Fishing Bay Yacht Club won US Sailing’s Regatta of the Year award for hosting the 2010 USODA Layline Nationals.  A big part of what set us over the top was our online media and promotion of the event.  It was a fun event this summer and I’m glad to have played a part in it.  Kudos to the rest of the team that made it happen.

From US Sailing’s Press Release:

The Fishing Bay Yacht Club (FBYC) of Deltaville, Va. won the 2010 Regatta Award for the excellence in development, promotion, and management performed by organizers and sponsors of the 2010 USODA (United States Optimist Dinghy Association) Layline Nationals on July 17-25, 2010.

Co-chairs Noel Clinard and Jay Buhl, along with webmaster Jon Deutsch were recognized for demonstrating extraordinary individual creativity and contribution to the year’s most innovative one-design event of national significance. The regatta attracted broad national and international participation of 317 boats through persistent marketing and communication efforts. The small club located in a village maximized their resources through their entrepreneurial promotions, sponsorship development, community involvement, shore activities and creative dissemination of housing, tourism, historical and racing information.

The regatta site conjoined four nearby properties, including the Deltaville Dockyard, Jackson Creek Condominiums, Deltaville Maritime Museum, and Harbor House Community. The regatta consisted of three events: team racing, girls fleet racing, open fleet racing, plus a green fleet for novices. Despite its small size of about 330 family members, FBYC turned out different race committees for these events with over 50 volunteers.

The backbone for marketing the regatta was an effective, user friendly web site at The web site was enabled to provide social networking through Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. A detailed media plan included the engagement of two separate video services, and Sailgroove, who provided ample coverage. FBYC facilitated the recruitment of Layline, a marine supplier, as the first ever Platinum level partner for USODA.

Also, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist and US SAILING Team AlphaGraphics member Anna Tunnicliffe was in attendance and gave the keynote address for the opening ceremony.

This weekend I was honored to be presented with Fishing Bay Yacht Club’s Matthew Fontaine Maury Bowl.

Jon Deutsch being presented with the Matthew Fontaine Maury Bowl

The description of the award:

In 1973, an award was created by gift of the Cruising Class. This gift was made possible by the special generosity of Reid Dunn and Ray Toms. The basis for the award is “outstanding contribution to sailing.” The Bowl is to be a perpetual trophy to be awarded annually by the Board of Trustees of the Fishing Bay Yacht Club; however, for any year for which the Board may determine that a suitable award cannot be made, the award shall be withheld. Generally, the award will be made to members of the Fishing Bay Yacht Club for contribution to sailing at Fishing Bay. In exceptional cases, however, the Board shall not be restricted in these respects. The award shall be accompanied by a citation describing the outstanding contribution to sailing on which the award was based.

The citation that was read by the Commodore at the ceremony and given to me in a frame:

The Matthew Fontaine Maury Bowl, the Club’s most coveted award, is given for the year’s outstanding contribution to sailing at FBYC.  Jonathan M. Deutsch, the 2010 recipient, has made outstanding contributions to Club sailing through his extraordinary efforts, raising the bar for hosting regattas to new levels at FBYC and across the nation.

Jon volunteered to put together the state of the art Regatta web site for the 2010 USODA Nationals hosted by FBYC in June, resulting in one of the finest Regatta web sites in the history of sailing. ( The effectiveness of the site was surely one of the reasons FBYC’s Opti Nationals was recently awarded One Design Regatta of the Year by US Sailing. The site was the backbone of the marketing efforts for months prior to the regatta which surpassed 300 boats from all over the country. He developed the site from scratch, built in links to Twitter and Facebook, organized mailing lists for registrants, and dedicated his time, full time, during the 9 day Regatta to keep up with the fast moving event online. He made frequent updates from the race courses, which resulted in notices being sent out to the Facebook event page, and tweets to those following on Twitter.  That drove a lot of traffic to the site, as many people followed both Twitter and Facebook.

This, however, was merely the finale in a long list of other things Jon has done for sailing at FBYC and beyond. A few others include serving as Event Chairman for the wildly successful Laser Masters Regatta at FBYC for the last 5 years. He has been the FBYC Laser Fleet Captain for 5 years. He crews often with our offshore fleet. He is a regular race committee volunteer. As a semi-professional photographer, he has provided the club with literally thousands of photographs of more events than we can name; but just a few recent ones include: the Front Runner Midwinters in Florida, our offshore fall series #2, and the Laser Masters. As the District 11 Laser Fleet Chairman for the past several years, (covers four states) he maintains that web site.

In the words of John Bertrand, an Olympic sailing silver medalist, and winner of our Laser Masters for the last 2 years, “Jon Deutsch is a photographer and regatta organizer extraordinaire.” For this the 2010 Maury Bowl is presented to Jonathan M. Deutsch.

And here’s the acceptance speech I gave:

This year has been so much fun.  And it has been an incredible year for the club. To the event chairs who let me be part of their events, thanks for allowing me to play a role in putting on your great events.  To those who helped me run my events this year, namely the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Regatta, thank you for your help putting on this regatta.

This year coming up will be the 30th running of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters regatta at FBYC.  This is truly a special regatta that has a great reputation among Laser Masters sailors up and down the east coast.  Some of the best Laser Masters sailors in that area regularly come to this event.  Thank you all for everything you’ve done to help us continue this tradition.

Jay [Buhl] and Noel [Clinard], you both did a great job running the Opti Nationals Regatta this summer.  Thank you for allowing me to run with my vision for the regatta website and thanks for all the help you gave me with it.  We learned a lot in the process that we hope to roll back into the Fishing Bay Yacht Club website in the coming years.

It’s been one heck of a great year.  Thank you for allowing me to do what I do.  Thank you for the award.  I can’t wait until next season.  Thank you.

FBYC members can see the past winners of this award by visiting the members only website here.

Jon on the Bow of Mr. Roberts at the 2010 USODA Layline NationalsFollowing up on the USODA Layline Nationals – the event went fantastic.  I was out on the water each day for the entire week with one part of the race committee or another.  The social media experiment went very well with a lot of traffic hitting the site, and a lot of people following on twitter and facebook. Being able to quickly post information to the web was great for both the RC and organizing authority to get information out, and for parents/coaches to see the detailed stuff.  At some point I’ll be writing up something of a case study to share what I learned with those who want to replicate some of what I did with this regatta.

Shot of Mr. Roberts at the start of a race on WednesdayMy vantage point with the RC also enabled me to get some incredible photos.  Some of those include a fisheye photo of the start from the bow pulpit, and photos of the start while standing on the goal posts.  And event photographer Dave Hein was nice enough to swap spots with me for a race so I could get a few shots from around the course.

Opti Nationals Start from atop Mr. RobertsI did get some photos of the racing action, but I mostly focused on photos that highlighted the club and community effort to put on the event.  Those photos were rolled into a scrapbook that is now in the club library.  All of the photos that I took can be found here.  These collections are about 93% mine and the rest were contributed by other club members.

For more videos, pictures, results and all of the writing done for the regatta.  Check out the event website which will remain up for some time as an archive.

This Friday I am embarking on a 10-day odyssey to the 2010 USODA Layline National Championship. Fishing Bay Yacht Club is hosting this National Championship in 8′ sailboats for the top 8-15 year-old sailors from around the country. Deltaville Virginia, a town of only 500-800 full-time residents, will be inundated with over 320 sailors, their siblings, parents and coaches. Three events will take place from Saturday to Saturday to crown the Team, Girls and Fleet National Champions.

Since October, I’ve created and managed the event website at During that time it’s evolved as a pretty neat project. The goal of course has been to create a first-rate event website for the sailors, parents and coaches to get information about the event and make their plans. The site will also serve those who may not be making the trip and will be following along from their computers at home. Not only is there a website, but we’ve set up variety of other social media outlets to enable all of our fans and followers to keep up with the regatta in their preferred format. We’ve got everything from the website (including an online shop), twitter, facebook, youTube, flickr, email, webcam, and SMS Text.

To help facilitate this I’ll be the onsite blogger for the duration of the regatta. Throughout the regatta I’ll be writing blog posts, sending tweets, updating the facebook page and getting notices and results posted to the website. During the racing I’ll be stationed aboard the main committee boat with an internet connection where I can connect to the website and upload pictures and information as well as monitor the weather for the race committee.

My role is just one part of the hundreds of volunteers around FBYC and Deltaville who have a hand in putting on this major event. It’s going to be a great week and I’m really looking forward to it. To check out my coverage and see what’s going on, check out the event website at throughout the week.

2010 USODA Nationals Website

Today we launched the website for the 2010 US Optimist Dinghy Nationals to be held by Fishing Bay Yacht Club and several other community organizations in Deltaville, Virginia.

The website we put together uses WordPress to help get news out about the event. We’ll also be utilizing twitter, facebook, SMS, and email to spread information about the event, engage parents and participants, and to report on the event for spectator parents, grandparents and others who aren’t able to be on site.