Well, well, well, take a look at the state of Sailing Anarchy’s favorite yc, Fresno Yacht Club. We actually feel sorry for them. Despite the void of brain power at the top, much of this has nothing to do with their country bumpkin ways of doing things. While we truly do appreciate this, wouldn’t they have been much smarter to reach out to us long ago? We would have had some suggestions that might have helped. But, we’re happy to work with them however we can. Sailing shouldn’t die, even in a god forsaken piece of dirt called Fresno…
Not having the High Sierra Regatta last year may end up being a blessing in disguise. We are re-imagining that regatta from the ground up. Not that it hasn’t been a great regatta for the past 60 years, the problem has been that we are both aging and shrinking (not unlike my 91 year old father). We have to re-think how we administer regatta because we are getting close to lacking the critical mass to pull it off.
We are a land locked club with no facility and we have experienced the same 75% loss in membership that sailing in general has experienced (see book “Saving Sailing”).
The catamaran based regatta that precedes High Sierra each year (called the Commodore’s regatta and hosted by the nearly extinct h16 fleet) has been run by 2 guys for the past 10 years and they are about to hang it up. Since the FYC has supported them in their efforts we are in conversation with them about us adding the weekend and making it a “multihull” focused regatta again.
We are also discussing how we can reduce the number of boats that show up on the first of our regular 2 weekends. We are limited to 150 boats per weekend by the forest service. In the past few years we have ‘misplaced” the count but we think we just might be pushing that limit.
It is now further complicated by the simple fact that we no longer have the guarantee of a full lake. The launch ramp only goes down about 15 feet which makes it unusable if the lake is not at least 90% full.
There is a lot on the line, but there are no big guns to tell Southern California Edison that they have to leave the lake full all summer. We certainly have no leverage…we only have 60 members and 15 of those are life members we never see because they are in nursing homes.
The 4 small businesses up there have no leverage. SCE doesn’t care if they survive and the forest service would like the area abandoned to fishermen.
Jim Costa (congressman from the area who almost lost his seat) does sail with us and that might help…we are reaching out to him….but he has not been helpful to the farm interests when it comes to water issues either.
The only group that seems to have leverage is the group who manage the campgrounds. They are very connected politically and they just had a “shithouse” year. Hopefully they will pull out all stops and pressure SCE for commitment.
Well…I told you all that so I could suggest this.
You should try to join us in this marvelous venue (again that is). Yeah…I have heard that you were unhappy with the regatta management in the past, but that was some time ago and you have got to be getting tired of giving us all this free advertising.
If you’re interested, I’ll keep you posted as things develop.
Fresno may be the city hooked on meth…but Huntington Lake is sailor heaven. – Daniel Irwin Commodore FYC.