By: Pat Winter and Steve Harris
The Osprey Yacht Club has nominated its board for next year, and with winter quickly approaching, this year’s yacht club-sponsored events have come to an end. 2018 Commodore Steve Harris shares his reflections on the club’s past year in this interview with Pat Winter.
P: What do you feel was a strength of the club this year?
S: The club is amazing in how it meets challenges as it continues to evolve, gaining breadth and depth. Challenges came fast and furious this year. Our first was the untimely loss of Terry Facey and the impact of that loss on the racing and regattas program. This was followed by needed adjustments to the long-time Severe Weather Team (SWT) procedures. Later challenges included the unexpected ALE inspection and the loss of Bruce Freeman, the very backbone of the club’s premier program, Opti training. Members stepped up to meet the challenges and succeeded where needed to sustain the core programs. The club is resilient and innovative, as well as imbued with a strong sense of community with attention to our local Albemarle Plantation community and to the broader region. By its direct involvement with the Dockmaster’s new SIPIT (Shelter in Place Inspection Team) program, warm hospitality shown to our visitors from the Neuse River, and support to the Newbold-White House programs, the club showed itself, once again, to be an invaluable asset to our community.
P: Do you have any specific hopes for the club’s future?
S: The club has huge potential as a resource to the larger AP community as it fosters awareness of our affordable resort lifestyle in the surrounding region and even nationwide. By year’s end, we will have OYC burgees hanging in yacht clubs in both Florida and in California. We have had numerous visitors from the Pamlico region this year, all of whom are now aware of AP and the club. The Board’s review of membership requirements and other strategic topics have highlighted issues and opportunities for the club to enhance its value as an exemplary representative of AP. I would like to see some of those ideas come to fruition early. We are on a good path with some tangible steps already taken. I am enthusiastic as I look forward to more regional impact under the leadership of the next Commodore.
P: What got you involved with OYC?
S: I was initially attracted to the club specifically because of its inclusiveness and focus on the water. The club has grown substantially in kayaking this year. I would hope we can return to a similar growth in membership involvement in sailing and powerboating. The club benefits by its long-range cruising program, both in terms of the depth of friendships that it fosters and the experience and outreach opportunities that cruising affords.
P: What club activity this year was your favorite?
S: For me, I think the most fun this year was the “Docktails Light” welcome party for the visiting flotilla from Neuse River Sailing Association in June. We showed our true colors in hospitality to those visitors on short notice. Everybody chipped in as they always do. The visitors repeatedly expressed their appreciation and surprise at discovering the jewel that is Albemarle Plantation.
P: Do you have any closing thoughts?
S: I want to express my sincere appreciation for the confidence the membership expressed in me when I was first elected to the Board three years ago. I appreciate now that the position of Commodore requires perspective on the historical roots and mission of the club, as well as an ability to embrace change. This has been a challenging and rewarding year for Rudi and me. The support for our family expressed early and often by club members was, and is, the most valuable gift. Thank you.