INTERNATIONAL 505 YACHT RACING ASSOCIATION
Minutes of Annual General Meeting held at
Malmo Segel Sällskap,
19.00 hrs Monday 28 July 2003
In Attendance: President - Tom Bojland (DEN) (in Chair)
Vice President – Jean-Baptiste Dupont (FRA)
Secretary - Chris Thorne (GBR)
Chairman IRC- Rob Napier (GBR)
Approximately ninety members
Apologies Treasurer - Stephen Burwood (GBR)
Pip Pearson (AUS) past President
1. Minutes of the 2002 AGM:
1.1 These had been circulated to National Associations and had been available on the web site since December 2002. Proposed by Jan Saugman (DEN) and seconded by Andrew Zinn (USA) that the minutes be taken as read and approved. Approved nem con.*
2. President’s Report:
2.1 The President presented the following report: -
“Dear friends. I will start my report with a look back to Fremantle. We had a pretty good worlds there, with a 100 boats plus fleet. The Fremantle doctor did not show up as expected, good for some and less good for others. This was the first worlds with the new spinnaker, and I think that everybody will agree that this rule change has lifted racing downwind in the 505 class to a new level, faster and more tactical and definitely more fun.
At the AGM in Fremantle it was decided to take the ban on carbon fibre spars to ballot, The final count on the ballot is not finished completely, but as it looks now, the proposal to remove the ban will fail. I know the decision will course concern in some of the fleets in the 505 world, but my personal view on this, is that a move to carbon fibre now, would make the boat more complicated and expensive, which is the opposite of what we want. As it is now, we have nearly a one design on our spars, which makes its easier for newcomers in the class. Some of you might be concerned about the availability of aluminium masts – but when we look at European dinghy sailing, 90% of all dinghies use mast sections similar to us. I don’t believe that manufacturers will say goodbye to 90% of the European dinghy market. I believe that we in the future will remove the ban, but the timing has to be right.
I do not believe that we will attract new sailors to the class with a carbon fibre mast. When we look at other classes, at least in my part of the world, its significant that the biggest classes are low-tech heavy boats. Why? They are very good at having nice regattas with god sailing, and not to forget, good social events that bring the sailors together, and give them some special unforgettable memories.
When we look on how the class are doing around the world, there is a significant growth in the Nordic region; Finland especially is doing very well these days, but also Denmark and Sweden have new teams, and we have activity in Norway. Unfortunately the crew from the Norwegian boat that had planned to be here became ill.
On the other hand, it seems that we have problems in the UK and maybe France; there are only three English boats here. But I understand that the class association is working to change the situation, and plan to have a stronger contingent next year in Santa Cruz.
This leads me to how do we promote the class?
One thing is to make sure that the potential 505 sailors know about our boat. How can we do that? Basically it’s about being visible to our potential customers. One of the simplest and easiest ways, is to sail at the same regattas and even better on the same racecourse as our target group, and after the races, join them in the bar and tell them all the stories we have so many of. Yesterday we had a very good example of this right here with the J24 Class. I’m sure that they all know what a 505 is now. And maybe – we will see some of these guys in a 505 in the future.
From international point of view, we can provide the tools and distribute the ideas to promote the class, but the actual work has to be done locally at the boat park in each country.
An example is the DVD from Fremantle, please copy this as many times as you like and if possible send it out to every yacht club where there are potential 505 sailors.
In the next year, we will concentrate on making the European circuit better, but this is a discussion we will have later tonight, I am sure we will end up with a better format for this, that will increase the numbers of entries.
Now we are here in Malmö, we have sailed five races, our championship is secured, we have a pretty god turn out, actually the biggest 505 regatta in the Nordic region ever. Compared to many other classes and sailing in general, I am optimistic about our future, but guys, its hard work; we must not sit on our hands and just wait.
The IEC is working effectively, I am new to this, but thanks to Chris, Rob, Steve and Jean-Baptiste, who are very experienced, I feel confident in this job.
The IRC is now really international, with representatives from the major 505 countries.
The builders are doing well, the measurement problems we had with some boats is solved. Rondar has started building boats again, and I think you all have noticed the prototype out there from Karl Otto Strömberg.
Next year, we are going to Santa Cruz, I was there in 92, I can only say one thing, do it, be there, you won’t regret it.
And please don’t forget, its our class, if you have some ideas to make it better or want to do something for the class, speak up. Thank you very much.”
2.2 The President’s report was received with applause.
3. Secretary’s Report:
3.1 The International Secretary reported that membership had fallen by about 10% (130 members) between 2001 and 2002. The biggest falls had been in the USA (100) and the UK (50). The US position would hopefully recover ahead of the Worlds there in 2004. In contrast Finland, Australia and Ireland had all increased. The highest membership in 2002 was GER with 314, followed by USA (175) and FRA (170). We have fleets in 18 countries on five continents.
Although the membership changes show some long term trends, eg the decline in the UK, in many cases fluctuation are due to local factors such as the location if championships and the efficiency of the National Secretaries in collecting memberships. Subscription returns and payments for 2003 are due on 1 October.
2002 say a dip in the number of new boats registered to eighteen. This was mainly due to Rondar being out of the market for the whole year. There has since been an upturn, with 22 boats registered since the last worlds in Fremantle and an increased number of orders reported.
The TV programme that the Association commissioned of the Fremantle Worlds was shown on various satellite networks in March and the class has distributed DVD and VHS copies to all National Associations. Please use this to help promote the class in your area.
Unfortunately, work on redesigning the web site has proved slower. Some initial preparation has been done but it is likely that we will need to pay to get someone to do the hard work involved in setting up the initial design and layout if we want to get this delivered reliably and quickly.
We have had two ballots in 2003. The first of these overwhelmingly approved alterations to Rule 5.6, banning inserts in the centreboard case and clarifying the rule on thwarts. There is now no restriction on additional thwarts across the boat, but double bottoms are clearly banned.
The second ballot was on removing the ban on spars being made from anything other than aluminium or wood that was introduced in 1982. Although the ballot had closed a couple of days before the start of the championship, all the ballot papers had not yet been received and the official result could not be declared. However, it is already clear that there is a substantial majority against removing the ban.
The secretary’s other duties include acting as the focal point for all communications between the class officers and national associations, registering new boats, maintaining the class records, liaison with ISAF, secretarial support to the IGC, IRC and IEC, liaison with championship organisers and collecting payments due to the Association.
4. Treasurer’s Report:
In the absence of the Treasurer the Secretary presented the accounts for 2002. Copies had been circulated to those present at the start of the meeting, had been displayed on the Association Notice Board since the start of the current championships, and had been sent to National Secretaries. Patrick McCosh (ZIM) had audited the accounts.
The headline income reduced from GBP 13,252 to GBP 8,281. However, this gives a false impression. Most of this fall was due to the 2001 figure being abnormally high due to a change in the way the accounts are prepared. The income is in line with the long-term trend. Expenditure was also down in the year, leading to a surplus at the end of 2002 of GBP 3,101. However, the 2002 figures do not include the cost of the TV programme and video referred to in the Secretary’s report, which will arise in the current year. The cost of the TV programme was GBP 4,500 and about another GBP 900 was spent on producing VHS and DVD copies, most of which were distributed free of charge to National Associations, with just a few being sold to individuals. Payment for this will result in a deficit for 2003 and require us to draw on the reserves.
Total reserves at the year end were GBP 36,758.
After a few questions and answers, it was proposed that the accounts be approved, subject to audit, by Angela Stenger (GER) and seconded by Jan Saugman (DEN). Approved nem con.
5. Appointment of Auditor:
Patrick McCosh (ZIM) had indicated that he would be willing to continue. Nominated by Alexander Meller (USA), seconded by Angela Stenger (GER). His appointment was approved nem con.
6. International Rules Committee:
The Chairman reported that the Committee had been reconstituted since the last AGM and now comprised, Philippe Goubault (FRA), Wolfgang Stuckl (GER), Mike Martin (USA) and Geoff Holden (AUS). The International Secretary and Class International Measurer were ex officio members.
The Committee had been busy since the beginning if the year, firstly in finalising the wording of the carbon spars proposal that had recently gone to ballot and secondly in investigating a discrepancy that had arisen with regard to the way in which some measurers were applying the transom template. As the secretary had already announced, it looked as though the carbon spars proposal had been rejected, and therefore a similar proposal could not be brought back to the class for a minimum period of three years.
After seeking adjudication from ISAF, the transom issue had been also been resolved. It was found that if the template had been applied correctly to the transom of some twenty seven boats built in the last three years, they fell between 0.5mm and 3mm outside the permitted tolerances. The IRC had recommended, and the IEC granted, dispensation to these boats, and the builders concerned have agreed to modify future boats so that they comply.
Because of the above taking priority, little progress had been made on investigating the feasibility possible future rule changes discussed in the open forum at Fremantle, eg fully battened mainsails and high aspect ratio jibs, but this would be on the IRC’s forthcoming agenda. Work was also in hand on producing a digital copy of the templates to make reproduction easier and more accurate. There is also a need to review the list of approved class measurers around the world, ensure that they are aware of the latest rules and interpretations and also to consider reissuing stamps. National Associations are asked to consider whether they have sufficient suitable people as measurers and to send details to the international office of both existing measurers and any new nominations.
Finally the IRC would consider whether Rule B 00126.2 could be interpreted so as to permit the centreboard to project below the boat when fully raised with the mast in position. There was a boat at the current championships which complied with the rule when the boat was presented for measurement with the mast down, but when the mast was up the board projected about 200mmm below the boat because the top of the board was hard against the mast. Comments from members were invited during the Open Forum.
7. Election of Officers:
The President announced that the following had been nominated by the US Section:
International Secretary: Chris Thorne
International Treasurer: Stephen Burwood
Chairman of Rules Committee: Rob Napier:
All were the current office holders, who had all indicated their willingness to stand for a further term. No other nominations had been received.
The President declared the above to be duly elected to the respective positions
8. Proposed Rule Changes:
The Secretary advised that no proposals had been received.
9. World Championships 2004
Bob Simpkins from Santa Cruz Yacht Club was present and gave the meeting a brief update on progress. Although Santa Cruz had hosted the event twice before, most recently in 1992, he had been keen to visit Malmo to see how the events had moved on and to find ways in which they could improve. He had already picked up a number of ideas. The preliminary notice of race was now on the event web site and the club was working hard with the US Section to make this a successful championship. A big change from the previous worlds would be the availability of launching ramps, avoiding the need to crane boats in and out of the water.
10 World Championship 2005
Provisional approval had been given to the German Association to host this in conjunction with Warnemunde Segelsclub. Although no written proposal had been made, Jens Hufnagel made an oral presentation to the meeting. Warnemunde had been selected as the potential venue for sailing events in connection with Leipzig’s bid for the 2012 Olympics. With the IOC decision due in 2005, a lot of investment was likely in advance of the decision in order to improve the bid’s changes and this could only be good for our event. However, although a new marina would be available for 2005, the German class’s preference was to use the existing harbour, as this was more central to the town.
Work had started on finding sponsors, and the entry fee was anticipated to be no more EUR 300 to include the requirements of the International Class. The provisional dates were 17 – 25 August, to include the pre worlds.
A few members present questioned the dates, as there did not seem to be sufficient time for a pre worlds series. Jens explained that the there would be a short pre worlds as the German Association had decided to hold its nationals elsewhere at another time. This led to further discussion on the timing and it became apparent that no allowance had been made for the lay day which had been incorporated in the class’s preferred format since the beginning of 2003 following prolonged discussion at the last few worlds. Jens agreed that it may be necessary to extend the dates and would liase with the International Secretary and Warnemunde SC.
Subject to this the meeting endorsed the application.
11 2006 World Championships
The only bid received in advance was from the Australian Association, to host the event in conjunction with one of three clubs in Adelaide.
Carter Jackson (AUS) spoke in support of the proposal. Adelaide had experience of running major regattas and had hosted the 505 Worlds in 1983. The event would probably be held in February which would be outside the peak Christmas & New Year period. At this time of year the weather would be hot but normally there are sea breezes of between 10 and 20 knots. Based on the experience of running major regattas in the area recently the South Australian Association was confident of obtaining sponsorship for the event and container subsidy, and that the entry fee should be no more than AUD 750 (currently equivalent to USD 480 or EUR 435).
Paul Young (GBR) presented an oral bid on behalf of the UK Association and French Associations. They would like to bid for 2006. This would be the 50th anniversary of the first Worlds in La Baule in 1956 and it was appropriate that the two founding nations should host this event. Although a leaflet he had brought with him to promote bid referred to this being the 50th World Championship, it was acknowledged that this is in Warnemunde – the 50th anniversary will be the 51st Championship. The event would be hosted by Hayling Island Sailing Club. If approved, full details would be brought to the next AGM in Santa Cruz. Jean-Baptiste Dupont confirmed the French Association’s support for the proposal.
After hearing the presentations a vote was taken. The result was Australia 26, UK/France 41.
Accordingly the 2006 Championships will be in Hayling Island, subject to ratification of details at the next AGM in Santa Cruz.
12. Future Championships:
Arno Parviainen (FIN) stated that Finland were interested in holding the 2007 Worlds at Kuopio. This was an established championship venue on a large lake about 400 km from Helsinki. In the summer months it benefited from warm weather and extended daylight hours.
The Secretary pointed out that the effect of the vote for 2006 was to overturn the established understanding that the worlds would alternate between a venue in Europe and one outside Europe. Although this had been overturned, perhaps for sentimental reasons connected with the 50th anniversary, he asked the meeting to consider whether they felt sensible that the rotation be restored. He had already established that if Adelaide had failed to get 2006 then they were willing to do 2007. The meeting indicated that would like to see the alternation restored and therefore 2007 would be an out of Europe event.
Arno Parviainen indicated that Finland would be prepared to postpone their bid to 2008.
There was also discussion about other potential venues. The point was mad that a vote had been taken in Fremantle that “exotic” venues should be considered as well as those where there were established 505 fleets. However, although Hamilton Island (AUS), Malta and Bermuda had all been mentioned, no firm proposals had been made. The Secretary made the point that the only way that such a venue would really work would be if a National Association was prepared to endorse it and work with the prospective host to ensure that our requirements could be met. One common problem is a lack of dinghy championship experience and a suitable infrastructure in such venues, which are often geared to yacht, rather than dinghy, racing.
15 European Championships:
There had been much debate about the future of the European Championship and the European Cup. The championships in 96 (Silvaplana), 98 (Damp), and 02 (Garda) had all attracted less than 50 boats and this was not a viable number for a host club for a week long event.
The President had prepared a presentation that set out the problems and canvassed views on the best way forward. He drew examples from successful European circuits that had been established by classes such as the H Boat with its “Red Green League”
After debate it was decided that the proposals for a sponsored circuit of three day meetings based on a few key venues should be investigated, but that one more attempt should be made for a traditional week long championship in 2004.
La Rochelle and Pula in Croatia had both been suggested as venues for 2004. (by the French and German Associations respectively) By a substantial majority the meeting decided in favour of Pula, which is proposing to hold the event in October, thus avoiding a clash with the Worlds and other summer European events. The German Association will be responsible for arranging this event with the host organisation.
A sub committee comprising Jean-Baptiste Dupont (FRA), Wolfgang Stuckl (GER) and Jan Saugman (DEN) was established to investigate the future options beyond 2004.
The formal business of the meeting was concluded at 20.45 hrs
C G Thorne
* Latin abbreviation for "nobody was against"