Notes of IGC Meeting Monday 5 July 1999
Ecole Nationale de Voile
Quiberon, France In Attendance:
Pip Pearson (President), Ali Meller (Vice President), Chris Thorne (Secretary) Steve Burwood (Treasurer), Rob Napier (Chairman IRC), Don O’Donnell (International Measurer), Mike Price (ZIM), Tom Bojland (DEN), Ben Benjamin (USA), Ian Dunn (AUS), Urs Scherrerr (SUI), Wolfgang Stuckl (GER), Angela Stenger (GER), Michael Rotach (SUI), Simone Zund (SUI), Bob Crisp (RSA), Nigel Milln (RSA), Paul Young (GBR)
Also in Attendance for first part of meeting: Paul Henderson, President of ISAF.
The President, Pip Pearson took the Chair, and introduced Paul Henderson (PH) inviting him to address the meeting and answer questions.
PH gave an overview of the ISAF’s activities. He had frequently heard criticism that ISAF was only interested in the Olympics. He advised that the Olympics had to be a priority since 60% of ISAF’s income came from the IOC. However, the classes were also important and were recognised as representing the vast majority of sailors around he world. Also, dinghy sailors should appreciate the sport’s Olympic status as it helped counter the other strong commercial pressure from big boat and offshore sailing. The classes accounted for about 40% of the work of ISAF, but produced less than 10% of the income.
Advertising code: PH advised that the problem with the current rules was that the control of advertising was vested in the event organisers. This was creating difficulties for competitors who were having to remove advertisements from boats at short notice as a condition of entry. It was also felt that there was no longer any practical reason for three categories. Category A should remain, i.e. no advertising - beyond that the extent of advertising should be down to the individual class. ISAF had approved the principle of the change and the detailed wording of the new rule was now being drafted in readiness for the Annual Meeting in November. The new rule would then be effective from I March 2000.
PH confirmed that it was his understanding that Classes would be able to continue charging a levy for advertising and that the new rule should not impact on the way we have chosen to manage the advertising issue.
Insurance: The problem of individual countries having widely different insurance requirements for competitors, particularly in the level of third party liability cover was raised. PH felt that this was an area where ISAF had limited power to intervene because often there were statutory requirements laid down by National Governments. However, ISAF did have a seat on the International Maritime Council, which is the body set up to advise and lobby National Governments on international standards. This could be something which ISAF could lobby for, although he was unsure as to the extent of the problem.
Media Rights: This was an area where ISAF had been active. It had now established itself as the owner of the media rights to all yachting events throughout the world. Except for the highest profile international events, e.g. the Round the World Race, ISAF devolved the rights top the individual classes free of charge.
Hunting: The debate about the legality/morality of "hunting" i.e. a right of way boat deliberately impeding the other boat, was discussed. The problem had arisen following the rule changes in 1997. Whilst legitimate in match or team racing, the view of our class is that it is not something which is desirable in fleet racing. PH said that ISAF was aware of the issues and the rules committee were considering amendments to clarify the existing ambiguity.
Class’s Relationship with ISAF: PH stressed that classes such as the 505 were important to ISAF and encouraged our involvement with the Classes’ Committee and to give feedback to requests for our views. A strong class organisation was also important to ISAF. There was a reaction against the monopolies created by the recent "manufacturers’ classes" and PH felt that this was potentially an opportunity for the traditional classes providing that they are well organised. He also added that he saw a trend towards giving the classes a greater involvement with ISAF compared to the National Authorities.
PH then left the meeting after Pip Pearson had thanked for taking time out in his schedule to visit us.
Larger Spinnaker: Tom Bojland reported on experiments that he and others had undertaken in Denmark. He had a demonstration sail at these championships. The best solution they had found was to move the haliard up the mast 85cm. This could be done very cheaply at the experimental stage by removing the existing pulley and riveting a n external pulley and eye on the outside of the mast. An extra metre of rope also needed to be tied to the haliard. The sail was similar to the existing spinnaker but with ^m rather than 5m luffs.
The Danes had found the new sail to be faster and easier to gybe on the run because of the increased speed. The boat was generally more fun, particularly in lighter winds, although they had sailed in up to thirty knots. He felt that if the sail was adopted we may need to look at changing our championship courses. It was agreed that the IGC would recommend to the forthcoming AGM that a further period of experimentation based on the Danish model would be encouraged, with a view to a formal proposal at the AGM in 2000.
Worlds 2000: Nigel Milln and Bob Crisp gave a resume of the plans for the Championship in Durban. They had secured sponsorship from the Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) and the event would be called the MSC World Championships. MSC were providing containers from the USA, Australia and Europe. Bob Crisp was acting as co-ordinator for the shipping and was making himself known to all as many national representatives as possible whilst in Quiberon.
Some people had expressed concern over safety, either on the water (sharks) or on shore (muggings). Nigel Milln advised that in the history of dinghy sailing off Durban, there was no recorded incident of a sailor being taken by a shark, and he could not understand why Durban should be considered more dangerous than any other warm water venue. On shore violence was an issue for the country as a whole and the new government was committed to reduce it. However, providing people are sensible and following advice on where not to go, particularly after dark, the risks are little greater than in many other large cities. The 1994 Worlds were held at a much more volatile time politically but he did not feel that this had stopped competitors having a good time. Most social events would be centred on the Yacht Club. Competitors could either be billeted with members, of there were a range of tourist hotels along the sea front close to the club, which would be cheap by international standards due to the weakness of the Rand.
European Cup: On behalf of the Swiss Association, Urs Scherrer asked the IGC for its views on the future of the European Cup. It had been established by the Swiss Association in 1979 and been running successfully since, although some administrative problems were arising with scoring and the choice of venues.
The view was expressed that the scoring might be amended so that it was based on a ranking system e.g. similar to the German model.
The Swiss Association felt that it was appropriate for the IEC to assume responsibility for the event. The officers indicated that they were happy to do this but felt that it would be desirable to appoint someone from either the Swiss or German Associations to act as a co-ordinator alongside the IEC. This would ensure continuity and also effective communication with the German and Swiss fleets, who traditionally have been the most consistent supporters of the series.
Detlef Imhels (GER) had indicated his willingness to develop a new scoring system and to act as scorer. Urs was happy to act as co-ordinator for the year 2000.
End of Meeting