International AGM minutes
INTERNATIONAL 5O5 CLASS YACHT RACING ASSOCIATION
Minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Association Tuesday 26th September
Severn Sailing Association (SSA) and Eastport Yacht Club (EYC), Annapolis, MD,
The Meeting commenced at 17:50 with a total of 91 Members present.
Present: - President - Michael Quirk Vice President – Michael Holt
Malcolm ‘Pip’ Pearson
International Secretary- Stuart Turnbull 91 Members who signed attendance.
Apologies received from David Smithwhite, Treasurer Andreas Jungclaus, Chairman IRC
The minutes of the 2016 AGM held at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy, had been posted on the Association website and sufficient copies were made available at the meeting.
Moved by Angela Stenger and seconded by Richard Mundell, they were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Welcome to Annapolis and the 2017 AGM. Firstly I want to take the opportunity to thank and recognise outgoing President Pip Pearson.
After 16 years as President, Pip is still today contributing his boundless enthusiasm, support and experience to the class. I’m very glad that despite stepping down as President he has accepted the role of class liaison and technical adviser at this championship and hopefully many to come. The class owes him a great deal.
This year I have had the privilege of attending many of the national and regional regattas around the world so I have been able to hear from many 5o5 sailors from nearly every country. This has been really insightful and given me a fairly rounded perspective of what we are all after.
To me the Class seems fairly healthy overall. A few areas are experiencing some decline but others are seeing healthy activity and interest. There is good attendance at regional, European and world championships. We have a reasonable mix of aging stalwarts and new young talent. There also seems to be a growing number of sailors travelling internationally to events other than world championships. There isn’t room for complacency but I don’t feel we need to rush any major changes. What we can improve is our overall professionalism and brand ownership. I am confident this in itself will yield dividends to the class in the form of new sailors and better experiences for existing members. There is almost unanimous agreement our web sites are not good, it is difficult to find good information, particularly about events and we lack common standards for sailing instructions, rules for running regattas etc. Our effective
use of social media for communication, forums and marketing is improving (thanks to a number of member initiatives). A decent web site should help as the hub and resource bank.
So on the immediate agenda we are currently working on building the new global website. Ideally this will include national specific areas which each nation can update and use for their local needs. We will get the most important things working first but in the fullness of time I see the website functionality to include:
General information and resources about the class including a You Tube
channel with short video clips on the technical aspects of setting up and
sailing a 5o5.
online, register their ownership of a boat, enter a regatta or even buy merchandise. When someone pays their annual subs the appropriate amount will automatically be sent to the fleet, national and world associations with easy reporting for treasurers to reconcile accounts.
Acalendarandlistingofalleventsgloballythatcanbesortedbytheuserto see local, national, regional or international events.
It might be useful to also populate the site with information not just for 5o5
people but for dinghy sailing in general. This would be designed to
encourage visits from other classes and the wider sailing community.
Communication,forumsandpublicitycanbedonethoughthesocialmedia channels and should be locally driven. The international Association can build the tools and systems to make it easier for local fleets but grass roots
activity will always be key to participation levels.
We should consider the level of support and control the international association has over world and regional events. I know many of us feel the world body needs to have more control and oversight over major events but this also creates work and responsibility so we will need to ensure it remains sustainable.
It is likely that we would be well served by engaging paid partners for publicity, web maintenance, race management, etc. We may also need or want to underwrite or subsidise regional or world championships to maintain standards, provide boats to younger talent at world championships, provide funds for local fleets to attract new sailors, coaching, etc.
All these initiatives require funds so we need to consider and work on the various ways the association can raise funds including:
Surplus from world and maybe European championships in years when numbers are high and we have strong sponsorship.
Advertising on the web site (once it is up and attracting sufficient traffic)
Merchandising (We need to own our brand).
Payment Gateways (Merchant/Credit Card surcharge Fees)
Mike Holt has been working on a classification system which he will introduce at the AGM and plans to have up and running for the 2018 season.
In summary the class has reasonable momentum. We should be able to build on this with a more professional, younger image. We have a strong brand which
we need to own, protect and extract value from to generate funds to better promote the class and support members with knowledge, ways to improve their experience and tools to attract people to the class.
This will be my focus over the next 12 months. Anyone who feels they have skills or the business contacts to assist in design or implementation please don’t hesitate to contact me.
In the longer term I encourage us to be thinking into the future. What will sailing be like in 5, 10 or 20 years’ time and how will the 5o5 continue to compete. I believe we should continue to propose, discuss and experiment with change and new ideas. We should continue to consider the weight of the boats, carbon masts, asymmetrical sails, shorter courses, splitting large fleets and any other idea that makes the boats more interesting and popular to sail.
See you all in 2018 somewhere on the 5o5 circuit.
Since the Worlds in Weymouth 17 new boats have been registered which is similar to the previous year but the overall trend is worryingly downwards. Ovington continues to produce the majority of new hulls to be fitted out usually in either Germany or the UK but one went to France for completion. Rondar has registered four hulls and XSP in Australia has registered one with a promise of more to come.
Membership stands at 999. This is an increase on the previous year but again, the overall trend is downwards. 13% down in 5 years. Membership tends to increase in the World’s host country but falls the following year. We must find ways of keeping the members, I’m sure they haven’t all given up sailing 505s.
Australia is actively recruiting new members and is showing an increase of over 20%.
Poland, also has a very active fleet and preparations are well underway for the 2018 Worlds in Gdynia where a large turnout is expected. Gdynia hosted a very successful Polish National Championship this year. Przemek will update us later.
2019 will see the Worlds return to Fremantle where we had an extremely well run Championship 15 years ago.
With the 2019 Worlds so early in the year we expect a large turnout for the Europeans in Sonderbourg, Denmark later that year.
For 2020 we have the option of Bermuda or Sweden, presentations of each will follow.
To summarise, the Class is in good shape but we must work together to encourage others, especially young sailors to join and stay with us.
The Treasurer’s Report was posted on the event website and sufficient copies were made available at the meeting. A copy will be published on the Web Site separately.
The Association has operated at a small surplus during 2016.
We have operated at a surplus for some years now and have built up good cash reserves.
As at 31st December 2016 there was approximately £34,415 of cash on deposit and approximately £11,666 in the current account. We also have an investment in Barclays Bank worth approx. £1224.
In the 2015 accounts presented at the AGM last year there was an error. I wrongly stated the cash on deposit as £34112 whereas it should have been £34289. I have corrected this in the 2016 accounts by showing the difference under bank interest and stating the cash on deposit correctly for 2016. Please accept my apologies for this error.
The accounts for the year show a modest surplus of £296 following a surplus of £630 for 2015. The reduction in surplus was mainly to lower membership and registrations revenues.
New boat registrations for the year were 17. The gross amount of registration income of £100 per registration continues to be shown as income and consequent expenditure shown separately.
As at 31st December 2016 the association had £5,345 of debtors, the majority of this money is owed by national class associations for annual subscriptions. To some, this figure may look rather high however it should be taken into account that the membership invoices are issues at the end of each year.
Of the total debtors £150 related to debts that are 1 year or more old. Following my recommendation at the last AGM I have written off a bad debt of £60 from the Croatian association.
Being a World Sailing approved International Class there is a requirement for the association to have its accounts audited. The last set of accounts to be approved by our Auditor, Bob Franks, was for the year 2009.
Bob has been sent all of the information for the Audits so we should have a more up to date picture to provide at the 2018 AGM.
Moved by Angela Stenger and seconded by Pip Pearson, the accounts were unanimously accepted by the Meeting.
Bob Franks indicated that he was prepared to continue as Auditor and was duly re- appointed.
2013 in Barbados we resolved significant measurement issues. With some effort we fortunately found good solutions to handle past issues and guarantee future quality.
In 2017 - after app. 80 new boats - we can confirm, that current measurement procedures have proven to be successful. These are good news and we thank all involved officials, measurers, builders and suppliers.
Essentials of the current measurement procedures are:
- limited number of known and named class measurers
- measurers use the same procedures and accuracy
- measurers share findings and consider corrective solutions in detail
- builders/suppliers resolve found issues step by step
To keep this high standard we arrange training sessions with existing measurers and potential future candidates.
Since the last AGM the International Rules Committee answered a few questions on understanding from owners. Also a question on interpretation raised by a builder regarding jib tack fittings was answered.
Potential upcoming aspects for proposals or adjustments in the future could be:
- Championship rules: include current practices to serve better for NOR/SI, e.g. gate start
- Measurement rules: review details of minor importance for racing
- Measurement rules: review details of keelband thickness
However such topics will still need discussion within the IRC for further advice.
Let us keep the 505 as free, performant and versatile as it is ... great boat. All thoughts for improvements are welcome, let us know.
8.1 Election of International Secretary; with no alternative nominations received and the incumbent prepared to stand for another term, the appointment of Stuart Turnbull was duly ratified by the meeting.
8.2 Election of International Treasurer; with no alternative nominations received and the incumbent prepared to stand for another term, the appointment of David Smithwhite was duly ratified by the meeting.
8.3 Election of Chairman, Rules Committee; with no alternative nominations received and the incumbent prepared to stand for another term, the appointment of Andreas Jungclaus was duly ratified by the meeting.
No formal rule change proposals were received but a suggestion for a future change was proposed at the meeting that VHF radios be allowed to be carried on board for communication in the event of an emergency. Points in favour were raised by Mike Martin and by Dave Burchfield who gave an example of a situation that he once found himself in. An informal vote was 2:1 in favour and it was agreed to raise a proposal for the next AGM.
10.World Championship 2018 – Gdynia, Poland
Przemek Zagórski, the Polish Association President and Paulina Filipowicz, a representative of Gdynia City Council, gave a presentation on the City and an update on the preparations for the 2018 Championship. It was reported that preparations are well advanced and that there is plentiful accommodation available close to the venue. It was emphasised that the Championship will be held in peak holiday season and that early booking is recommended. The date of the Championship was confirmed to be from 18 to 27 July with the pre-Words racing on 20th and the Worlds from 22nd to 27th.
11. World Championship 2019 – Fremantle, Australia
Mark Stowell and Matt Hanson of Fremantle Yacht Club gave a presentation confirming that the Championship will start on 2 January 2019 and the race
area will be further south than last time, in deeper water. A Classic fleet will be included, sailing one race per day.
12. World Championship 2020 –
12.1 Proposal, Bermuda
Les Crane and A J Conrads gave a presentation on behalf of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club confirming that they were prepared to run a World Championship in November 2020. The racing would be in the Great Sound which is an almost land-locked area with low level land around the perimeter. Average wind speeds for that time of the year are 17- 30mph with a water temperature of 70 F. The tourist Authority is expected to help with transport costs.
12.2 Proposal, Bastad, Sweden
Soren Jorgensen from Denmark gave a presentation on behalf of the Swedish Association proposing Bastad as a venue for the 2020 World Championships.
Arguments in favour of Bermuda were given by Ali Mellor and in favour of Sweden by Przemek Zagórski. A comment was made that Championships are traditionally held in Europe and outside Europe on alternate years. Pip Pearson confirmed that this is usually the case but not exclusively so.
The venues were put to a vote with the outcome that Bermuda was accepted with a majority of 36:24.
Mike Martin gave an indication that St Francis Yacht Club would welcome hosting a World Championship in 2021.
The Meeting closed at 19:14
S J Turnbull – International Secretary – 24 October 2017