November Notes from Commodore

Take Advantage of Training Opportunities


Last year, I served as Principal Race Officer (PRO) for an annual regatta at our club. Due to the light wind conditions, not one race was completed, a first in the regatta’s history.  Out of consideration for the competitors, we kept the racers on shore for a majority of the postponement time.  The competitors appreciated this, and the evening party was a good one, so everyone had fun and enjoyed the weekend.

I served as PRO for the regatta again this year and luckily most of our original team was able to return as well.  We were all set, but the unexpected happened. Our No. 2 person who manages the team communications, received a call during the Skippers’ Meeting that required him to leave immediately to handle an out of town family emergency.  With two hours until the start, we needed to fill his spot.

Fortunately, Means Davis, 2016 winner of the U.S. Sailing Harman Hawkins Award for the major role he has played in the advancement of race administration, lives down the street from the Atlanta Yacht Club. He was quick to say yes to my request, and our team went on to run a strong regatta.

While there is a dedicated effort to introduce people to sailing and get them on the water, our efforts do not end here. For people to participate in well-run sailing events and advance their skills, trained race administration volunteers are needed.

What percentage of your club members are trained race administration volunteers or PROs?  Are there newer members pursuing race administration training?

Within our SAYRA community, we have several certified instructors who are available to provide race management seminars and PRO certification programs at your club.  In the coming months, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of training resources.

Below are upcoming training courses scheduled within the SAYRA community:

  • 1/13/18 BYSC Beaufort, SC
  • 2/10/18 AYC Acworth, GA

In addition, here are a few training locations that are not too far away:

  • 11/18/17 DIYC Tampa, FL
  • 1/20/18 HYC Hampton, VA
  • 1/20/18 SYC New Orleans, LA
  • 2/17/18 FWYC Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • 2/17/18 WRSC Galesville, MD

For the full list of upcoming training courses, visit the US Sailing’s Race Officer Seminar Calendar:

To host a seminar at your club, please reference US Sailing’s Host a Seminar.  If you have questions or to learn more, contact Joleen Rasmussen at, (919) 440-2802 or JD Rosser at, (843) 810-9828.

Looking ahead to the 2018 SAYRA Annual Meeting in January, we are pleased to have two guest speakers and two tracks.  Esteemed PRO and Race Administrator Ron Hopkins will lead discussions about increasing and developing race administration volunteers.  Nick Hayes, author of Saving Sailing, will join us to continue discussions on ways to increase and sustain participation in sailing.

Please make plans now to attend the SAYRA Annual Meeting to be held January 26 – 28, 2018, at the Sonesta Resort in Hilton Head. To register, visit


Bryce Dryden

SAYRA Commodore

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