Notes of Open Forum discussions following close of formal AGM business at Cascais, 26 September 2001
Approximately 30 people remained for this discussion after the AGM. Ali Meller opened the discussion by referring to the discussion on the format of championships and the courses at Durban. As a result of this, and subsequent e mail discussion, the IEC had changed the format for the current championship to provide for nine races, with two double race days, and had altered the course to provide for two windward leeward legs and one triangle. He was interested in the reaction to the changes.
There was general consensus that the new course configuration was better in that it kept the fleet closer together for longer and made for more interesting and tactical racing. One disadvantage was increased congestion at the leeward mark, which caused more pile-ups in light wind a potential for damage in stronger winds. There was general agreement that a leeward gate, ie with two marks would be an improvement. Krister Bergstrom suggested that a windward gate would also improve matters. The point was made that this could be problematic for Race Officers as two marks would have to be moved in the event of a shift during the race. KB made the point that if there was a spacer mark there were two to move anyway. However, it was agreed that the IEC should bear the points in mind in discussions with Organisers of future championships.
Howard Hamlin raised the question of the reaching angle following the introduction of the new spinnakers. It was agreed that we would move from the present triangle with internal angles of 55/70/55 to one of 45/90/45 (using the windward leg as the base).
2 Race Programme
A few of those present preferred the old format of one race per day, but a majority favoured having more races. However, there was no consensus as to how many extra races should be held. Opinions expressed ranged from aiming to get in two races everyday for seven days, to having two races on five days with a spare day in the middle and at the end. A few wanted the championship condensed into one week, although more felt that this would devalue the event and make it less likely that we would get a satisfactory series. The views on the principle of a programming a spare day were sought. Although there were a few strong advocates on grounds that this would make events more attractive to those with families, the majority preferred that the programme be continuous on the grounds that many programmed days had been lost at recent events, and if conditions were good we should sail when ever possible.
Johan Arvedson made the observation that clearer rules were needed to deal with the re running of postponed races. Under the old system this was clear, but the modifications made for this year had led to confusion, as illustrated by the correspondence on the Race Notice Board.
The point was also made that the programme and race lengths would have to reflect the venue. Matt Hansen made the point that in Freemantle, the first race of the day would normally be scheduled for 13.00 hrs as they were reliant on a thermal breeze. If conditions were not perfect, getting two 2½ hour races in for a large fleet before nightfall could be difficult.
No clear consensus was reached but it was agreed that the IEC would try and give due weight to the various opinions expressed in settling the programme for future events.
3 Entry Fees
There was a brief discussion on entry fees for championships following concern that the fee in Durban had been very high. It was pointed out that the fee for the current championship was about half of the Durban figure although there was an additional 100 euro supplement for those using the Macs containers. (It should also be pointed out that the quality of the meals and social events in Durban was better). The Secretary explained that the Association would not normally get involved in the financial aspects of championships, but could only stress the need to keep overall costs to competitors at a sensible level in order to maximise attendance.
C G Thorne