Get current PYC news and join the discussions at PYCnews.com
Our newsletter, Branch Creek Harbor News, is now online and the format is interactive. This is where you can find the most up-to-date PYC news and start or join a discussion with other PYC members. Come take a look at PYCnews.com.
By Ed Hockenberg, s/v Priorities
Greetings my fellow PYC sailors, guests and future members! I am both honored and thrilled to be your Commodore for the 2014 sailing season and greatly appreciate all of your support, enthusiasm and collective efforts to maintain PYC’s status as one of the premier, volunteer-led and exclusively sail-only clubs in the Midwest.
Please take the opportunity to welcome Penny Morgan back to the Board of Governors as Secretary and Tom Flynn for his first rotation on the board working side-by-side with Chris Ross maintaining the club’s Buildings & Grounds. We extend our most sincere thanks and gratitude to Richard (“Ricardo”) Oben for his many contributions and leadership with multiple volunteer efforts throughout the year. Many thanks to my predecessor Mij Frierson for his steadfast leadership during the past two years.
Lisa, Jacqueline and I purchased our very first sailboat (a Catalina 25’) at PYC in late 2002 and formally joined the club the next spring. We were immediately welcomed in by the membership and have happily called PYC our second home ever since. We count many of our closest friends amongst the membership of PYC and are already counting down the days until club opening. The club continues to offer a wide array of activities for sailors at all skills levels, from recreational to ultra-competitive, from young beginners to salty old dogs.
Numbers play an important part in my professional life; I’ll mention three in my column this month that should be of particular importance to the membership: 893, 38%, and 150.
As I write this column the lake level stands at 893.25 feet above sea level, almost two feet above the standard pool level of 891.50. One year ago today the water level situation was dire at just 886.9 and all boats had vacated the harbor. Many of our members, including us, relocated to other marinas on the lake but maintained involvement with the club. While the other marinas were very gracious in hosting our wayward boats they are simply unable to replicate the sense of community which exists at PYC. When we joined the club during a serious drought in 2003 I was told by many of the long-time members to be patient and wait for the spring rains to replenish the reservoir; much to our satisfaction the water did indeed come back. Earlier this year the water level rose almost 7 feet in one week as a result of monsoon-like Memorial Day weekend rains. We sincerely hope that most of the members that chose to go elsewhere for the season find themselves back in PYC’s Branch Creek Harbor for the 2014 sailing season.
The figure 38% represents the drop in revenue year-over-year from 2012 as a direct result of drought conditions. Your Board of Governors established a worst-case budget which anticipated the significant decline in receipts and curtailed events and expenses accordingly. The club remains in healthy fiscal shape with a solid, albeit somewhat depleted, cash reserve. During FY13 we retired our debt for the pump-out station, modified our lease with the corps to expand our property southward including the “Hobie beach” area and leaned heavily on our dedicated volunteers to make numerous improvements to the club including the main road, the beach area, the gravel roads and landscaping. Please plan to attend the membership meeting in March 2014 when we discuss at length the 2013 financial results and 2014 fiscal year budget. In future newsletters I will expand on the various topics which will be discussed at the membership meeting.
The final figure 150 represents the number of days remaining until club opening day 2014. There are several of you like us that will choose to leave your boats in the harbor over the winter in order to take advantage of the occasional mild winter day; for us that 150 day figure represents the time remaining until we are reunited with our close friends and extended PYC family.
Our family wishes all of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!
Please visit PYCnews.com for more info about all PYC events. That's where you'll read about all current events at the club.
Hope to see you at the club soon.