National Chairman here.
For those of you that haven’t been watching the website, advertising is now allowed. See the thread for the pros and cons.
For those of you who haven’t looked at the website for a long time, you should, because there are major things going on which affect you, because you are a Sonata owner, or crew. Viz above.
For those of you owners that are not members of the NSA, you should too. It’s easy and cheap You can send your cheques to:
Cheque made payable to The National Sonata Association and sent to
You can work out for yourselves what the benefits are by trolling the website. You get the whole of the collected Sonata knowledge base for the last 30 years, tuning tips, practical solutions to common problems, suggestions, advice, contacts, etc etc. and much, much more. You also get our NSA Committee updating you on up-to-the-minute Sonata news. The horizon is broader than your local turning buoy Chaps!
Here is a quick newsflash to you;
This morning I was at Alexander Palace at 10.00 for a meeting of the National Classes (the Sonata is a National Class boat) instigated by the RYA. Topics ranged from measurement, role of measurers, “full measurers” as opposed to “check measurers” their (RYA) intention to commonalise measurement of sails so that Sail Measurers can be trained to measure any sails, not just their class sails. On-line access to their database, etc and much more. This is relevant to all of you because, I, personally, can now check on the RYA database about you, whether you are an NSA member, who owns your boat, (and if it hasn’t been updated, certificate – wise, with the RYA, then it is NOT a Sonata Certificate, therefore you cannot race as a ‘Sonata’), who previously owned your boat, what modifications were registered, if any, etc etc. This sounds an awful lot like ‘Big Brother’ and, in a way, it is. But the intentions are honest; namely to tighten the rules so that ‘rouge’ entrants in National, Open and even Club events can be identified and, if their boat is found not to be a Sonata, according to our rules, then it cannot race. The object being that we, as owners, know, without doubt, that the fellow boats we are racing against are indeed ‘Sonatas’ and not a boat, that for whatever reason, is not properly certificated as such.
I would remind you that we have a National Class boat, subject to very carefully worked out measurement rules, all registered with the RYA, because they are our ultimate authority, the intention being of establishing as level a ‘playing field’ as possible. There are few ‘National Classes’ to view which, see the RYA website. We are privileged to be one. To the benefit of all of us because it limits the level at which ‘Cheque Book’ input can influence the Class, and that, I absolutely believe, is the reason we all bought the boats in the first place. Bangs for Buck the Sonata exceeds every boat on the water today, from dinghies to Sigmas, and beyond. Lets keep it that way, and, indeed, exploit it to encourage more keen sailors into our Class because the competition is level and fair.
But, and I implore you to pay attention, lets all get our paperwork up to date. None of you would want to get a win in an event only to be kicked out because you hadn’t registered, for example, a change of ownership, or a modification. Just check it out.
I would very much appreciate an ‘expression of interest’ in participating in the following;
Burnham, Sonata Easterns, 2010. We have set this up for the Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 29th, 30th and 31st August. You can enter just for the weekend, or, for a really magic race week, compete against Mark Lee, Expo, for the overall Sonata half model for the week.
My ‘Baby’ the Sonata Nationals, 2012. I appreciate this is a very long way away in your calendars. However, look at from my perspective; this will be a major international event because I am going to coincide it with the 2012 Olympics. I can definitely get the whole Sonata Nationals fleet in that year up to Greenwich Yacht Club after/before/during the Nationals on the Medway. What an opportunity to be within a mile of the Olympic site during the Games! I can guarantee you that, to rent accommodation in that area for a week at that time would cost you a whole suite of Goachers. I really don’t know whether you lot are at all interested in that opportunity. To me, it is the chance of a lifetime. Even if I cannot get us all up the Lee navigation (the heart of the Olympics), I will personally walk through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel and spend at least a day watching the Olympic games first hand, knowing I can return to my boat at Greenwich Yacht Club and stay over. You guys have to appreciate that this is because I started setting this up six months ago. I need you to back me. So, please, although I appreciate it’s a while to go, give me some feedback. I need to talk sensibly to Greenwich Yacht Club. They are absolutely up for it, and will lay on a fab evening, dinner, etc., on arrival evening. I also need to sort all the security permissions and, as you will imagine, getting even within 5 miles of the Olympic site is going to be a challenge. Fortunately, I personally, have some influence in this area, no promises, but I hope I could arrange ‘safe passage’ for all of us, at least to Greenwich YC.
All I need you to do at this stage is ‘express an interest’. That’s enough for me to talk sensibly to GYC and the authorities concerned to register our desire. Please talk about it with your crews and revert to me within 30 days so I can progress this plan.
Chris, good to see plans in place to put in closer monitoring of class compliance, this can only be a good thing. How can we though check on what information is being held on Us and Our boats, to ensure that the info is indeed correct. Should this data not be published in full on the website?
With regards to the events, We cannot fit in Burnam week, already planning to travel to seven or eight Sonata events this season, thankfully none south of Scarborough.
Regarding 2012, sorry but so far off the radar to even contemplate.
Whilst 2012 is a long long way away compared to my usual basis of seasonal planning (“do I have a crew for this afternoon’s race” being more my style of sailing and preparation) I would like to commit in principle to being at the 2012 event and for a race / cruise to GYC………..sounds as if it could be great fun!
Thanks for your response. Anyone can check on their own details with the RYA. They are in the process of databasing the whole lot (currently some of the older stuff is still paper based). There’s quite a lot to this and the RYA are being very co-operative in lots of ways. I will do a full report when I get a bit of spare time. Regards our website, our thinking is that we create a “Members Only” section which all NSA Members can access but not a casual browser. This adds value to membership, persuades the hesitant that they should join and allows us a bit of privacy to discuss Sonata topics without the world watching. That could well include boat details.
Jack is briefed to look at the technical side but he has just moved house so we are not putting him under pressure at the moment. When we have his feedback, I will start a thread about it.