on the email address above and express your interest.