A Conference of Many Firsts

The 9th ICOYC European and South American Conference at the Gstaad Yacht Club was the first for many yacht club members. Without a doubt, it was the first time that an ICOYC conference was not held by the sea, but in the mountains. Sailors turned into “Alpinists,” experiencing the Gstaad Valley at 1050m and the top of the private mountain Wasserngrat at 2000m in the Swiss Alps with a chairlift under the snow.

That’s probably another first: a conference under the snow. That also brought a first for delegates from the Royal Fresh Water Bay Yacht Club, Commodore Peter Chalmer and Mrs. Chalmer experienced snow for the first time, and a snow battle with the other delegates followed.

Readers may be wondering: did we even attend the conference, or did we spend all our time playing in the Alps and throwing snowballs? We did, in fact, attend the conference.

Two and half days of conference full of good topics and discussions, as Vice President Goncalo Esteves from Clube Naval de Cascais said “by far the most attended conference, 28 yacht clubs attending out of 48 Club Members. Among them, we had new entries Salinas Yacht Club in Ecuador and Monte Real Club de Yates de Baiona in Spain attending the conference for the first time (no, they did not freeze). Also, the Cruising Club Of America attended the conference for the first time, and on the theme of firsts, CCA represents the first club in the Council without a clubhouse.

Among the delegates, some of them set the bar with exceptional performances. While I don’t want to yet reveal those names, here is a hint: the best leading singer and choir director is hosting the next European forum. It is best to practice your singing skills, dear delegates.

Every ICOYC event is unique, is always special and is worth attending. Do not miss the next events: World Forum 2023 at Royal Vancouver Yacht Club this September, and the ICOYC Cruise at Annapolis Yacht Club this September – October.