|Mr. Pip Pearson||- International President|
|Mr. Leslie Everitt||- International Secretary|
|Mr. Stephen Burwood||- International Treasurer|
|Mr. Jurgen Feuerhake||- International Auditor|
|Lord Napier||- International Rules Chairman|
|Mr. Chris Thorne|
|100 members ( approximately )|
The participation at the Lake Garda Olympic Selection Trials,
following the decision made at Townsville to attend these trials, was in hindsight I believe a mistake!
However we all owe those members who pursued the wishes of the class in attending this event a big "thank you" for their efforts. In particular our Secretary Les Everitt and Ali Meller for the work they did in presenting our case to the committee as well as the other members who attended and committed their boats and their time to sail at this event and represent the class.
Knowing what we know now, I can't help feeling the exercise was futile in that I think the outcome was a "fait accompli " before the first boat touched the water at Lake Garda and the whole event was merely a public relations exercise to make it appear a proper process had been conducted.
The reasoning behind the meeting at Townsville to attend this event, was for the anticipated high level of publicity in the Yachting Press that we expected to get by attending such a "prominent" event and use that publicity to help promote the class.
I think the reality was the Media coverage was very poor and the results we achieved by the evaluation team compared to the other boats was not favourable and not of the nature that we could use to our advantage for publicity purposes.
Attending this event was a considerable cost to the class and the benefit was doubtful hence my statement that I believe the decision to attend was a mistake.
A new set of Racing Rules for Sailing are now in force which
present a new challenge for the very competitive Yachtsman and I
believe because of the exceptionally high level of competition in the
505 class will demand every members close study and scrutiny of these
The fundamental and underlying theme in the new rules is the concept that SAILING IS A NO CONTACT SPORT and the rules are designed to keep boats further apart than what has, sometimes, been the practice in the past
The rules will have a significant impact on tactical racing and all competitors need to be aware of the significance of the changes. Some of the close racing manoeuvres of the past will now be subject to protest.
New Rules pertaining to weight of clothing has caused enormous comment within the class. I have taken this up with one of the members of the Working Party for the I.S.A.F. Rules Committee and I can assure members than any move by the class to vary the limit set by the I.S.A.F. will not only be rejected by the I.S.A.F. but will cause the class to receive the wrath of the I.S.A.F.
Other major issues that have arisen more this year than any other
year I can remember is the discussion re changing our own class rules
to appear to be moving with the times. These issues vary from Twin Trapezes, to Asymmetric spinnakers, to reduction in hull weight.
I still firmly believe the strength we have worldwide in this class is largely due to the fact that we are not too fashion conscious, exotic or too radical and that a sailor can be very competitive in an older boat and keep a boat for a long time without fear of obsolescence by ever changing class rules.
There is a fear by some people that the 49er will impact heavily upon our class growth. I don't believe this aberration will continue beyond the 2000 Olympics. I believe the 49er will go the way of the Contender and prove to be such a difficult boat to compete in the full range of weather conditions that the majority of high performance dinghy competitors will find it too demanding to be enjoyable.
In the final analysis enjoyable sailing and competitive racing is the what has made this class so strong for 40 years and I believe it will continue.
This is not to say we should close our eyes to changing times but let us always remember the strength of our class goes beyond those of us who are able to attend World Series and we should be very wary of any changes which will obsolete the fleet of the members in our home base and local Yacht clubs.
Having both progress and a concern for obsolescence in mind, a sub-committee was formed this year at Gilleleje to experiment with the concept of using a bigger spinnaker. A fairly loose parameter of around 6 metre luff length! (rather than the existing 5 metres) was given as a starting point for experimentation. The general concept in mind is to attempt to make the downwind legs less of a "procession". This would of course mean a revision of the courses we have been accustomed to. The sub-committee will demonstrate and report at next years Worlds at Hyannis.
The Class officers have also undertaken to examine some "restructuring" of the International Office's activities with a view to making our operations more streamlined and "international" rather than a collection of "National Committees". This process will no doubt be slow as caution must be exercised to prevent the "throwing out the baby with the bath water" syndrome occurring.
Despite our overall drop in membership some countries are doing particularly well. I would like to pay tribute to Holger Jess for the fantastic effort he has produced in making Germany now the country with the most boats.
Holger's formulae is simple and still the best method of promotion. "Target young sailors at your local club, put them in the boat and let them experience the sensation of sailing a 505. And then you've got them". Holger's method is absolutely correct and time proven. Well done Holger!
This years Worlds at Gilleleje have been another milestone for the
class with many old friendships being renewed and new ones being made.
Congratulations to the Danish Association and the Gilleleje yacht club for a well run, very friendly event. As is always the case the "usual local weather" eluded the locality during the event (Murphy's Law strikes again) but the local hosts had no control in this department and a successful series was conducted regardless of the light conditions.
Congratulations and full credit to Mark Upton-Brown and Ian Mitchell for a consistent series and becoming the 1997 World champions.
In closing I would like to pay a special tribute to our secretary
Les Everitt who for so long has made a significant contribution to the
class and also to his wife Janet who has assisted in the background and probably fulfilled the role of secretary equally as much as Les.
The position of Secretary is a key role in the Association's operation and I wish Chris Thorne our new secretary every success in the position and I trust the members around the World will support him in this role.
There are now very few 505's in the far East with the exception of
Australia. Hong Kong is still trying to promote the Class but is
finding it hard, Singapore has gone and Japan has only 10 members
Boat registrations remain static around 40 a year, this year to date we have registered 30.
The magazine was printed and 90% distributed by the end of May.
There is still a reluctance of manufacturers to support this
publication, we only had 3 replies, all boat builders,(Waterat,
Duvoisin & Kulmar,) to my approx 30 letters asking for
advertisements. Final costings, including postage £2557.00 minus £325.00 for adverts.
Without more support and or a small increase in subs the magazine will not be able to continue.
One way of increasing our funds is to adopt sail buttons, whereby all 505 owners who buy sails would help pay. At the moment only those 505 sailors who pay their full membership contribute to the International Association. If buttons were to be fitted when the sails were made all boat owners would pay towards the Associations costs.
Finally as this is my last AGM as Secretary I wish to thank all the past Presidents and other Officers of the Class who have helped make my time as secretary so enjoyable, and last my thanks to my wife Janet for her considerable help and encouragement.
Les and Janet's announcement of their retirement was met with a spontaneous, standing ovation by the members of the class present at the A.G.M. in recognition of the contribution they have made to the class over many years. At this time, Pip thanked Les and Janet for their continued hard work for the Association.
A progress report on the 1999 World Championships at Ecole National de Voile, Cercle Natique de Port Haliguen, Quiberon, France was given by Christian Lippi. Dates in early July to be confirmed later.
For the work of the committee since the Townsville AGM, he referred to the report given in the International Magazine. Regarding the changes introduced on 1st April 1997 as a result of the ISAF 1997 - 2001 Rules, he asked for confirmation of the adoption of the 10kg. limit for clothing weight. This was put to a vote and passed by a large majority.
He also asked for confirmation that the propulsion rule, which since it was approved by ballot in 1990 has been in the Championship Sailing Instructions, should be included as a Class Measurement Rule. This was agreed.
Referring to the measuring for the Gilleleje worlds, he promised that the IRC would review the sail measuring procedures, to bring them into line with the latest ISAF procedures where appropriate, and to clarify any remaining uncertainty with regard to the half- and three-quarter- height measurements of the mainsail. In response to comment from the floor, he indicated his intention that more accurate weighing methods should be used at future championships, and that there should be stricter compliance with the requirement to present only pre-measured sails, and pre-measured, pre-weighed and properly certificated boats.
Arising out of the resignation of the Chief Measurer, there was discussion about the status and role of chief measurer. It was agreed that a chief measurer was highly desirable, but that Association funds were limited. Two candidates for the post were put forward, and their credentials were read out. It was agreed that Don O'Donnell (UK) should be approached to be Chief Measurer, and that Bill Summersides (Australia) should be approached to be Assistant Chief Measurer, especially for the Southern Hemisphere, in order to spread the load and to minimise the cost of travel and expenses
Pip thanked Rob for his excellent work since taking over.
This proposal by Hartwig Friederichs (GER) and seconded by Ian Barker (GBR) was debated at great length, a vote was taken, which was defeated by a large majority.
The IRC would draft a proposal to be sent to members by postal ballot.
Mike Martin (USA) proposed that future World Championships be open
events, this was seconded by Paul Young (GBR) and past by the
The IRC would look into the appointment of Don O'Donnell (GBR) to be 505 Chief Measurer and Bill Summerside (AUS) to be deputy Chief Measurer to replace Val Provoost, who resigned this year. This was agreed by the members present
The members present decided that Ali Meller should be appointed to the post of Vice President. He accepted the role.
Pip closed the meeting at 22.45hrs and said he looked forward to seeing you all next year in Hyannis.