March Notes from the Commodore

Many of us are fortunate to be second- or even third-generation sailors. We started sailing lessons as soon as we could pass the swim test! I will always be thankful to my mom for passing her love of sailing on to my brother and me. My fondest memories growing up center around our club and the Thistle regatta circuit. We logged lots of miles traveling together as a family. After we were out on our own, my brother and I pulled our boat behind our 1980 Toyota Tercel (we learned to draft behind semis)!


Statistics show that participation in sailing is declining in America due to pressures on free time; however, there are clubs throughout SAYRA that are bucking this trend in large part due to an emphasis on community sailing and an emerging demographic – adult women!

Nick Hayes, author of Saving Sailing, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Annual General Meeting,and he stressed the importance of reaching different demographics and formalizing a mentoring program to help new sailors develop their knowledge and skill. To download his presentation, click here. The audio recording of his presentation is available on the members-only section of the website.


If you haven’t become an individual member of SAYRA, we encourage you to do so. Not only will you have access to exclusive content, but you will be able to access the online member directory. We’ve made it easy to join. The cost is only $15 for individuals or $25 for a family.


Sarah Ashton and Martine Zurinskas deserve our thanks for their hard work on the new SAYRA website. Not only does it look great, but it is more informative and easier to navigate. Be sure to check out the calendar, if you haven’t already, which includes direct links to club sites. Our goal is to improve communication via the website, expand the photo section, and highlight members and clubs within SAYRA.


With regard to highlighting members, SAYRA would like to congratulate Jacob Raymond, Charleston, S.C., who received the Marty A. Luray Award from US Sailing for his contributions to public access sailing. In addition, US Sailing awarded Charleston Community Sailing the award for More than Ten Years of Hallmark Performance for their continued commitment to community sailing.


This sailing season, we at SAYRA challenge you to share your passion of sailing with others. Invite families, juniors, adults to sail with you – no experience required!  Send photos to, and we’ll post as many as we can to the SAYRA site. 


With your participation, we will become stronger as an organization!


See you on the water with a friend,


D. Bryce Dryden


(678) 977-9777