Our 2012 season is drawing to a close and I would like to thank the many individuals who helped plan, host, and race in our regattas and supported our shows and demonstration events. Two individuals in particular deserve special recognition. The sustained efforts of Frank Stauss, our Fleet Captain, and our Secretary, BreeAnn Edmonds, were key factors in our success this year. Frank was instrumental in the planning and execution of all of our regattas including a new race hosted by Bob Wallace and the Kent Island Yacht Club. He participated in all five regattas traveling the interstates to race at Mystic, Kent Island, Rock Hall, Union Lake and St. Michaels. Frank also revised our racing rules providing needed clarity in our scoring criteria and improving race course safety through clear definition of right of way rules and the establishment of penalties for infractions. BreeAnn developed our first formal promotional materials including business cards and brochures for distribution to prospective members and interested groups. She has also prepared individual membership cards to send out with 2012 dues payments. Most importantly, she has rescued and expanded our website! In the processes she has added an on-line forum for discussions and sharing of information between members and included the ability to make on-line payments for membership dues, regatta registration fees, and ship store purchases. CCWBRA is a larger, more active and safer Association because of their efforts. Thank you both.
Our membership has grown from 57 in January of this year to over 90 and now includes members in 27 states and British Columbia. A new fleet is forming in Urbanna, VA where 8 new members and boats hope to join CCWBRA and begin racing on MAY 18th when the Town of Urbanna will host the Urbana Cup Regatta returning powerboat racing to Urbanna Creek after a 40+ year hiatus. While members from as far away as Arizona, Connecticut and Georgia participate in our regattas, over 50% of our membership must travel more than 300 miles to attend CCWBRA events. If we are to become a truly national organization, expansion of organized races beyond the Chesapeake Bay must be addressed. Toward that goal, three members in Florida are working to organize and host a mid-winter regatta in Feb 2013 and we hope to work with members in MI, OH, IN, IL and KY to organize a mid-west regatta during the summer of 2013.
Our safety program has improved dramatically this year with the requirement for helmets and engine kill switches enthusiastically supported by all members. Combined with our new racing rules and scoring system, we think race course safety is much improved. We will continue to improve our coordination with local emergency response and law enforcement personnel for in water rescue capability and race course management and control at each of our regatta locations.
The CCWBRA currently operates without liability insurance. While we have obtained reasonable quotes for general liability coverage, it does not cover catastrophic accident or bodily injury. As CCWBRA’s public exposure increases and our shore side and on-water spectator galleries grow, resolution of our insurance requirements will quickly become a critical issue and one that must be addressed prior to the 2013 racing seasons.
We hope our new web site with its discussion forum, email notifications and on-line payment capabilities will serve as the focal point for our continued growth and operation. I encourage all members to become actively involved in your Association, in meeting members in your area, and in building and racing the Cocktail Class Racer.
See you on the race course,
Grand Poobah, Curt Bluefeld