The Open Class was created by Wally Gitchel (AMYA member #31) back in 1971. Issue #3 (Spring, 1971) of the American Model Yachting Association Quarterly Newsletter (QNL), which is now Model Yachting, reported that three boats were registered. This number grew under Wally Gitchel’s guiding hand until, in issue #6 of the QNL (Winter, 1971), he reported that twenty boats were registered. The number of registered yachts in the Open Class kept changing in future issues of the QNL. Mostly, this was due to yachts gaining recognition as officially sanctioned classes (i.e., the 50-800, 10R, and 36-600 classes). As each of these classes registered 20 or more boats, it was removed from the Open Class and reassigned as a sanctioned class. So in the early days of AMYA, the number of registered boats in the Open Class was in a constant state of change, and the probable thinking at the time was to let things settle out before making the Open Class official. The Open Class was declared an official Class of AMYA in QNL issue #18 (Winter, 1974). Wally was finally named its first Class Secretary and served in this post for a little over six years. Under his leadership, the class developed to become pretty much as it is today. This was a period in time when the AMYA was growing, and 13 officially recognized classes were added. The registration numbers shown in the Open Class reports for that time-frame ran from a low of 19, to a high of 78. So, you can see that a lot of boats were being transferred from the Open Class to sanctioned classes. The AMYA officers must have been pretty busy. Unfortunately for the Open Class, there have been long periods of time when there was no class secretary, during which, registration and record keeping was performed by the AMYA Membership Secretary. The problem with having a long-term, class-secretary vacancy is that the members have little or no communication on class matters. The class secretary is expected to submit a report on class matters in each issue of Model Yachting. This is done in the section of the magazine entitled Class News. Without a class secretary, there is no report, hence no mass contact with class members via the AMYA publication. Here at the AMYA, we have noted that the class health, activity, and growth are directly related to having a good class secretary. In the spring of 1985, when Bud Salika (from Brookfield, IL) had just finished his term as AMYA President, he became the new Open Class Secretary. Records show that the Open Class started to grow again and become more active. Bud faith¬fully submitted class reports to the AMYA publication and was very aware of the importance of the Open Class. Bud held this post for almost seven years. He was instrumental in trying to design and build an AMYA One Design Class. This caused a very hot debate, centered about this boat (the AMYA One Design). Primarily, how could a skipper-built boat qualify as a One Design? This controversy raged on and on, but the by-product was the increase in attention the Open Class received. Bud finally retired and was replaced by Robert Stinson, who served as Open Class Secretary for almost three years. Bob kept up the class reports and the class did well. Tom Houle was the next Open Class Secretary and served for one year. Tom was also serving the AMYA in another capacity at the time and resigned as class secretary in the fall of 1992. The position of Open Class Secretary was again vacant. Finally Jack Gregory, then the AMYA President filled in as class secretary, for the Open Class, for approximately two years. Jose Torres became the next Open Class Secretary, starting in the fall of 1999. Jose served in this position for a little over 4 years. Again the Open Class was moving forward. At this time, the AMYA was going through a re-organiza-tion, and lots of changes in the official class listing were taking place, so Jose was kept busy. Class Secretary’s Note: here is an update to the roster of previous Class Secretaries since Jose Torres, provided by Michelle Dannenhoffer- Winter 2003-2004 – Stan Abadie Issue 137 2005 – empty Issue 139 2005 - Bill Young till Spring 2010 Spring 2010 – Mark Jamison Summer 2010 – Bill Young till Fall 2011 Fall 2011 – empty Spring 2012 – Winter 2013 - Mark Jamison Spring 2014 – till Spring 2021 – John Kelsey Spring 2021 – till present Jack David As you can see it has been a challenge to keep the position of Open Class Secretary filled. John Kelsey, my predecessor is one of only 4 previous Class Secretaries to serve more than a year in the position. In spite of our class history and the challenges described in Paul Meskill’s article from Issue #141 the Open Class has continued to survive. As of September, 2021, the class had 35 registered boats and 27 registered members. I have accepted at least 4 new boat registrations since I became Class Secretary in January 2021. As you will read in the article on the Cat Boat, by Gene Novak, new boat development is alive and well in the Open Class. That is the one of the main reasons for the existence of the class. If you are reading this, and you have a new sail craft in development, join the Open Class! I know with modern social media such as Facebook, RC Universe, RC Groups, and other platforms, the Open Class may not be as relevant as it once was, but I promise to bring to our member’s attention through the Class Secretary’s Report any newly developed boats that have been registered. Vela owner’s, want to know how to improve the performance of your boat, read the “kit bashing” article in this issue, and register your boat in the Open Class! How about all you boat builders and designers with canting keels, foils, FPV or stabilization systems? We would like to see you registered in the Open Class!