President's Letter for Issue 200

This is the 200th issue of the AMYA newsletter — now known as Model Yachting, as well as the AMYA's 50th year as an organization!! I feel privileged to be your President at this great time of looking back—but also of looking forward.

For 50 years, the American Model Yachting Association has been an organization of those who pursue a great competitive sport, a hobby of model-building, of refurbishing antique and building new pond boats, or of simply sailing a model boat, plying the waters in a gentle breeze.

In truth, most AMYA Members are all of these. Many are competitors — those of us who like to race with our local club, to maybe attend a Regional or National Championship eventbe it close or all the way across the country. Many are also modelers, and some are collectors of model yachts. But most of all, we are all "sailors". The AMYA represents all model sailing enthusiasts in the USA and across North America.

The work of the AMYA: By the time you read this, we will have completed the work of our various Task Committees. We have a new set of Bylaws developed by the Bylaws Review and Recommendations Committee for you to vote on by September 30 of 2020.

The new Bylaws will totally REPLACE the Bylaws as they exist, now. Why? The current Bylaws have been added to over many years until they now are antiquated, overly detailed, and cumbersome. They contain details that really ought to be in some other document that is easier to update, and keep current. Some are hard to understand or interpret. So, in January 2019 the Executive Board, as approved by the general Board of Directors, (as is their job — "directors") directed the Officers to undertake a review and updating or replacement of those Bylaws. A total replacement was clearly the best choice. A set of the proposed Bylaws is enclosed in this issue of the Model Yachting mailing, needing 2/3 approval of the Membership. I sincerely hope you will vote YES.

Early in 2019, we formed the Competition Committee to help us with our racing at all levels. This Committee is an ongoing effort and their work will help us put on better events, advising clubs, classes and the whole organization on the conduct of races and regattas. The Competition Committee is also participating with those in US Sailing involved in the rework of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) starting in 2021, as well as RRS Exhibit E, which will apply to competitive radio sailing.

The Communications Committee has looked at how we communicate with AMYA Members and the world outside of present AMYA Members. The AMYA Bulletin e-mailed newsletter has been re-furbished.

They have established AMYA Webinars as well as a digital version of Model Yachting in addition to the printed magazine. This digital version of the printed magazine will have color pictures, links to advertisers, e-mail links to AMYA staff, even videos. It will eventually have a searchable database of magazine articles dating back some 10 years that can be downloaded by Members, then read or printed out at home if they want. The digital format will be appealing to more and more North Americans as time goes on, and the AMYA will be ready. The digital version comes available with Model Yachting #201, in the fall issue mailed this August/ September. As I have said, there are NO plans to discontinue the printed Model Yachting magazine, just to introduce a digital version, which is taken from the print magazine.

The Communications Committee also introduced some different ideas for the AMYA to look at in the future- perhaps an "AMYA Yearbook", a YouTube Channel and some form of online forum. This (communication) is where the AMYA has the most to gain in terms of our relationship with its Members.

The Marketing Committee looked at how the AMYA might approach those within the AMYA and outside of our membership to attract new people to the sport and the AMYA, and ways to keep the Members we have. Their suggestions include:

  • How we might give Members more for their dues in terms of member benefits.
  • Ways the AMYA might reach people to make model sailing more widely known.
  • Some of their ideas are ones that come immediately to mind such as advertising.
  • But there are other, less obvious (and far less costly) ways to do these things than advertising- like outbound e-mail marketing, even distribution of Model Yachting magazine to local libraries with the participation of our local clubs.
  • The Committee made suggestions to provide local clubs with marketing information, newspaper releases and other materials to promote AMYA clubs in local communities.
  • They also made recommendations of how we could reach specific groups of prospective members including full-scale racing sailors, youth, and other RC hobbyists such as model flyers or car modelers.

And, the "Helping Clubs Prosper" Committee is developing ways that sailors forming, building or rebuilding model yacht clubs can easily find ways to organize, improve and grow their clubs. These materials could be developed by the AMYA to include the individual club's information.

All of these Committees have studied a portion of the whole of the AMYA, come to conclusions, and documented actions that the AMYA might take to move forward. We not only have to reach out to those currently outside of model sailing, but find ways to manage the resulting new people these actions should bring our way.

Where do we go now? We now have many ideas on how we can improve the AMYA. We can only make the AMYA better if many more of our 2000+ Members get involved. We have to find volunteers from the AMYA Membership to take the various Committees’ raw ideas, think them through, organize programs, and work with our Members, classes and club leaders.

Specifically:

  • Among the AMYA's Members, we have those who can start with a basic concept, can think it through, turn it into a plan, and then work with other volunteers to make it happen.
  • Are you one who can turn your past experience into an interesting story for the AMYA magazine?
  • Can you design and manage a process, maybe the library outreach process?
  • Do you have experience dealing with full scale yacht clubs, and could you show AMYA clubs how to expose model sailing to a potential audience, maybe sell and organize an afternoon or evening model sailing event at the "big boat" club's annual regatta?

The other AMYA leaders are developing priorities for these efforts. Please look hard at getting involved. Contact ME or any of the Officers of AMYA with your ideas- volunteer!!

"If is to be, it has to be me."

Happy Anniversary AMYA and congratulations on #200 Model Yachting!!

I wish all AMYA members a happy anniversary, and a great summer!!

Mike Wyatt
AMYA President

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