2012-Jan Commodore's Blog

Happy 2012 and another great year of Snipe Sailing! I am honored to represent the Snipe class for the next two years as commodore of SCIRA. I would like to thank our out-going commodore, Luis Pessanha for his two years of service guiding our class as has the entire 2010/2011 Board of Governors.

If you have not met me, I'm from San Diego, USA and have been sailing Snipes since 1971, first for my dad, Lew Bedford, and then for Earl Elms. I had some great experiences crewing those years but could not wait to grab the tiller and steer in the junior regattas. I was lucky to travel with my dad and Earl and meet many Snipe sailors around the country and around world. I have been fortunate enough to continue to build friendships as I skippered in many nationals and international events.

We are fortunate to have a very talented Board of Governors for the next two years, namely Ricardo Lobato (Vice Commodore, BRA), Pietro Fantoni (Secretary, ITA), Renee Bartell (Treasurer, USA), Giorgio Brezich (Chairman of Rules Committee, ITA), Gwen Crook (Secretary WH&O, CAN), and Zbigniew Rakocy (Secretary Europe, ITA). Of course Jerelyn Biehl and Sherri Campbell of One Design Management continue in the role of Executive Director.

My experience on the BoG over many years as Vice Commodore, Rear Secretary WH&O, and as SCIRA CIO has given me exposure to many very competent and dedicated volunteers that make our class function year in and year out. Many sailors however do not realize what is required to keep our class so successful for so long in so many countries. The term, “Think Global and Act Local” certainly works for our class as the Snipe fleet is really our heart and soul. It is what pulls in new sailor and makes “Serious Sailing, Serious Fun”® possible. I've been lucky enough to be a member of our local fleet for my whole life and have see dedicated fleet captains who put in many hours of not just sailing but fleet building – we would nothing without these many tireless individuals all over the world. I encourage you to do whatever you can to make you fleet fun, competitive and welcoming to new members.

That said, SCIRA also plays a critical role. The boat is technical, but not overly expensive; fun to sail but not too physical; a tactical boat but plenty of tuning to adjust and, most importantly – we can sail it all over the world. And I don't only mean the boats are sailed all over but you can literally travel to another country and quickly make friends and borrow a boat in some 30 countries. Amazing! It is the fact that we sail hard against each other but are quick to share in the boat yard and welcome new sailors to our ranks that makes our class unique. I hope we all work to encourage this in our own fleets.

I'll do my best to keep updating this blog with my thoughts. Until then, see you on the water,

-don

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