Winter is here in North America and the Hobie is put away. This time of year, I switch to frostbite sailing and skiing. I recently ran the races for the laser frostbite fleet, it was a cold and windy day but it’s good to take a turn running the races. It’s always humbling working as the race officer and trying to make all the right decisions for the day. My sailing club is a volunteer-run club, and everyone takes a turn helping. This club is a good fit for us, and we enjoy spending time there. Yacht clubs and sailing clubs are a good home for Hobie sailors, there is a community out there of like-minded sailors and I encourage you to explore clubs in your area. Frankly, I wish I had done it sooner.
As many of you know, the Hobie Cat Company very generously funded the Hobie Class for many years, but this funding will come to an end at the end of 2022. For a long time, I have felt that the Hobie Class needed to be financially independent but there was always resistance to change as Hobie Cat Co. was providing funding. Now is the time, we don’t have a choice our financial destiny is in our hands. Our primary source of income is membership dues.
You may ask, what does the IHCA do with their money? Most of the IHCA council are volunteers but we do have one full-time employee, our executive director David Brookes and he works full time to support the affairs of the Class. We also have a part-time treasurer/accountant. There is a requirement to pay World Sailing fees for all our international classes. We operate the IHCA on a very small budget, but our biggest expense is paying the salary of our executive director. In some ways the IHCA is similar to a business, we pay taxes, file financial reports and maintain our status as a legal business. Why do we do all this? In today’s world, you can’t even open a bank account if you don’t exist as a legal entity, let alone obtain permits to run events or purchase insurance.
Some people ask what does the class association do? It’s hard to answer that question as it’s so many little things and many of these are intangible but you are part of a worldwide organization and coordinating Hobie sailing worldwide doesn’t happen by itself.
- Emails there are so many emails that someone has to answer. Some are class business amongst the regional associations while others are sailor inquires.
- Social media is practically a full-time job. We have multiple social media channels we manage.
- We manage 21 websites around the world, these require daily maintenance.
- World championships administration is a daily activity. Execution of a world championship takes years of planning.
- Finances, taxes, business filings, etc. None of this is very exciting but it’s something we must do. We pay taxes every year, prepare financial reports and maintain our status as a legal business.
- There are reports that must be submitted to World Sailing (the governing body of sailing).
- Communication between World Sailing and the class to show our activity.
- Monitoring the rule changes to see how they affect our class Rules
- Submitting our class rules for approval to World Sailing
How can you help? We need your support. Membership isn’t a very exciting subject, and some people don’t like paying membership dues, but the reality is there is no free lunch. Hobie sailing is your sport, it takes time and effort to administer a class association and organize the fun events we all enjoy. None of this happens by itself and none of it is without cost. We all lead busy lives, and we need your support.
We use a calendar year membership cycle, so everyone’s membership renewal is due now. Support your class and your sport by renewing your membership.