The sailing season for most of us is now substantially over for the 2019 season and other than a few winter campaigns and the odd piece of inspired winter training most of us will be parking our Sabres on dry land until the new sailing season begins.
With that in mind it is probably an opportune time to then send out the first of what is intended to be a series of periodic updates and communication pieces with all the Sabre community across all States. There is plenty happening in the Sabre world and the next 12 months will see a lot of activity that the SSAA will be communicating with the sailing community on a regular basis. Admittedly, I was hoping to send something earlier however, as with most of us, the commitments of family and work, various travel requirements, not to mention an inconvenient cold or flu means these things don’t always roll out as intended.
But enough of the chat and on with what’s important.
New SSAA Committee with full State Representation
The SSAA AGM was convened in late March 2019 and it is with great pleasure that we advise that we have a fully elected suite of office bearers that have representation from each Sabre State. The full committee is as follows:
President: Russell Rooney (Vic).
Vice President: Ryan Kelly (SA)
Secretary: Alan Wilson (Qld)
Treasurer: Barry Eastgate (Vic)
National Measurer: Gary McLennan (Vic)
Ordinary Committee Members: Brian Jones (WA), Chris Keil (Tas) Jamie Simpson (NSW),
These details have now been posted to the website. Full appreciation and thanks goes to Brian Jones who has provided a dedicated and loyal service in his previous role as SSAA President and thankfully Brian has decided to remain on the SSAA committee as an Ordinary Member.
Renewed Focus from the SSAA
As a group we have expressed our strong desire to working transparently and collaboratively and in the best interest of Sabres. With full representation from each of the States we are now in a strong position to ensure the Class remains inclusive, well represented and capable of guiding the Class through some of the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead.
Sailing in general appears to be in a transition phase currently with many classes and clubs competing for market share. We are very fortunate in the Sabres to have a diverse and active group who are like-minded and seek to act in the best interests of the class. Of course, what has been the platform of our success in the past cannot be assumed to provide or warrant the success of the class going forward.
The SSAA Committee believes there are a number of areas that can be addressed that will serve to set the Class up for success for many years to come.
The Sabre Class has been enormously successful over its 45 years with awesome sailing and regattas, great culture and some truly awe-inspiring people. The driving force behind the ongoing success of the Class is developing and maintaining the correct class culture so that people with the right mind set and correct skill set can help take the class forward.
Sailing camaraderie and sport in general, enhances and enriches our lives and as we do sail to compete, the emphasis in this environment is to ensure that our competitive spirit does not allow behaviour to degenerate to the unacceptable or what is commonly referred to as ‘below the line’.
As a national body we have made a commitment to show a Zero Tolerance approach to any behaviour that we believe brings sailing or Sabres into disrepute and we will be working closely with Australian Sailing to assist in this matter.
It is commonly understood that any successful organisation needs to continually assess itself for change or development in response to its external environment. As a Class we must stay relevant, suitable and appealing and we need to properly and appropriately assess and respond to change, challenges and opportunity.
There will be further communication provided on this matter soon but the SSAA has undertaken an assessment of the Sabre's relative strengths and weaknesses (commonly known as a SWOT analysis) and then developed a series of potential strategic initiatives (SI’s) that identify potential areas for improvement.
There will be several areas we will consider, the first of which will be a programme to assess opportunities associated with the current Sabre sail. A sail evaluation programme has been developed which outlines the steps and pathways in relation to sail evaluation and the parameters surrounding any basis for change.
The decision to change (or not) any feature of the Sabre (including the sail), be it design development. boat construction or other, will only be undertaken after a full and properly considered evaluation process and in a transparent, independent and impartial manner where change is not initiated for the interest of the few but for the benefit of the many and as a ‘best for Sabre’ outcome.
Finally, our gold standard for any class development will be that any initiative can only be considered as worthy of evaluation when the outcome is that no member of the current Sabre sailing scene is materially disadvantaged as a result.
Simultaneously, there are a number of other initiatives that can be undertaken to improve the Class, such as publicity and promotion, working with our licensed class building partners to assist with new boat build time and standardisation of Sabre fittings and hardware. We will update the Sabre Community as we work through these initiatives.
New Mould in Tasmania
Tasmania has long been one of the Sabre Association’s healthiest and strongest states for the Sabres and it’s about to get a whole lot better. A new mould has been secured for the State which will enable the production of GRP boats in the Apple Isle. This is very positive outcome for Tasmania and before too long we hope to see new boats in the water.
Nationals at Wallaroo SA 4th -11th January 2020
Don’t forgot to reserve your accommodation for Wallaroo. I have been personally assured by some well-known International 14 sailors that Wallaroo is an awesome place to sail and I know Ryan Kelly and his team have been putting in a huge effort into ensuring this will be a fantastic event. We will shortly be updating the website to give easier access to all the required information for the Nationals.
In the meantime, the accommodation details can be found here:
Lastly, I thought I would end this communication with a note to say thanks to all the committee members out there at state and national level who do their work without fuss, in the best interest of Sabres and, in the most part, enjoying the full support of the Sabre Sailing community.
We all turn up to Sabre events and championship, attend training sessions, get our boats measured, somebody tells us how much money we have available and what we’ve spent and you might even have read to the end of this email.
We all enjoy the Sabre sailing scene that is provided. So as a request from me, next time you see a Sabre Committee member in your area go up to them and say, ‘Thanks mate, and great job’
Remember ‘Any fool can condemn, criticise and complain - and most fools do’
Yours in Sailing
The SSAA Committee
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