By Martin Bermudez de la Puente, General Secretary for Europe
First of all, I would like to thank Zibi for his great dedication, effort and contribution over the last years.
As the new European Secretary for the next couple of years I would like to help to improve our class as much as possible. I will go over each country situation and I will try to help you with whatever you may need from me.
For the moment I want to introduce you the following ideas in order to get your feedback if possible.
– Youth: I can understand that it is quite difficult to make the snipe attractive to young sailors between 16 and 20 years old. There is a huge rivalry with Laser, 420, 49er and other youth boats. I think that we should focus our effort to attract sailors from 20 years old or more. Those are people that are either studying at university or even already working and still are interested on dinghy sailing. The 470 class studied this issue some years ago and came to the conclusion to raise the youth age group up to 24. This might be also our option.
The Snipe is a very good alternative as it is cheap and fun, it is a class where you can find grandparents and grandchildren sailing together in a race and, moreover, it has a good price therefore we should spread this class around.
Maybe we should try to work on having the Snipe back into Regional Games, such as the Mediterranean Games.
– European Championship: This is an old item that has been discussed in several occasions and I can understand the different views about it.
On one hand, countries that have lost participation in the regattas that classified to that European Championship, like Spain, and on the other hand countries with small fleets in which all the sailors want to go to the Championship. A good system might be to have an open but limited Championship, the same model that we have used on the last World Championships.
Furthermore, when the European Championship is organized by a country with big fleets or nearby one MNA with this characteristic there will be more than 100 boats which will make the event very expensive for the organizer club.
Another item related to the European Championship is the idea to organize a mix Championship. If we do agree, my proposal is to start at Cascais for the long tradition of this Club with the “Trofeo Maria Guedes de Queiroz” Probably we might celebrate it every 2 or 3 years
– Finance: We do have an average annual income near to 86.000,00 $ and I think there some expenses we could manage in a different way.
Snipe Bulletin: I think it is not necessary to be printed. We can all receive it electronically by a pdf archive. If any sniper want to keep getting it on paper we can still send it by an inscription quota. I am fully convinced that we could save almost 100% of the budget item.
Looking at the different annual budgets I have noticed that the above mentioned expense has increased from 2012, with 15.700 $ to 2014 19.120 $, which is, at least, bizarre.
I think that saving that amount of money can help us to do other things such as helping our young sailors of the different countries to attend regattas such as the Worlds or the Europeans, do more clinics or to promote our class.
These are some of the ideas I wanted to share with you all, and I would very much appreciate your feedback on them and at the same time I would welcome any ideas to improve our class