Happy New Year, and boy what a year it will be. But before we get to that, we have a few people to thank, starting with Judy Despres. As Kathleen Lane, Jennifer Uhl, Christina Pandapas, Barbara Hallawell, Katie Bloxham and countless others can attest, this fleet management stuff is no picnic for the spouse. Not only has Judy supported husband Tom Despres through two years of leading Fleet 5, but she also endured his two years as class president at the same time. And if that’s not enough, she allowed him to re-up in that job for another two years. Either the woman likes her free time or she’s a saint. I’m going with saint. So Judy, thank you. Please accept our sincerest appreciation.
I suppose we should reserve a little gratitude for Tom too, who for two years has been our benevolent patriarch. He did a terrific job presiding thoughtfully over Fleet 5’s continued growth and good health. Fortunately for us, he hasn’t ventured too far, and we can all rest easy knowing he’ll be minding the class store for another two years. Thanks also to the rest of last year’s fleet leadership, Doug Trees, Steve Uhl, Bruce Bolen, Jim Raisides and Rick Smyers, all whom contributed greatly to the smooth functioning of our fleet family. I’d like to throw out an extra nod to Bruce Bolen for opening his home to us for a very festive fall awards party. Congratulations, by the way, to all of last season’s winners. A recap of those results and the perpetual award winners is included later in this newsletter.
Looking ahead, I couldn’t be more grateful to the folks who have stepped up to run things this year. Doug Trees, who has served as treasurer since the Clinton administration, along with Jim Raisides (social) and Rick Smyers (scoring), have all signed on for another tour of duty. That’s huge. Even more astonishing is that Steve Uhl has re-upped for another term as secretary in addition to co-chairing the Nationals Committee with Mike Lane (I’ll get to that in a second). Also signing on are Rick Berliner to manage the website, my wife Christina to help out with the newsletter and Charlie Pendleton to serve as VP. All and all, this is a terrific group who will work hard to keep this party going. Please don’t forget to buy them a drink next time you have the chance.
As I write from chilly Maine on Christmas, sailing seems pretty far away, but we have an incredible season in store. Nationals are coming. As I mentioned, Steve and Mike are chairing the committee and will be working to make this one of the best regattas ever. Their goal is 50 boats, and that’s obtainable. When was the last time you were on a starting line with 50 boats? And with Race Week just a couple of weeks before, that regatta should be pretty well-attended too. For now, just block out August 17-20. Stay tuned here and on the web site for regular updates, and don’t be surprised if Steve or Mike call looking for help. We’re not sure yet where East Coasts will be, but rumor has it that they’ll be back in Padanaram. We’ll let you know.
We’re also working on an aggressive schedule of off-the-water events, starting with the winter party on February 6th and a tactics clinic for the evening of Thursday May 6th, so circle those dates.
Spring is coming. Stay warm. Go Pats.