Hello to my SAYRA Family! Let me take a moment to introduce myself as your Commodore for the 2023-2024 term, Martine Rawlings Zurinskas. For those that do not know me let me take a moment to introduce myself. I have grown up in this region sailing as a youth at WCSA and CSC as a crew on my dad's J24 then Sunfish and Laser. My family were a fixture at all the open events during my teen years - 3 boats in tow and my mother would be on the RC team. Being a part of sailing, regattas, and SAYRA was my weekend pastime and thankfully continues to be. Now I live in the north Atlanta suburbs and can be found on RC, coaching youth ILCAs and my favorite pastime regatta mom. My home club is Lake Lanier Sailing Club but I am also a sailing member at Carolina Yacht Club NC. I most recently finished a six-year term on the US Sailing Board of Directors which gave me a new perspective on the impact the organization can have on all things sailing.
SAYRA continues to be very strong (no doubt one of the strongest in the US), and I am thankful for all the leadership to keep us active and thriving during these past 2 years. Past Commodore Pete did a fantastic job of keeping us on track and focused. I look forward to celebrating him in person at the Annual meeting. Thank you to everyone who converted to online options, while not the same it has served us well and will continue. Great example is the quarterly Judges online workshop, well attended and educational - Thank you Jerry and team for leading this effort. Thank you to our Race Management Committee for leading so many online trainings. Need one at your club? Now is the time to plan. Our junior series continues to be strong (over 300 sailors) and those results will be finalized in early December as we celebrate our All Stars and Grand Prix Champions!
As I look to the next 2 years, I hope that we can help spread the word about SAYRA and the benefits our clubs can get by being a member. We have amazing leadership that can support our smaller clubs with Race Management resources, youth sailing program development and so much more. SAYRA is also fortunate to have the Helen Hanley Grant program which supports so many US Sailing training and Championship efforts. As you visit new clubs in our region, please spread the word about SAYRA. It has a lot to offer and can be a valuable resource.
As we head into the busy season for family and friends, be on the lookout in early December for the 2023 SAYRA Club & Individual Membership Renewal. We will send it electronically and via snail mail to the clubs. Please consider a donation to the Helen Hanley fund (501c3) organization. These funds are restricted to use for our grant program and go a long way to make our region stronger.
Save the Date - Annual Meeting January 27-29th. Please consider sending at least one club representative and Junior program representative to learn from our region and take-home lots of great ideas. We are so lucky to be back in person - we will announce our Agenda early December along with the Sonesta room block information. We expect to have over 150 people participate, if you have never been it is a lot of fun and great networking!
In closing, we have a lot to be thankful for in SAYRA, thanks for your support.
Email me anytime! Commodore, Martine Zurinskas
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