Thursday, February 14, 2008
"The Masthead" Issue # 8 2-13-08 "I would like to report a near miss"
Wednesday night “Joint Task Force Newport” was created and has been assigned the task of evaluating sailboat " racing" activities in the harbor and provides future recommended actions. In a unanimous decision the Newport Harbor Commission has asked commission member Ralph Rodheim to lead a group of stakeholders to this task and report back to the commission at a later date.
The Council chambers were full by 1830 with a number of people standing in the halls. In attendance were past Americas Cup Skippers , yacht builders, yacht designers, charter boat owners and sabot sailors . A number of people stood up asking “why the strict enforcement of the speed limit”. Speakers hitting the nail on the head were Andy Rose, Tom Smith and Rodger MacGregor. With Andy and Tom speaking of City and County codes while Roger pointed out the damage that is occurring now by the Harbor Department and asked to put this issue to bed quickly. All three speakers were met with large round of applause after their presentations. Towards the end of public comments, Harbor Master Deana Bergquist presented herself to the commission. Her presentation lasted close to ten minutes and unfortunately I did not really understand what she was trying to say. She encourages staff recommendation to evaluate sailboat racing activities and plans on attending and participating within this committee. She will continue to enforce the speed limit for the public safety and will review the marine event applications on a case-by-case basis. The Captains loudest response came from the comment that no other harbor in Southern California allows sailboat racing within their harbor.
Commissioner Beek asked “Lets just change it back to the way it was”. Member Collins asked for a “cooling off period and continue with the old permit and speed enforcement until this was out of committee”. While member Rhyne expressed the need for the change in ordinance.
My thoughts are we need the change in ordinance so that we do not have to go through this again. I want to race in the bay this summer because I don’t have time to miss a summer of sailing with my son. Where do we stand at this moment? My guess is we won't find out until the first race of beer cans in May.
Sea Ya at the Mid Winters, I will be racing my boat inside the bay in Alamitos