INTERNATIONAL 505 YACHT RACING ASSOCIATION
Minutes of Annual General Meeting held at
Fremantle Sailing Club
Wednesday 11 December 2002, 09.30hrs
In Attendance: President - Alexander Meller (USA) (in Chair)
Vice President - Tom Bojland (DEN)
Secretary - Chris Thorne (GBR)
Approximately seventy members
Apologies Treasurer - Stephen Burwood (GBR)
Chairman IRC- Rob Napier (GBR)
Jean-Baptiste Dupont (FRA)
1. Minutes of the 2001 AGM:
1.1 These had been circulated to National Associations and had been available on the web site since October 2001. Proposed by Neil Fulcher (GBR) and seconded by Mark Stowell (AUS) that the minutes be taken as read and approved. Approved nem con.*
2. President’s Report:
2.1 The President presented the following report: -
“In every year we have some good news and some bad news. I begin with a piece of bad news, the untimely death of Clive Robinson, a longstanding and popular member of the UK Fleet who had competed with distinction at a number of World Championships. He was killed on a motor cycling trip in France last summer, and will be remembered with affection by all his friends in 505’s. Our sympathy is with his family and also his long standing friend and crew, John Ironmonger, who was with Clive when the accident happened.
The good news is that we have seen the 505 re-establish itself in a number of countries where it had been in decline, as detailed in the Secretary’s report. Some fleets have been successful in bringing younger sailors into the 505. The number of people getting involved in promoting and helping the class has grown.
One example of people getting involved has been the work of the Carbon Spars Working Party, whose report and recommendations we will be discussing later. However, whatever the outcome of this debate, I am convinced that carbon is the material of the future, and it is not a question of if we allow its use in spars, but when.
A matter that has concerned me during my term has been the degree to which the class should engage with ISAF. I have concluded that we need to balance the cost of engagement against the cost of non engagement. In 1953, the then International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU), now International Sailing Federation (ISAF), chose the Flying Dutchman over the Coronet for the new Olympic Class, despite the Coronet winning on the water. In spite of that the 505 class prospered, some say because we turned our back on the Olympics and largely ignored the IYRU. However, like it or not, ISAF does affect our game, and not least in the way in which the rules are changed. Examples of this are the banning of wearing weight, and changes to the Advertising Code that prevented the 505 class from surcharging entries for carrying advertising, even though our membership voted twice to do just that. Even more than before, ISAF is now focussed on the Olympic Classes, as a significant majority of its funding comes from the IOC, and “he who calls the piper calls the tune”. Although the ISAF President is keen to stress that ISAF have no desire to interfere with the running of the non Olympic International Classes, this is not always obvious from the submissions that are made at its annual meetings, which often have little regard to the interests of those classes.
The 505 class could choose to participate in ISAF by going to meetings, but this would cost us money. We were not represented at the recent ISAF annual meeting in Cyprus. However, Chris Thorne and I went through ISAF meeting submissions – some were outrageous -- and responded back with our views to the ISAF International Classes Committee (ICC). Fortunately we have allies in the other classes and our position frequently coincides with that of the ICC. Classes like the FD and all Olympic classes do pay to have class officers represent them at these meetings. We may wish to consider spending the money to have our own representation in future.
There have been discussions with the Flying Dutchman class regarding forming an alliance of some of the classes like us, the Flying Dutchman, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, International 14, so we can present a common front to the ICC and ISAF. This has not progressed beyond these discussions, though 505 class officers are in frequent communication with their counterparts in some of these other class.
It is a common theme for Presidents to emphasise the need for rule observance, which is vital for the future integrity of the class. We have seen the problems in other so-called classes when different countries start to go their own way, and end up with similar bur different boats.
During measurement at this championship I noted two rules that were being breached by a number of boats. Firstly, a few boats were observed which did not have the sail number stamped or carved into the spine or inside of the transom. This might seem a trivial point but it is the one thing that permanently identifies a boat throughout its life.
Likewise, when the rule limiting the corrector weights that were allowed was removed in 1997, the requirements for positioning and identification of the correctors were also altered. The weight has to be divided equally between two positions defined by measurement from the transom, and be on or against the centreline of the boat. Each metal corrector weight must be hard stamped in a visible place with its weight in kilograms, to the nearest 0.1 kilograms, and a serial number to identify the piece of ballast and the total number of pieces used in the boat. These are not difficult rules to comply with but a surprising number of people ignore them. Beware measurement at the next championship!
Finally, you will hear later that we are proposing to set up an International Marketing Group to look what can be done at an international level to help promote the boat and to support National Associations. However, one thing I feel that we have to emphasise is that although the 505 is a complex and complicated boat, these are not negative points. These features also make it a challenging and rewarding boat to race. Many of the newer skiff type classes make a virtue of their simplicity and the “just add water” philosophy. We will never successfully market ourselves against that type of boat if we try and claim the same virtues for the 505. Lets play to our strengths.”
2.2 The President’s report was received with applause.
3. Secretary’s Report:
The International Secretary reported that there had been a very small increase in membership between 2000 and 2001 to just under 1,300 members in total. Membership had continued to fall in the United Kingdom and Canada, but Germany had stayed strong and the USA, Switzerland and Finland had shown strong growth. A fleet had also been established in Ireland. Returns were now coming in for 2002, the subs for the current year had been due on 1 October, and numbers were likely to be down, as three of the four major countries had all reported slightly lower figures. The highest membership in 2001 was GER with 341, followed by USA (277) and FRA (170). We have fleets in 17 countries on five continents.
A ballot had been held during the year to ratify the decision to adopt Category C Advertising and to remove the provision for an advertising levy following the change to the ISAF Regulations in 2001. The response was limited, but was virtually unanimous in favour.
The number of boats registered in 2001 was 31, an increase from 20 in 2000. However, the numbers registered between World Championships was more even. 2002 has seen a reduction, mainly because the biggest builder in recent years, Rondar, only produced two boats pending a redesign of the mould and a new production method. However, some of the slack has been taken up by the three Australian Builders, Van Munster, Young and Fremantle / Windrush.
The class was active in liasing with other classes and making representations to ISAF on a number of proposals to its Annual Meeting that could have impacted on us.
We have agreed to set up a marketing group to look at ways in which the International Association can help national associations raise the profile of the class. One such initiative, agreed to by the IGC in advance of the current championships, is to pay a fee to a TV Production company to make a feature. This will be shown by a number of different satellite TV broadcasters around the World. Whilst this exposure is welcome, our main interest is in using the material to create a video for promotional purposes that can be shown at boat shows, to potential sponsors etc.
We have a number of people willing to join a group to redesign the Web site and make it work better for the class, both as a promotional; and commercial tool.
4. Treasurer’s Report:
In the absence of the Treasurer the Secretary presented the accounts for 2001. Copies had been circulated to those present at the start of the meeting, and to National Secretaries two weeks previously. The accounts had not yet been audited but would be sent to the auditor, Patrick McCosh (ZIM) as soon as possible.
Following comments made at the last AGM, the way in which the accounts have been prepared has changed. Full details are in the notes attached to the accounts, but the IEC hopes that members find the new format easier to follow.
In summary, income exceeded expenditure and the reserves increased. At the end of 2001 the reserves stood at about GBP 33,000. The most significant expenditure during 2001 had been the cost of chartering two boats for top Portuguese sailors at the Cascais Worlds. Also, the Association had purchased a set of electronic scales, some check weights and Mylar sail templates to help make championship measurement more efficient. Since the year end, a significant sum, over GBP 5,000, has recently been committed for the TV/video referred to in the Secretary’s report.
After a few questions and answers, it was proposed that the accounts be approved, subject to audit, by Mark Stowell (AUS) and seconded by Simon Lake (GBR). Approved nem con.
5. Appointment of Auditor:
Patrick McCosh (ZIM) had indicated that he would be willing to continue. Nominated by Mark Stowell (AUS), seconded by Angela Stenger (GER). His appointment was approved nem con.
6. International Rules Committee:
In the absence of the Chairman, the Secretary delivered a brief report. The main activity had been the changes to Rule 5.6 which was coming up on the agenda, which included the formal proposal to ban the centreboard inserts discussed at the last AGM. Other changes were made as a result of an interpretation that the IRC/IEC had been asked to make in respect of rule 5.6.3.
Steps were underway to reconstitute this sub committee under the chairmanship of Rob Napier, with a number of volunteers having been identified. It is likely that the new committee will have representation from Europe, USA, and Australia.
7. Election of Officers:
By the closing date the following nominations had been received:
President; Tom Bojland (DEN) - proposed by the Danish 505 Association
Vice President; Jean-Baptiste Dupont (FRA) – proposed by the French Association
Both candidates had confirmed their willingness to stand. Their nomination was seconded by Pip Pearson (AUS). Their appointment was approved by the meeting, nem con.
The newly elected President, Tom Bojland, then addressed the meeting:
“For those who don’t know me, I think it a good idea to introduce myself. I’m 39 years old, live in Denmark, and in my business life I deal with sales in the IT sector. I have been sailing 505’s since 1989, and before that 470 and some local classes in Denmark. I was national secretary for the Danish 505 class in the mid nineties.
I intend to continue the line from Pip and Ali in the association, and I will need to consult you to seek some good advice in some matters.
I believe that we in the 505 Class have a very good “product” for the future. When I say product, I mean, the boat, the association, and most of all – you guys! When I look at the future, I don’t see other dinghy classes as threats to us, the threat I see is the decline of sailors and sailing in some countries. I know we have a problem in some few countries, but still, in those countries there are lots of used boats and potential customers for them.
So what is most important to us? It is marketing the 505 Class when and where we can. We have a lousy marketing budget, but we have the best sales force on the planet – and that is you! What we have to do every time we meet some potential 505 sailors, is to tell them all the stories, give them a ride, practise with them when the have got a boat, and what’s also important, get them involved in the work in the local association or fleet.
On the question of change, I generally support this if it increases the “fun factor” but does not obsolete existing boats. I’m into changes if they do not cost a fortune. Maybe you and I can afford it, but the young guys back in our local club can’t, and then they will not chose the 505.
I look forward to working together with Jean-Baptiste, Chris, Rob, Steve and the new guys we will have in the association in the future.
Last of all, I must thank Ali for the fantastic job he has done. Some months ago we were both attending Marcel Buffet’s 80th birthday celebration in Paris, and one of the speeches that day ended with the sentence “Marcel you are a true pride to the sport.” I will use the same, and say “Ali, you are a true pride for the sport and for the 505 class, thank you very much!”
The vote of thanks to Alexander (Ali) Meller was enthusiastically supported by the meeting.
8. Proposed Rule Changes:
The detail proposal to make various changes to 5.6, including an explanatory note, had been circulated to National Associations in advance, and displayed on the Association web site. The changes were proposed by the IEC and were introduced by the International Secretary. No one spoke against the proposal. The proposal was seconded by Matt Hansen. On a show of hands of boat owning members present, a substantial majority were in favour, with only three votes recorded against. Accordingly the proposal now proceeds to a postal ballot of all boat owning members.
9. Other Rule Changes:
The Secretary reported that there had been no proposals made in accordance with Rule A11, A12 and A13, apart from a proposal from the Carbon Spars Working Party, which is the next item on the agenda.
10 Carbon Spars Working Party
At the previous AGM it had been agreed not proceed with a proposal to remove the rule restricting spars to either aluminium of wood, but to set up a working party to consider the issue in greater detail. The working party comprised, Simon Lake (GBR), Mike Martin (USA), Thad Lieb (USA), Carter Jackson (AUS).
Carter Jackson has produced a paper on the deliberations of the working party that will be circulated separately. He also had an experimental carbon mast made that was in the boat park and available for people to try.
In summary, the working party concluded that carbon fibre is the material of the future and an increasing number of classes are adopting it. The inevitable result is that the focus of the main manufacturers will in time shift away from aluminium, and there will be less development and the spars more expensive. Aluminium spars are already both expensive and difficult to obtain in many parts of the World. The challenge for the 505 is to get involved at the right time and to control the pace of development. It is important that the average sailor is neither obliged to go through an expensive development cycle with carbon, or immediately disadvantaged if they chose to stick with aluminium.
The working party had drawn up a proposal for the meeting. Before this was voted on, its members were subjected to a question and answer session by the meeting.
The proposal put forward was that, with effect from 1 October 2003:
7.1.3 be deleted
7.2.1 changed to read :-
The mast maybe stepped on the deck or into the hull. With the mast perpendicular to the base line, the after side at deck level shall not be less than 3048mm and not more than 3202mm forward of Station 11. The mast may not rotate about its length.
Excluding fittings, no dimension at right angles to the length may exceed 102mm, and the maximum cross sectional width measured athwart ships shall not exceed 63mm. The maximum cross-sectional length measured fore and aft shall not exceed 175% of the width at that cross section.
7.2.7 Add :
The minimum weight for a fully rigged mast (including trapeze wires or ropes but excluding trapeze rings) shall be 9.5 kgs, with the centre of gravity a minimum of 2750mm above the deck level mast band. This rule applies until October 1st 2006.
(Exact details of measurement to be confirmed by IRC but suggest halyards pulled to their normal exit points to equate to sailing position and with rope tails coiled where they exit the foot of the mast).
8.2.2 changed to read :
The luff shall be secured to the mast over at least 80 per cent of its length.
8.2.4 changed to read :
The mainsail shall have not more than four battens, and these may only be placed at the leech. At the leech the centre of the top batten pocket shall be between 1450mm and 1550mm from the head point, and the centre of the bottom batten pocket shall be between 1250mm and 1490mm from the clew point. No batten pocket shall be located less than 1000mm from any other batten pocket. No batten or pocket shall exceed 1180mm in length.
Apart from removing the restriction on the material from which spars can be made, the essential changes are to:
· reduce the size of mast section allowed – this is aimed at preventing less durable, more expensive, wide section carbon masts with thin walls.
· prevent rotating masts – these could be feasible in carbon but this is seen as a potentially costly development route that should be avoided
· a three year minimum weight and centre of gravity limit, to allow for a phased change and so as to not put owners of aluminium masts at an immediate disadvantage if carbon proves to be significantly better. Based on experiments with various aluminium sections and a prototype carbon spar, it is envisaged that corrector weights could be attached at the spreaders to achieve both objectives, and could be removed after three years thus avoiding two development phases.
· The requirement to attach the mainsail to the boom for 80% of its length is removed. Allowing a loose-footed mainsail will simplify the attachment of the vang (kicker) and mainsail blocks. The metal eyes or hooks used on aluminium booms will pull out of carbon fibre. Most classes using carbon booms use a strap passed around the whole boom to spread the load.
· A small change is proposed to make it clear that battens are only allowed in the leech of the mainsail, to prevent battens being used to support the foot, which will prevent radical development arising from the move to a loose footed main.
Before the vote Dave Smithwhite (GBR) asked if the IRC could be asked to check the relationship of the proposed new rule to the existing rules, in particular whether there was any restriction on placing correctors other than at the fore and aft end of the centreboard case. There was consensus that the proposal should be made subject to the IRC settling the detailed wording and considering whether any consequential changes are needed to other rules before the matter went to ballot.
After discussion the proposal was put to a vote of the boat owning members present. Thirty eight (38) votes were recorded in favour and twenty six (26) against. The proposal now goes to a postal ballot.
11. World Championship 2003
Krister Bergstrom confirmed details for the event to be held at Malmoe from 21 July until 1 August. There was a handout available for members at the meeting and the Preliminary Notice of Race is available on the event Web site, with links from www.int505.org. The nearest airport is Copenhagen. They are still hopeful of getting a container sponsor for the Americans, Australians and southern Africans. A deal for a cheap ferry crossing from Germany had already been set up.
12. 2004 World Championship:
Aaron Ross presented details of the 2004 Championship at Santa Cruz, supported by a detailed booklet setting out the facilities and the organisers proposals. This was well received and the meeting ratified the decision to proceed with this championship.
13 2005 World Championships
There had been four bids submitted, the three notified on the Agenda plus the United Kingdom bid announced at the 2001 AGM. However, before the meeting it had been established that the Royal Malta Yacht Club wished to defer its bid pending a visit by a member of the Association to view its facilities and suitability. The three remaining bidders were therefore France, Germany and United Kingdom. Each had been invited to make a brief presentation to the meeting.
There was no representative from France, although the International Secretary confirmed that the bid was being made by the French Association in conjunction with La Rochelle. The club had previously hosted a 505 Worlds in 1987, and had continued to enhance its facilities.
Klaus Stammerjohann presented details of the German bid, which was in conjunction with Warnmunde SC, on the Baltic coast. The event would be held in August, and a feature would be made of the 50th Anniversary of the Class. Accommodation would be available at the club, and there is other accommodation in the area. They were also expecting container sponsorship by Macs. The club had organised a number of major championships and had good shore facilities. A question was asked from the floor about security as there had been hostility from local youths towards foreigners at an Olympic classes regatta. However, this was not considered to be normal by members of the German fleet.
Martin Stainsby put forward the bid by the UK, which was in conjunction with Hayling Island SC. The club had previously hosted the 505 Worlds in 1980, and had regularly hosted the UK Nationals. It had been recognised as the UK Centre of Excellence for dinghy sailing and a new GBP 4.5m clubhouse was nearing completion, which would give it the best shore-side facilities in the UK. The venue was also conveniently located for London and the main container ports.
After hearing the presentations and taking questions a vote was taken. The result was:
France 2, Germany 34, United Kingdom 20.
Accordingly the 2005 Championships will be in Warnemunde, subject to ratification of details at the next AGM in Sweden. The other bidders were thanked and will be asked if they wish to re bid for future years.
14. Future Championships:
It was agreed that the Association should send someone to Malta to investigate this possibility further.
Pip Pearson (AUS) raised the question of whether it was right that the Association should be looking to hold events where there was no local fleet, or whether it should concentrate on supporting established fleets, as it had been proved that hosting a worlds invariably created interest and growth in the class in the host country. The President asked for a show of hands to see if there was support for exploring “exotic” venues or whether we should solely hold championships where there were established fleets. After a brief discussion there were 30 votes in favour of considering “exotic” venues and 20 against.
As reported at the 2001 AGM, Bermuda has expressed interest in hosting another Worlds, although doubts remain over the costs and logistics. Since the last AGM they have hosted an Int 14 Worlds, and it will be interesting to learn from that class’s experience.
15 European Championships:
It was reported that at an meeting of the IGC held a couple of days earlier it had been agreed that the whole of the European programme needed consideration, especially as the attendance at the last four of the last five European Championships had been poor, and generally well below the shorter European Cup events. A sub committee is to be formed.
The formal business of the meeting was concluded at 11.30 hrs
C G Thorne
* Latin abbreviation for "nobody was against"