From the Helm


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Greetings, fellow CSOA members (or prospective members) ... Well, as Anton indicated in his note of last week to the listserv, I have accepted the challenge (gulp!) of keeping the CSOA alive and kicking into the new millennium. Anton and Shirley will certainly be a hard act to follow -- let me add my thanks to both of them for all their great work with CSOA over the years -- but I'll give it my best shot. While I've only been part of this group for the last year, it has certainly been obvious that there is lots of energy and enthusiasm among CS owners, and it is this that I hope to build upon.

As a bit of personal background, I've been sailing (mostly racing as crew) for about 15 years on Lake Ontario. Last year, my wife Pascale and I decided it was about time to (finally!) buy a boat. While I tried to be objective, I'd already decided in my own mind that a CS30 was the "target", having raced on one a few years back and really loved her lines and design. We purchased Beta Questar (CS30 hull 20, 1985 vintage) in November of 1999 and have just completed a great first summer with her. We think of her as our "mobile cottage" and with our proximity to the Great Lakes, this works just fine. We have two kids, ages 7 & 9, so as long as we keep finding new places to go, they like the boat just fine! But back to the CSOA ...

I've given quite a bit of thought, of late, to what things CSOA could focus on as we move forward. In addition, I had the opportunity last week to meet with the leadership of our sister organization, CS West, to learn what activities and services they provide and how they are organized (many thanks to Stephanie, Carsten, Pierre, Sally, Don, Jonie, Bob and Cathie for their great hospitality). Some of the possible services or activities for CSOA include:

To supplement and/or prioritize this list, I'd like to hear from you, the membership, on where you think CSOA should put our energy. In addition, I would like to update my records of everyone's information. To this end, I'll be mailing out an intro letter and brief survey either by e-mail (if your address is still active) or by snail-mail (US or Canadian postal service) in the next few weeks. Please take the time to complete and return this before the end of December (if you get one via both sources, please only respond to one). If you're not already a CSOA member and would like to be, please fill out the form on our web site (http://www.closereach.com/csoa/question.htm) or send an e-mail to csoa@rogers.com .

Finally, I would like to form a small CSOA leadership team, to "divide and conquer" the various parts of running our association. Without pre-judging the feedback on our focus areas (a strong emphasis on a topic may necessitate a dedicated leadership role in that area), some of the roles I'd like to get help with are:

Realistically, the Treasurer and Membership roles would probably need to be local to the greater Toronto area, while the Newsletter and Rendezvous roles could be filled from someone in any location. Give some thought to these and contact me to express your interest or to talk further about what might be involved. I'll be looking to fill these roles by January so that we can provide a full year of CSOA activities and services.

That's it for now. I look forward to meeting many of you in the future and to sharing our enjoyment of sailing through the activities of the CSOA.

Best regards .............. Neil Payne     E-mail: csoa@rogers.com

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