Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Change of Watch this year was postponed and rescheduled for April 30 via Zoom. The results of the election of the proposed Bridge officers for 2020 were presented by Secretary David Sutton Kirby (38 aye, 0- nay). Then the new Bridge was sworn in by Past Commanders Dick Schultz and Per Knudsen. (Click here to see the 2020 Bridge officers).
Following this Commander David Edwards presented a short report on the past year and goals for the future:
A. 2019 TSPS Financials in JPY (Info available upon request)
B. 2020 TSPS Members (David and John)
- Current membership is 95, which is the same number of members vs previous year’s CoW
- Impressive that membership has been stable, especially given the challenges posed by COVID-19 since March 2020. However, the full impact remains to be seen.
- Between January 2017 and today, the monthly number of TSPS members has fluctuated between 83 (January 2018) and 103 (June 2019)
- January 2017 84
- January 2018 83
- January 2019 94
- January 2020 96
- 30 April 95
- Other squadrons in TSPS’s District, which includes southern California, have seen membership declines of -9% on average in 2019
- In 2019, USPS squadrons as a whole saw membership fall from 24,622 to 23,008 (approx. -6.6%)
E. 2020 TSPS Bridge Goals (David)
- Continue to offer JMRA Class 1 and 2 license courses, as well as sailing classes (Basic and Intermediate) and club rentals from Hayama Marina (Yamaha 30 boats). We also will aim to increase the number of qualified education and sailing instructors.
- Offer OTW opportunities for TSPS members to go cruising (and possibly informal racing!) in Tokyo Bay, Sagami Bay, and in Kyushu/Seto-naikai, and investigate business models allowing for boat ownership, including low-cost dinghies that are great for practicing sailing.
- Affiliate with the 335,000+ member strong Royal Yachting Association (RYA) so that our members have the opportunity to obtain their ICC (International Certificate of Competence) for international yacht charters in Europe and make TSPS the first stop for RYA members looking to sail in Japan. RYA affiliates also receive a variety of yacht racing-related and training services.
- In comparison, the RYA is about 14.5x larger than USPS, which has 23,008 members as of January 2020
- TSPS will aim to eventually become an assessment center for the ICC
- Continue to offer TSPS social activities including monthly Keelhauls (first Wednesday of every month), summer and fall BBQs, and Tokyo’s best year-end Bonenkai.
- Grow an increasingly diverse membership base and club culture with a focus on welcoming women and people new to boating in cooperation with Tokyo Sailability. TSPS plans to have a booth at the Japan International Boat Show 2021 in Yokohama to support this goal.