From the Commodore
by Luis Soubie – SCIRA Commodore
(From the Snipe Bulletin Autumn 2021/Winter 2022)
A year ago, we were in our first year of a global pandemic with almost 100% of the events canceled and with no immediate prospect of change. 2021 looked uncertain, and in a way, it was a little, but despite everything, as a Class we have been able to return to relative normalcy.
Surely many of you, if you live in countries like mine while reading this, will not agree since most of us have almost not been able to go to the water, but I mean that at least at a Class level we have been able to hold international regattas and there are many countries where we’re able to sail with almost no change.
Just as in my last communication 3 months ago I was extremely nervous and dreamed of being able to carry out the upcoming continental regattas that were postponed in 2020. Today I am satisfied and relaxed viewing the photos of those two spectacular events that took place these last two months. In addition to these, last week the Women’s Worlds in Brazil was also (and after many years) a tremendous success, which demonstrates the strength of the Class and the good path it has traced in terms of event formats. We have also had several junior and master championships in Europe and although the South American regattas could not be held, the North Americans took place without problems.
All of this didn’t happen just because the pandemic allowed it. It happened because there are dozens of people in the clubs, in the organization of the events, in the national Snipe associations, in the national federations and in the SCIRA working for many months to do everything possible not to cancel events. Some of them were very conditioned, yes, and many sailors, including myself, could not compete due to travel restrictions. But despite everything the events had an exceptional quality and a fantastic technical level and were a complete success.
Additionally, (and indeed even more important), it gave me immense satisfaction to receive feedback from many of you to my private email. Both regarding the European in Split and the WH&O in Boston, dozens of you wrote to me highlighting the wonderful time you had and the attention received and making special mention of how much you enjoyed the event as a whole, and not just the regattas. That is our goal at SCIRA, Serious sailing, yes, but serious fun TOO !!!!
In this way, we are ending perhaps the two most difficult years in the modern history of the Class. We have had setbacks and successes, and we have had to make very difficult decisions several times each year, canceling events or dealing with our own rules, which were neither designed nor prepared for something like what happened. We have always done it thinking about the future andwe have had to be firm in situations that did not make us feel comfortable, but that were important as a precedent for the future. Many times, we have had to choose the “lesser” when making a decision.
The election of authorities was one of these cases and it was a legal nightmare and we had to ask the lawyer of the Class how to solve a situation that had no precedent and no rule to be dealt with. I am not going to give a full description of the problem because it is long but to summarize, our rules say that the authorities are elected every 2 years at the meeting in the continental and world championships. But they don’t say what to do if the championships are postponed or canceled as they were in 2020. In short, the continental Secretaries have been elected by the National Secretaries this year (and not in 2020) at the events in Split and Boston, and the position of the Commodore, Vice Commodore and Secretary was extended for a year, to be elected in the 2022 Worlds and we will finally return to the normality of replacing half of the Board every 2 years. There were not many options and all of them had some part that went against a part of our Constitution. The other choice was to elect authorities for 1 year, but it was not contemplated in the rules either, so the Nominating Committee proposed and the Board accepted this solution and that means that this was going to be my last post in the Bulletin but now you will have to put up with me for 4 more Snipe Bulletin issues. Sorry about that …
Finally, the Hall of Fame Committee with Commodore Fantoni as Chairman has chosen the 5 personalities of the year 2021 and they will be presented in the coming days with their respective diplomas. Personally, reading the names chosen for this year, after 15 nominations in past years, I find it incredible that we are still choosing such outstanding personalities of the Class, a sample of the diversity and quality of the sailors and collaborators that preceded us. Looking at the names that didn’t “make the cut”, I am pretty sure that this will happen for many years in the future.
I say goodbye for now, I hope you have an excellent start 2022
LUIS SOUBIE – ARG 31701