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Fellow 2.4 sailors
The 2017 Worlds at Sneek in the Netherlands is a week behind us now. Great memories of the championship both on and off the water remain and we should make note and thank the Dutch NCA and the Royal Yacht Club Sneek for all their hard work before and during the week to give us a wonderful time both with very professionally run racing but an equally good social program. Conditions were very testing for the sailors and the race committee with conditions varying between extreme winds and difficult seas on the first day, races on one day finishing at around 2200 hours, and calm conditions on the final day precluding racing. The final split of sailors into a gold and silver fleet, was to some extent affected by the first days conditions, but the quality of racing in both fleets was of a very high standard and the class should be very proud of this level of competition. No doubt a review of the week by the elected committees will ensure a high standard is maintained at future events.
They say that cream always rises to the surface and once again the saying was proved with Stellan Berlin becoming the worthy World Champion for 2017 but there was a lot of ‘cream’ in the fleet and he was hard pressed on most races.
We held the AGM at the first part of the week and I now write to you as the elected president of the class. Perhaps I should say that I have enjoyed racing the 2.4mR for nearly twenty years and have attended a half a dozen Worlds, worked for a time as the development manager of RYA Sailability, acted as training partner at the 2000 and 2004 Paralympics and have organised the build of several Stradivari 2.4mR boats plus acting as the class secretary in recent years. I am technically retired from my banking background and now dabble in the provision of all things 2.4mR out of my small company, Formula 2.4 ltd., mainly as a service to the class as those who I helped on measurement day will know.
Personally I prefer the use of chairman as the future of the class is very much in hands of the elected EC and not at one person’s bequest. This year we have a very strong EC with Rikard Bjurstrom as Vice President with much experience in the class both on the water and technically as a sailmaker. He is joined by Heiko Kroger , Paralympic sailor and recently the ParaWorlds champion 2017. Cor de Graaffe and Tim Ripley, our secretary, stay with us on the committee and gives us good continuity. All of us are committed and regular 2.4mR sailors and I hope in good touch with the 2.4mR sailing scene across the world.
Working alongside the EC is the technical committee, TC, headed by the very experienced and brilliant sailor Stellan Berlin ably supported by Harald Rolfsnes, Henrik Johnsson, Keith Gordon our international measurer, and now joined by Jorge Federer. Once again there is a lot of depth in their qualifications and commitment and this committee has been working very effectively in the past year. The TC is very much an ongoing job as there are always areas of reform in the class rules and adaptation to World Sailing requirements. In the UK we have a saying that it is like painting the Forth Bridge as when you finish at one end you start at the other end. Both committees will be meeting regularly for Skype meetings and our aim is to provide meeting minutes on a very timely basis.
We have many challenges to face in this coming period including doing our ultimate to make sailing return to the Paralympics but at the same time we are charged with making the overall class grow and also making it a relevant racing class for all level of sailors and attracting more to join us. Plans are afoot to address a better marketing approach for the class.
During my time in office I am determined that the NCAs and all our sailors have the chance to feel involved with decisions and the future of our class and I can promise all of you that you will get a quick response from me on any question or suggestion. I will not promise to have all of the answers but at least your voice will be heard and followed up. I am best contacted on my email address ‘email@example.com’. I also welcome hearing any news of what is happening in your fleet so that we do form a current overall view of our sailing scene. Don’t forget that there is a very active Facebook site for you to use ‘International 2.4mR Class Owners Group’. This is a very informal site, independent from the Class, with all manner of contributions. I am still trying to see the small sail in Heiko’s offering!
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive class at the sailor level, let’s make sure that this inclusivity spreads to all levels.
One of the decisions at the AGM was that the 2018 Worlds will be held at Gavle, north of Stockholm, Sweden and I have no doubt that once again we will experience a brilliant Worlds event both on and off the water. I hope I will have the opportunity to see many of you on the water at that event.
I look forward to working for and with you in the coming year.