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Annual Fleet President’s Message


Photo by Kristin Rutkowski | Gallery

Annual Fleet President’s Message

January 5, 2023

Dear J/30 Fleet, Happy New Year!

My name is Heidi Frist and I am the owner/skipper of Suzie Q, hull #203 located in the Chesapeake Bay. I am so honored to be elected to serve as the 16th Class President and the first female in the history of our association. I have had a lot of fun serving as the Chesapeake Fleet Captain and look forward to expanding this fun to a national level!

I want to thank our outgoing President, Bruce Irvin, for his leadership and guidance. Bruce is a dedicated member of our class and an excellent skipper and competitor who continuously displays the spirit of honesty and integrity. He is always there to offer a supportive hand in giving tips on racing strategy and boat handling to encourage members of the class to participate in various regattas and events. I remember he twisted my arm to enter Suzie Q in Eastport Yacht Club’s Lights Parade in 2019. He said it was the most Christmassy thing you can do. And sure enough, he was right! So, thank you Bruce for your devotion to our class!

I also want to thank Dave Erwin for his support and friendship and Dan Mather for keeping us straight with our finances.

Hailing originally from the hills of West Virginia, I did not grow up sailing. When I moved to Maryland in 2002 and experienced other life changing events, I discovered the Chesapeake Bay and what it is like to be powered by the wind to move through the water. I purchased my J/30 on Mother’s Day in 2012 and my life hasn’t been the same since! As I’ve grown to love racing in the Chesapeake Bay, I’ve also grown to love cruising with friends, visiting some amazing places by water. My favorite so far is sailing Grenada and the Grenadines. I’ve done a couple Golden Rock Regattas (a race from St. Martin to St. Eustasia including all the islands in between that was sadly discontinued) and in 2016, I participated in the Key West to Cuba race. I have even done a couple amazing boat deliveries along the east coast with my partner who is a licensed captain. If you want a little more info about me, check out Spinsheet’s Start Sailing Now article in their February 2022 issue.

I am enthusiastic about the upcoming sailing season! My goal as your Class President is to encourage racers and cruisers of the J/30 fleet to get out on the water and enjoy what this lifestyle has to offer. I am hoping to get some of us together in-person for social meetups and build up our camaraderie nationwide. I want to welcome newcomers to our class and encourage young sailors to learn from our fleet so they may keep the sport of sailing alive and well. I am also hoping to learn from you! I am optimistic that you all share the same enthusiasm and will help me achieve these goals.

To get things started, please mark your calendar for the 2023 North American to be held in Bristol, RI on August 24-27, 2023. Anyone who is planning to go to Bristol, RI should start thinking about their accommodations and making those reservations as soon as possible. Even if you don’t want to, or are unable to compete, please consider joining us and participating in the on-shore events. Bristol is a New England tourist haven with amazing seafood, beautiful views and historic attractions. It is also arguably where our boats were born! A great place to have a little vacation and fleet camaraderie at the same time! For the Notice of Race and other info please check out Bristol Yacht Club’s website for this event.

Make sure to keep your dues current. To pay your 2023 Class Association membership dues, please visit the J/30 class website: http://j30.us/renew/

I also encourage everyone to share their experiences sailing and owning a J/30 on the J/30 Facebook page and utilizing the class association’s website and forums.

I look forward to meeting you all in person in Bristol, RI. Have a great year on and off the water!

Heidi Frist
J/30 Class President
Suzie Q #203

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