by Pietro Fantoni, SCIRA Commodore
This is not meant to be a sermon. But an invitation to reflect.
The Board likes to see that there are many races with so many boats around the world. But it would most like to see that all the sailors are members in good standing with the Class Association. Also it would like to see that all the National Secretaries enforce the membership rule.
SCIRA … Association, asociación, associazione, associação, asocijacija, vereniging, yhdistys, association, verein, association, stowarzyszenie, ассоциация, 協会
From the Webster dictionary: Association is: – a) an organized group of people who have the same interest, job, etc. – b) a connection or relationship between things or people
We have a boat, the Snipe!
We have the same interest: sailing Snipes!
We are all Snipe Sailors!
There is a connection or relationship between Snipes, Sailing Snipe, Snipe Sailors.
Definitely we need an association for sailing and racing Snipes!
But we already have an association! Many years ago the Snipe Sailors felt the need to come together in a class association.
In September 1931 Snipe number 1 was issued and in November 1932 the Snipe Class International Racing Association was formed with Commodore Hub E. Isaacks. At the end of that year there were 250 numbered Snipes.
The object of the association is stated in the Constitution: “To promote racing of sailboats of the International Snipe Class properly regulated to insure that all boats have identical racing capabilities to as great a degree as possible”.
Being a member of the association is needed to run our Class. The members, the fleets, the captains, the National Secretaries, the measurers, the Technical Committee, the SCIRA officers, the Board of Governors, all run our Class in a democratic way. Everyone can express their own reasons to agree, disagree and have dialogue.
In order to assert their rights within the association, each sailor must be a member. And to be a member we must pay the fees.
The association has costs and a budget. The association must ensure revenue and these are essentially given by the fees. Hence we have the need that every sailor is in good standing with the payment of the fees and that each National Secretary and Fleet Captain check and ensure the membership of everybody.
In my opinion, even before all this, it should be a reason more personal and sentimental. Maybe someone will smile, but I think that being part of SCIRA is like being part of a big family with its benefits and its costs. It should not be too much to pay fees to be part of a big family, to participate in races, to see your name on Snipe Bulletin or on SnipeToday or on other regional sites or on Facebook.
The cost of the association is not high: more or less the cost of a pizza and a beer to be part of one of the oldest and noblest classes of the sailing world!
It’s also a matter of respect for those who respect the rules of membership. Would you go to a pizzeria with a large group of friends, and would eat your pizza, would you drink your beer, and then run away without paying the bill? How would you feel? How would your friends, who had payed the bill for you, feel? Surely they would feel uncomfortable. And you?
I hope this is enough to convince everyone.
However there is another reason. It is basically a penalty which may seem like a threat. Remember that the number of registered members affects the number of teams that a country can send to the Worlds next year. This is a reason why the National Secretaries should enforce the SCIRA membership rule.
Finally, I remind you that a large number of members means a stronger class, which can make its voice heard by the sailing world. It is useful for everyone to have a class that counts. This is true at the club level, at the level of the national federations, at continental level, at Pan-American level and at the highest international level.
Hope to see you all on the race course, happy to be part of the SCIRA with your SCIRA sticker on the boat!