With six members joining in on the fun, the ERCU Board of Directors on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2020 conducted its Winter Meeting for the month. By all accounts, the meeting was productive and appreciated.
The main highlights of club business conducted by the board included a change to the club's motor rule (which keeps current motors legal), action to forward proposed changes to the club's bylaws to the membership for approval, and the creation of a new race event that will serve to recognize members of ERCU who have passed away.
New Motor Rule
After surveying the membership for opinions about changing the motor rule to be in complete alignment with the NAMBA P-Limited motor rules, the board and members in attendance had a long conversation about potentially change. It was agreed that something needed to be done, as current motors are not readily available any longer. That's a situation that's not expected to be rectified as the Dynamite 1500kv and Aquacraft 1500kv motors currently on our approved list are no longer in production.
The new rule, approved unanimously by the board and agreed to by those who offered feedback online, and on the Zoom Winter Meeting, is as follows, and replaces the current motor rule in our rulebook, effective immediately.
These dimensions and specifications include the Himax, Dynamite and Aquacraft 1500kv motors, making them all still legal for use in the club.
Rick Evans and Nelson Holmberg worked on, and presented a number of proposed changes to the ERCU Bylaws, which would serve to not only modernize the document - which hasn't been updated since January 2004 - but also provides for improved systems for changes to club rules, club bylaws and appeals, which involve club members more than ever before.
A document of the bylaws will be sent via email to all members in the coming days for review and feedback. A voting function will be set up online for a vote of the members, and that link will be sent as a part of the email distribution.
Detroit Memorial Proposal
Brad Lewis and David Newton have been working on a way to honor members of ERCU who have passed away and to keep their memories with us into the club's future. On Sunday, the two proposed the idea of putting on a "Detroit Memorial Regatta" as a regular part of the ERCU schedule, beginning in 2021. This event would provide the club opportunities to memorialize those members who have passed away, without having to create "Memorial" races for each of them. The proposed site for the race is Longview, given its easy access from both the Seattle and Portland markets and the site's general popularity among our members. Concerns about the safety of the launch area at Longview were discussed and the club committed to explore remedies of this with the City of Longview to see what could be done to improve it.
All involved in the Winter Meeting agreed it was a good idea, and the board voted unanimously to commit to supporting the proposal as presented, and to authorize $100 to assist with site improvements.
It was a good Winter Meeting, and all who attended were welcome to weigh in, which provided true transparency for everyone involved.
The January Winter Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 at 11 a.m., again via Zoom.
All ERCU members, and interested parties, are welcome to attend the second Winter Meeting of the 2020-21 ERCU offseason, Sunday, Dec. 13 at 11 a.m.
Offseason meetings are no longer known as "board meetings", and instead being called "Winter Meetings", because it's the board's desire for these meetings to be inviting and open to all who would like to attend. While there is an agenda to help keep the meeting mostly on track, member feedback is always welcome.
The meeting will be virtual on Zoom (click here for the meeting link). Telephone call in access can be accomplished by dialing (253) 215-8782. The meeting ID is 668 946 9049 and password is ERCU2020.
This month's agenda includes discussion of changes to the ERCU Bylaws, which have not been amended since 2004. Most of the changes are cleaning up and modernizing, but there is also language that adds much more member interaction in changing rules and bylaws in the future. To see the proposed changes to the bylaws, click the link below. Proposed changes are marked with blue text or green text throughout the document.
The meeting's agenda also includes discussion, and perhaps a decision, on a change to the club's motor rule. This change would be a shift to NAMBA's current P-Limited rule, which allows for a much larger number of eligible motors that are more available on the open market.
The suggested change would include all motors that are currently legal within ERCU.
As a result of a lengthy conversation about motors, the club board recommended a member review of the NAMBA P-Limited approved motors, which most closely match the motors we use.
The change is on the agenda for this month's meeting, and it could be voted on at this meeting. There is a bit of a sense of urgency, since it's already December, and people will need to plan for ordering motors, testing and potentially changing setups before the 2021 season starts.
The agenda for the December Winter Meeting is available by clicking below. We encourage anyone who's interested in attending the meeting virtually to feel free to do so.
As a reminder, the 2021 ERCU Board of Directors has been selected and is: Chair: Nelson Holmberg. Secretary: Rick Evans. Registrar/Treasurer: Ron Daum. Race Coordinator: Jerry Dunlap. Statistician: Len Taylor. Inspector: Robbie Roberts. At Large: Bill Mowatt.
Hope to see many of you at the Winter Meeting on Sunday!
We officially brought the 2020 ERCU racing season to a close on December 6, with a virtual happy hour to present awards and share some camaraderie.
The small group of members who attended had a great time sharing stories of racing, memories of Harry Gatjens, Roger Newton, Howard Price, Ron Erickson and others, and celebrating the winners of the 2020 ERCU Season Awards.
This year, we recognized our traditional awards and handed out Top 8 for modern, Top 9 for classic and top 11 for vintage. With our abbreviated racing schedule - due to the Covid-19 pandemic - we wanted to recognize all who participated in each class.
Season champions in each class include:
ERCU Contest Director of the Year: Len Taylor was given this award, having sacrificed his own racing at three events this year in order to keep things moving, and officiating every heat at the Champion Spark Plug Regatta, Gold Cup and Roger Newton Memorial. Len also made sure the critical equipment was on site for our races and set up and broke down the official barge at each event.
ERCU Most Improved Driver: Mick Shutt participated in one race this year before returning to Arizona during the summer hiatus of racing, but was recognized for his improvement during that event.
ERCU Sportsmanship Award: Paul Dunlap was given this year's sportsmanship award after having captained the chase boat - exclusively - at three of our five races, always being willing to lend a helping hand, picking up the buoys at all five races, and simply displaying a positive attitude and great sportsmanship all season long.
ERCU Rookie of the Year: We continued our tradition of recognizing the best rookie in each class this year, and the choices were pretty clear.
ERCU Hall of Fame: The 2020 inductee into the ERCU Hall of Fame is Robbie Roberts. Robbie has made a significant difference in the club, both on and off the water, for years. He's consistently up front, brings new boats to the club, always helpful to both the club and to other racers, brings a positive attitude and friendliness, serves the board of directors as inspector, has a solid knowledge of the rulebook, and provides first-rate representation of members when it comes time to decisions the board has to make.
While it's truly too bad we could not gather in person this year to celebrate the awards winners and another racing season, those who were able to attend did have fun with the virtual version of our awards gathering.
As Robbie often has said in the last month, "April will be here before we know it", so start thinking about your winter boat work. We'll see you at the races in 2021!
To see the PowerPoint slides that we shared on the Happy Hour, please click below.
This Sunday (Dec. 6) at 5:30 p.m., join in on the fun for an ERCU Happy Hour via Zoom, where the club will announce the winners of its 2020 awards!
We would love to have everyone who can attend join in on the fun with beverages and snacks of your choice! You can join via video (preferred) or by telephone and still enjoy the fun! This will be mostly an opportunity to socialize and spend some virtual time together, but we'll also do a brief program to announce the award winners for our abbreviated 2020 season. which will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m., during a club Zoom Happy Hour. Everyone is welcome to attend from the comfort of their own homes (masked or not), with beverages and snacks of your choice. We’ll celebrate our abbreviated season together by announcing the award winners and have a little fellowship for an hour or so virtually.
Once the event is over, we'll also post the award winners for this year on our club website and Facebook.
But wait ... there's more! We'll double-dip the recognition and honors for our 2020 award winners. At the first race of the 2021 season, we'll have an extended lunch break where we'll actually physically hand out all of our awards and get photos to honor the winners appropriately.
Making the best of the bummer this pandemic has thrown over us this year: That's what set us apart from most clubs in 2020.
Zoom Invite for ERCU Awards Happy Hour (virtual version)
Meeting ID: 668 946 9049
By Phone: 253-215-8782