I hope this finds you well and that you are already dreaming of being back on the waters off Gilpatrick Cove. I want to share with you some exciting news and notes as we look ahead to the 2022 season.
Through the end of the 2021 season, 28 new Family and Individual members have joined our Fleet. This is a record, and we are just thrilled. Please be sure to welcome our newcomers when you get the opportunity this summer.
At our annual meeting last September, we welcomed Peter Ill as Rear Commodore and Lee Fox as Clerk. We would like to thank outgoing Commodore Mike Cook and outgoing Clerk Gordon Beck for their dedication and many contributions to our Fleet.
Last season, despite COVID, we continued on a steady course with a record number of junior sailors participating in The Northeast Harbor Sailing School, adding 36 new Student Members along the way. We also introduced two new on-water courses: Women’s Wednesday afternoon sailing instruction and a Boater Safety Course. These were both well attended and we will continue to enhance them in 2022.
The IOD, Luders 16 and Cruising Classes enjoyed a stellar season of weekly races with full crews. It is truly a joy to watch these beautiful boats race in the Great Harbor and we encourage you to come out and watch the splendor this season – if you are not already out there racing!
Summer 2022 marks our Fleet’s 99th birthday. We are already busy making plans for our 100th celebration in 2023, so keep an eye out for a survey coming soon to ask you for your thoughts on how best to celebrate the Fleet Centennial. We would also like to ask you – our membership – to reflect on our past 99 years and to share your stories, photographs and memorabilia so we may showcase them in our celebration.
The Event, Race and Sailing School calendars for this coming season are already live on our website. We have added numerous social get-together events immediately following racing; no longer will we wait for the end of summer for trophy presentations, but instead will make awards immediately after a race or regatta along with a gathering. One-and-all are encouraged to come down to the Fleet House and join us as we cheer our racers on their successes and listen to salty sailor stories that are sure to be told. This will also allow us to show off our gorgeous old silver on display. Please consider this your open invitation!
The legendary August Cruise is finally returning this summer after two years of Covid postponements. This year we will be weaving it into the spectacular Eggemoggin Reach Regatta in early August. Our Cruising Class and IODs will race over to Brooklin on Friday, August 5th and race back on Sunday the 7th. On Saturday, the IODs and many of our cruising class boats will compete against over 100 classic wooden boats. There are lots of opportunities for you to participate or to join the hundreds of spectator boats observing this magnificent event. This is a rare opportunity to see the grandeur of the past and delight in the beauty of the Maine Coast once again as a Fleet. Please mark your calendars now to provision up and join in the adventure.
In September, The Fleet will host the IOD North American Championship. Fifteen IOD owners will share their boats with visiting teams from around the country to compete on the Great Harbor and we look forward to extending our normal racing season for this high caliber regatta. We would also greatly appreciate membership help as well! Plan to join us on the water to watch top sailors from the various IOD fleets race this coming September 9th-11th.
The Fleet has asked the Harbormaster for permission to drop additional moorings at Gilpatrick Cove to alleviate our deep waiting lists. However, this request has been referred to the Harbor Committee for consideration. We are reaching out to our abutters east of Gilpatrick Ledge with a mooring plan which would allow us to populate that area with IODs and Luders. Our plan would also realign Gilpatrick Cove and bring the outer perimeter of our mooring field closer to shore.
Youth sailing at the Fleet, the heart of our future, is expecting a huge post-covid surge this season. With seven Venture sailboats and a 14’ catboat to supplement the 20 Teras, all donated by our membership, we expect to have a very busy and fun summer on the water. Many of our seasoned staff are returning under the enthusiastic leadership of Nick Steenberg as our Director. Again, a big Thank You to our Membership for making this all possible.
Wishing you a wonderful spring and looking forward to seeing you dockside this summer.