Chairman's Newsletter 2019
Dear SCRA Member / stakeholder,
As many of you will know I took over last year as Regatta Director for Cowes Week. Traditionally Cowes Week and the SCRA have been very closely intertwined and on that basis our Interim Chairman Jonathan Peel asked me if I would take over as his permanent replacement as Chairman of SCRA, which I was delighted to do at the AGM earlier this year. At the same time Adrian Saunders from the Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert YC in Portsmouth took over as Honorary Secretary.
Our huge thanks to Jonathan and to Bob Milner who stepped in to resurrect the SCRA when it was moribund 12 months ago. We now have a new full council constituted and a Council meeting has been called for May 17th.
Along with the work that the SCRA undertake on running safe racing it has traditionally been a clearing house and coordination office for the creation of the Solent fixture list. While the former role has continued over the last couple of years (and we had an excellent webinar at the RYA recently for 120 RO's in the Solent to talk about safe running of racing this season) the fixture list planning has effectively gone by the wayside.
The link to the webinar will be sent out very shortly so anyone who runs racing in your club can have access to it. There are some changes to buoys which can be used for race courses this year, and a new notification system which all events will need to submit (online) 28 days before an event takes place. These are detailed in the webinar which is available online and on the new SCRA chart online at scra.org.uk.
With regards to the sailing calendar, we are all aware that entry numbers are not going up and it's no secret that running club houses on a break-even (or better!) financial basis is also increasingly difficult. The simple truth is that the size of the pie of potential entries is not growing but clubs throughout the Solent are laying on more and more racing which is reducing the necessary critical mass at any one event. Although it will not be easy I do believe that we need to coordinate the race program much more effectively so that we have a better focus for competitors, with the goal of getting bigger turnouts at events. Currently that is a diminishing prospect rather than a growing one.
As a first action I propose to set up a 2020 regatta planning session. This will only be high level at this stage but we are already in putting events on to the SCRA website as we are told about them so a strategic review meeting would, I think, be worthwhile.
I propose this takes place on the same day as the next council meeting which is on May 17th 2019 (to be held at the Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club in Portsmouth). If your club would like to attend in person on by dialling in on the phone to listen to the conversation please let me know. I will circulate a strategy document before the meeting.
Finally we are updating the SCRA website and hope to make this a one-stop shop for information on the Solent wide sailing scene as we go forward. This should go live in the next few weeks.
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns,