Report from the Commodore for the 2020 Annual Meeting of the MIYC

                  Report from the Commodore for the 2020 Annual meeting of the MIYC

Welcome to 2020 at MIYC.  For the first time in the history of our club we are meeting by proxy.  As of this writing we are unable to schedule our Annual Meeting at the club on the Memorial Day weekend due to current social gathering restrictions that are in place until May 20th.   The Flag officers and trustees voted to mail the enclosed materials requiring your review and vote.  Enclosed please find the minutes of the 2019 Annual meeting and the 2020 Nominating Committee slate of officers and trustees for next season.  Enclosed find proxies requiring your vote for both items.  Shortly you will receive by email a report from our Treasurer, Tom Cooke II with a proxy for your review and approval.  Informational reports from Junior Sailing, Tennis, Activities, Membership, Grounds, Waterfront, Bocce, Shields Fleet, Ships Store, July 4th, House, Buildings and Communications will be emailed as well.  These additional reports do not require your vote.

You will also find a Notice of Special Meeting for Saturday July 18th at 9am.  The purpose of that meeting is to vote on proposed Constitution and Bylaws changes.  We felt that a special meeting is warranted to allow for any questions and discussion regarding the proposed amendments.  The board feels that the proposed changes are in the best interest of the MIYC as they will bring needed improvements in the membership process.  Having a strong and vibrant membership is vital for the success of the financial, social and sporting aspects of our club.  You can of course submit the Special Meeting proxies along with your annual meeting proxies if you are ready to vote on those issues.  I would encourage you to call, text or email me directly with any and all questions regarding the proxies or any related club concern.

The past year has been a year of very positive “firsts” at MIYC.  It was the first season for our new tennis pro Chris O’Brien.  Thanks to Chris and tennis committee chairs Linda Bonadies and Bill Halsey the courts were very busy with classes for juniors, adult shot clinics, doubles strategy, adult singles point play drills, cardio tennis and of course the weekly round robins.  Tennis continued well into the Fall season thanks to the hard work of Spencer Cain who volunteered to maintain the courts.  Continue to sign up at or call Chris at 585 703 4286.  This year the junior clinics will have the same guest policies that we adopted in our junior sailing program last year.  This allows junior tennis participants to bring friends as guests, or members to sponsor junior guests.  This helps improve the numbers in the junior clinics.  We will be compliant with any tennis related Covid-19 guidelines.

We hosted our “First” Annual Interclub Long Distance Swim event, paddleboard demo and paddleboard race.  Hopefully the momentum will continue for these two new events this season.  Thanks to John Foster and again to Spencer Cain.

Many, many thanks to the outstanding creativity, hard work and dedication of Candy Jacobs and her committee for all the activity “firsts.” The first “dinner on the dock” event that was a huge success.  Other events included “Magical Cocktails”, “Cocktails and Art”, Yoga classes, third Thursday Pot Luck Dinners, Carol Sing, Boxing Day party, Movie night, Trivia night and great DOPs.  Thank this group for organizing the WiFi, cable TV and new Sonos sound system for the club.

Thank you Fred Ball, Linda Watkins and crew for a great Independence Day with the national bell ringing, flag ceremony, a beautiful solo rendition of the national anthem by Nellie Horvath followed by the bike parade and picnic.  Saturday the 6th was perfect weather for the picnic and fireworks.   That committee made a decision last year not have fireworks in 2020 due to scheduling and cost concerns.

August brought our most financially successful Lobsterfest ever under the guidance of Sue Johnson, Trent Repko, Annalise and Mitch Marcus and a long list of very dedicated volunteers who made this great event happen.  Profits from Lobsterfest support junior tennis and sailing lessons. Thank you all!

Our sailing programs had a great year in 2019.  The junior regatta brought over 90 young sailors and many boats to the club for a day filled with racing, swimming, picnic and great fun for all.  Suzie Canning,  Kate Canning and Day Halsey and team of excellent instructors provided outstanding summer programs of sailing lessons and racing.  We had a generous gift from SHYC of three “nearly new” Optis, storage rack, storage box and new dollies for this season.  This will fill a gap for any junior guest sailors and children and grandchildren of members who want to take sailing but don’t have their own boat.

Adult sailing included Shields racing on Thursday evenings and the various weekend regattas.  Al Burnett and Bob Banas continue to provide great leadership and sailing opportunities for anyone interested. Many thanks to Courtney Moore, Toby Halsey and crew for organizing the Masons Island Regatta on August 17th and Island Cup series that followed. Thanks you Fiona Saluk for a successful Regatta party!

We are expanding our sailing program in 2020 with a fleet of three Ideal 18s.  These fun keelboats will allow us to launch our first women’s sailing program and expand lessons for juniors and adults.  Members can sign out the boats when not being used for lessons for a fun afternoon on the water.  Nearly 80 members and friends voted with their checkbooks to raise the needed capital.  Sincerest thanks to all the “Sailing Angels” who made it happen!  Sail on and sail fast!!

Your board of trustees continues to work hard to improve MIYC.  Three new rule changes were approved year.  First under General rules 1. Enforcement of club rules and policies are the responsibility of the club manager, flag officers and trustees.  Members shall refrain from confronting guests and members in regards to rules enforcement and report and concerns to the appropriate authorized person.  Exception when personal safety is concerned.  Under 3a, Use of Club facilities: Any club member requesting an activity involving paid instructors will submit a request to the Board of Trustees. (see MIYC directory for details) and under 3c. Club rental for “exclusive use” is simply after Labor Day weekend and up to the third weekend in June.  (see MIYC directory for details)  

So what about the 2020 summer season?  The order to close private clubs has been extended until May 20th.  Our new club manager, Nellie Horvath and her crew of stewards, tennis pro Chris O’Brien and his assistant and our staff of sailing instructors are all on deck waiting for the “all clear” signal.  We will be in full compliance with all guidelines for health, safety and social distancing and will adapt our 2020 schedule of events as needed to provide for your safety.  The Commodore’s May 23rd cocktail reception is postponed for now.  The Tracy Edwards and s/v “Maiden” event has been rescheduled for 2021 . The board has not made any additional decisions yet to cancel or change other scheduled events or change tennis and sailing instruction.  We continue to wait and follow updates from the CDC, CT Governor’s office, CT Health department, Ledge Light Health District, Town of Stonington and other organizations.  We are in contact with neighboring yacht clubs in our region and beyond as we monitor and share best practices for health and safety.   Expect more news soon about the summer season events and programs.  Please be patient and confident that we will do our very best for all our members.