Friday, 31 May 2019 13:13

2019 Commodore Update

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Dear CRAM Members,

The 2019 CRAM sailing season starts this weekend at Higgins Lake, MI! I hope everyone will join us this weekend for our season opening regatta.  Let the 2019 CRAM Season of fun begin!

At the Spring Officers meeting CRAM Officers agreed on three organizational goals that we’d like all members to collectively focus on during 2019.

Develop, Deliver, Drive, our collective 2019 CRAM Goals include:

  1. Develop Support Structure for New CRAM Sailors
  2. Deliver 2019 F18 North American Championships
  3. Drive CRAM Membership Growth

Here’s a brief overview on each of these Goals:

  1. Develop Support Structure for New CRAM Sailors:

All CRAM sailors are part of the CRAM Team.  Any team is only as good as the talent that it develops within… We want to assist the development of new CRAM members and those who are new to sailing by providing effective communication and mentoring for anyone that would like CRAM’s assistance.   Look for these areas to be developed during the 2019 Season:

  • Active coordination of members new to CRAM through Fleet Captains.
  • Fleet Captains responsible for assigning CRAM Mentor to new members.
  • On The Beach Sessions (Saturday after Racing) Throughout Season available to anyone
    • Fleet Captains will coordinate OTB Sessions by Experienced Sailors during Season
    • Topics can include: Basic Rigging, Tuning for Different Conditions, Race Tactics, Etc.
    • Goal of OTB Sessions is to communicate effective knowledge transfer in order to drive overall talent level of the entire fleet.   
  1. Deliver 2019 F18 North American Championships:

On September 14-19, 2019 the F18 North American Championships will be conducted in CRAM Country at the Crescent Sail Yacht Club in Gross Pointe Farms, MI, one of our CRAM race venues.  Let me repeat that… The 2019 F18 North American Championships are in our backyard!  This is a special opportunity for CRAM and our members that happens once in a CRAM sailors lifetime if you’re fortunate.  All CRAM members have a unique opportunity to see and learn from the best F18 sailors on the planet at one of our CRAM race venues.  I strongly recommend that you take advantage of this rare opportunity.  You will learn more in five days this September than in five years on your own.  But you don’t need to be a F18 sailor to assist CRAM.  CRAM needs the assistance of CRAM members to help run a successful regatta.  A successful regatta provides CRAM with national recognition and also new members.  Please contact Uli Gollwitzer, Chris Tuckfield or the CRAM team assembler to organize and conduct this regatta.  If you are a F18 sailor in CRAM you need to attend this regatta.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to CRAM to have every CRAM F18 fleet member register and attend this regatta.  You will be giving yourself and CRAM a huge boost by doing so.  Here is what to do:

  • Go to the 2019 F18 North American Website for information:
  • CRAM F18 Sailors – Register before the early registration discount ends.
  • CRAM Members – Signup for volunteer positions to help CRAM conduct the regatta.
  1. Drive CRAM Membership Growth:

A healthy and a vibrant organization is a growing organization because we offer something unique and relevant that people want and we offer something that is difficult to achieve for people on their own.  Each CRAM member must take responsibility for creating a healthy and a growing organization.  How? By attending our regattas, by having fun, by contributing to an enjoyable regatta weekend for all, by mentoring new members and by bringing a new friend to join us at a CRAM regatta. That’s how…  Look for these areas to be developed during the 2019 Season:

  • Vice Commodore, Alex Hart, has developed a new 2019 CRAM Membership Welcome Email and Package. You will receive it when you join or renew your CRAM membership.   
  • Communications Officer, Jeff Rehm, has given our CRAM website,, a significant refresh. It’s a lot of work and Jeff is doing a super job.  People go to our website to learn about CRAM and find out about who we are, to register for regattas, to see regatta results and to see timely photos and information.  Jeff is making changes to improve the efficiency in these key areas.
  • We are fortunate to have our Treasurer, Tara Cunningham, who keeps the CRAM Financials in line. It’s not easy and much appreciated. 
  • Trophy Officer, Christy Higgins, has some great surprises for us this season. Stay tuned and come to Higgins Lake to see what Christy Higgins delivers.
  • Marketing Officer, James Derck, has again done a super job with promoting, marketing and pushing CRAM visibility and our 2019 race schedule on social media and to many media outlets. The unique posters developed for each regatta are awesome as is the hard work to get our CRAM message out.   
  • The F18 North American Championships noted above is a major event where we will showcase CRAM on the national sailing stage. Our goal is to leverage a successful regatta as a source for new membership.  Your assistance is needed to make this a reality.
  • CRAM adds a new venue to the 2019 Race Schedule in Michigan City, IN on June 21-23, 2019 renamed the Lake Michigan Catamaran Championships. This regatta will be a CRAM season points regatta, a CRAW season points regatta and a HCANA Hobie Points Regatta.  This venue on the southern shore of Lake Michigan located an hour drive from Chicago (6 miles from MI state line) offers onsite tent camping, onsite RV parking, onsite Park Pavilion with rooftop bar (Sunset Grille) that will also serve as our race headquarters, onsite Michigan City Yacht Club that will host our two evening social events, onsite Fish Camp restaurant/bar that will cater our hospitality dinner and a Michigan City municipal government that is keen to have and support us. CRAM has secured multiple key business sponsorships for this event whose financial support is offsetting the cost to CRAM Members.  Our goal is to exceed last years New Buffalo boat count with this regatta so you don’t want to miss it.  The Registration deadline for this regatta is June 4, 2019 at
  • CRAM has added a 2nd HCANA Hobie Points regatta to the 2019 Race Schedule with the Pere Marquette Regatta in Muskegon, MI on July 27-28, 2019. Our goal is to drive CRAM H16 Fleet membership because a growing and vibrant H16 fleets will also drive transition to our other CRAM fleets.  Muskegon is a super venue we visit annually.  You’ll want to make sure you register for this regatta.  See you on the beach and at “The Deck” for a beverage after racing.    
  • CRAM has submitted a proposal on behalf of Michigan City to host the 2020 Hobie Cat North American Championships regatta. As with the F18 North American Championships this year, our goal is to bring another national regatta with world-class sailors to CRAM country.  We have a good shot at getting this regatta.  It will be a great opportunity for CRAM members and we will need your assistance.  Again, like the F18 NAs this regatta will showcase CRAM nationally and be a source of new members.
  • We have a season full of wonderful regattas at iconic locations. Simply register early, show up and you’ll have fun.  Bring a friend to see who we are and what we do.  They can join us during morning boat setup, for a day on the beach, after racing during the social time or whenever.  We create unique and fun.
  • CRAM is fortunate of have many very experienced and talented sailors amongst our ranks and fleets. Seek them out.  They are there to assist you.  They would love for you, as a student or new member, to start pushing them on the racecourse.  We all grow in the process.       
  • Finally, we want to maintain the traditions that are CRAM going forward into our 54th season and beyond. 54 years of CRAM means that those before us got it right.  We must preserve and respect their legacy while building upon it.  That fellow CRAM member’s means fun, on and off the water.   

Our first regatta is this weekend at Higgins Lake.  So let the fun begin.  Here’s how:

  1. Join or renew your 2019 Membership Now.
  2. Register online for our regattas at
  3. F18 Fleet Members – Register now for the F18 North Americans before the early registration discount ends. We need all CRAM F18 Fleet members sailing at this regatta.  You will be sorry if you miss it.  Whether you are a new F18er or seasoned competitor, register for this regatta!    
  4. Bring a friend with you to a CRAM regatta. Your have 9 regattas to choose from. 
  5. Get a friend who’s left sailing back into the game or get a friend who’s new to sailing into what we do by convincing them to join CRAM in 2019.
  6. Then, show up and you’ll have fun.

Many thanks to all our 2019 CRAM Officers and members who are working hard to plan the new season. Let’s have some fun.  It’s time to start sailing this weekend.  CRAM 2019 is here!

See you on the beach, on the starting line or around the race venue. 

John Nekus

CRAM Commodore 2019

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