2016 Melges 24 World Council AGM Minutes

INTERNATIONAL MELGES 24 CLASS ASSOCIATION WORLD COUNCIL

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2016

Saturday, 5th November 2016

Best Western Hotel München-Airport, Robert-Koch-Strasse 10, D- 85435 Germany

M I N U T E S

 

Present:

Voting Delegates (either present or via Skype):

 

Name

Position

Representing

1

Jens Wathne

Chairman

 

2

Miles Quinton

Vice Chairman, Europe

UK

3

Brian Hutchinson

Vice Chairman, US - interim

USA

4

Michael Good

Executive Committee Member, Europe

SUI, HUN

5

Kevin Nixon

Executive Committee Member, Asia Pacific

AUS

6

Duncan Stamper

Executive Committee Member , North America

CAN

7

Tomi Hakola

Executive Committee Member , Treasurer

FIN,  EST, SWE

8

Michael Schineis

 

AUT

9

Marc Wain Pedersen

 

DEN

10

Annette Haugsdal

 

NOR

11

Michael Tarabocchia

 

GER, FRA, SLO

12

Andrea Racchelli

 

ITA

13

Ronald Veraar

 

NED

 Non-voting Delegates:

 

Name

Position

1

Peter Göckel

Technical Committee Chairman

2

Jan Schmidt

Tech Comm Member Europe – Melges 24 German Class

3

Antonio Cardona Espin

IM24CA Chief Measurer and Technical Advisor

6

Benedek Fluck

IM24CA Championship Coordinator Europe

7

John Abel

IM24CA Championship Coordinator  Western Hemisphere/Asia-Pacific

8

Piret Salmistu

IM24CA Administrator & Media Coordinator

2016 AGM Agenda with all related paperwork

1. Arrival  

2. Chairman’s Introduction and Report 
Chairman Jens Wathne welcomed the delegates to the meeting, thanking everyone for attending, and for all their vital volunteer work in support of the International Melges 24 Class. 

Jens introduced new people to the class and World Council: IM24CA staff - Antonio Cardona Espin, Benedek Fluck, John Abel; new NCA’s – David Royle (AUS), Marc Noel (CAN), Annette Haugsdal (NOR), Ronald Veraar (NED), Aaron Woolf (UK). The class appreciates a lot their voluntary commitment in their countries and to the IM24CA. 

Jens started with the Chairman’s Report being in this role for two years now.

‘This AGM represents my second year of being the Chairman for the international class and end of my elected term. I want to begin by thanking the officers of the national classes all around the world. I have had the pleasure of working alongside many of the class Executive Officers and I am proud of the effort and work that has been carried out.

This AGM is the first one with the updated constitution that will influence the work and governance of the class in the years to come. The objective of the constitution remains the same: We, as IM24CA, will continuously work to promote and develop the class under uniform rules throughout the world. We represent the structure for class management and for the exchange of information within the class. IM24CA shall also coordinate and select the venues for championships that IMCA holds absolute rights to.

In the coming years I urge the class to renew itself – to lead - we need to continue the development of IM24CA. For that to happen we need a good economic basis and updated communication platforms. Our economy is dependent on memberships and sales of the sail labels. The executive group of IMCA need to step up and secure class sponsorships and other sources of incomes. 

In a difficult economic climate, the chase to cut cost is hard. Sponsorship money is hard to come in. However, the 2016 Europeans in France was a great success. Looking forward to the Worlds in Miami shortly we have the biggest entry in the US Worlds for a long time (2007/58, 2009/51 2011/38 2013/60 2016/70+).  

As Chairman, I acknowledge the work and effort put in to host championships around the world. Guidelines to secure racing at the highest level is now looked upon as outdated or represent a challenge in getting suitable host in different parts of IM24CA. The work started last year and has continued, this year will be a new step stone for the class to grow in the future. The importance of good venues with great race management, have a great impact on the class, maybe bigger than we think. I hope we can put increased attention to this going forward. The class should complete the ongoing work on regatta regulations and I urge the different parts of IM24CA to contribute through our structures. The aim is to make IM24CA way of planning and running regattas efficient and economically sensible.

Looking at the membership there is yet again an increase in membership of 11%, last year it was 8% - it’s a promising development! Looking at the figures there are some interesting features:

-              There are paying members from 20 national classes (NC).
-              Seven of those have less than 10 members.
-              Seven NC’s has a relatively stable membership mass.
-              This year increase in CAN/USA/FRA/UK.

The challenge going forward would be to support growth in smaller European nations and to have potential member seeing the value in joining the NCA and IM24CA. As a class, we serve those who participate and race under our insignia. 

In 2016 there has been built four new boats and there are enquiries for the next year – all good news.

Racing circuits around the globe has proven to be important for sailors. In recent years European Sailing Series has been a driving force. In the US similar circuits are being established again. Competitors appreciate these circuits and they increase attendance in regattas included in them. Efforts from NC’s and IM24CA into these bodies are important keeping activity level high. The news from these circles is also interesting for the media and will promote the class in a positive manner. To get a good schedule in a timely manner is incredibly hard. A long-term approach is important for us to create predictability. Good events at the good venues at an affordable price promote the willingness to travel and to participate. 

From the technical perspective, few proposals for rule change have been submitted. This shows us that the boat is working. The stability around the rudder gudgeons construction were addressed and approved last year. Melges Performance Sailingboat has not yet any requests for the new style gudgeons so they have not sourced a supplier for the machined gudgeons.

Communication is important for us and among us. IM24CA is available on modern Social Medias and the sailing community is expecting it. The contribution of NCA’s in giving us the stories, pictures and the people behind them is important. The IM24CA attracts competitors at a high level, but also a big crowd of Corinthians. Pictures and stories from the class regattas is a key to competitors across the entry lists.  We have started to build the new website. We hope that this goes live in the first quarter of next year.

During the last year, we have held numerous Executive Committee meeting on Skype. The executive group has been active to run and develop the class.   With increase in membership, economy under control, championships with big attendance, I look upon 2016 as a positive year for the International Melges 24 class.
 

3.  National Class Reports 
Annual reports of the national classes are available online to read. Jens read the report of Australia and Annette Haugsdal had a chance to introduce Norwegian annual report.  Ronald Veraar explained their situation in the Netherlands having just 2 active boats for now, but not Dutch class really. IM24CA is happy to see them both at the Worlds in Miami. 

IM24CA has confirmed receipt of the National Class Reports, as below and they are available for reading online.

   - Australia 
   - Canada
   - Estonia 
   - Germany
   - Hungary 
   - Italy  
   - Norway  
   - Slovenia  
   - Switzerland  
   - United Kingdom   
   - United States of America

Jens also urged these NCA’s who have not sent their reports yet to submit them to Piret as this is the way to let IM24CA know what’s going on in the local NC’s. 

4. Minutes Of The Last Meeting 
Acceptance of the Minutes of the 2015 Meeting as a correct record of the meeting was proposed by Tomi Hakola and approved unanimously.  

5. Financial Report and Budget 
Treasurer Tomi Hakola presented the Treasurer’s (interim) Report together with a Budget Proposal 2017 which was also sent over by e-mail to all participants. Tomi said it’s been more than five years when the IM24CA finances have been managed in more professional way having all the bookkeeping audited by the third part trusted company to make it all very transparent and easy to follow.

IM24CA incomes – ISAF Royalty Fees, membership fees, Sail Royalties, Advertising.

  • ISAF Royalty Fees have coming down a great deal due to the world wide economic situation since 2011. The new boats ordered directly correlates to our income levels.
  • Class Affiliation / membership fees (YTD Nov 5) 306 paid members from 20 nations. Members picked up from 272 / +8%. Meaning +1995€. Each NCA must wake up to get the numbers up!
  • Sail Royalties sold (YTD Nov 5) 409 * 90€ = 36 810€ which is the same level as 2014-2015.
  • No Advertising money yet to the class 

Tomi urged all but especially small NC’s to encourage as much as possible boats on the starting line and to get membership fees paid. Peter Göckel stated that it’s not only about the great venues for the events to have a large fleet, but to concentrate also to the other activities to keep especially Corinthians in the fleet and active also after the wonderful events. Three significant years were highlighted about the membership – 2009, 2014 and 2016.  Membership numbers by nations have significantly increased in US, UK and CHI in 2016. Full members share comparison 2016 – the biggest NC’s are USA 27.4%, GER 12.2%, CAN 7.9%, NOR 6.9%, DEN 5.6%. Five NCA have a share of 60 %. 

Sail royalties sold per loft – North Sails has been always the market leader (earlier years even with 75% of market share) and so is now with 59% of market share, Quantum is second with 33% and Ullman is third with 3,3%. Only 409 sold sails is a small number comparing to 633 in 2013, 581 in 2012 and 752 in 2011. He forecasted yet this number to increase because of the Worlds in Miami in December.  

Advertising money is yet missing in the class but the hope is on the new website and on more communications and cross-communication with the national websites and big events’ channels. Jens also highlighted the importance of the electronic newsletter going out every week or every second week is creating traffic to the main sites and is the potential option for getting advertisers. Having almost 25 years old boat and class there’s lot of stories to tell and history behind with pictures and videos to value and share.

Both our major income sources increased IM24CA’s overall income by +9% (66 466 vs 60 458) during this financial year although the expectations were looking relatively ok. 

Tomi was thanking Hank Stuart and Egidio Babbi for the outstanding and excellent job for the class during the long years and welcomed Antonio, Benedek and John as the new people working for the class. Also a big thanks goes to Piret for the everyday work and for the title events and smaller events executed with her help.

Explaining the expenditures of the class most of it goes to the persons working for the class – besides these mentioned already the work of Zerogradinord and Pierrick Contin. All expenditures can be opened by Treasurer to anybody – its’ all transparent and goes by the AGM approved budget yearly.  

Jens said that even the income numbers looking good for 2016, the economy of the class is still fragile and needs a strong support and attention all the time. This means it’s very important to get teams to pay their dues and get them sail and buy the sails.

Treasurer ensured that the condition of the class is good having the savings in our bank account and good year with a small surplus ending. But still the class needs all the support of the NCA’s encouraging all local teams to line up at the events, buy new sails and pay their dues.

Main challenges in Tomi’s view being in Treasurer’s role for a while now:

  • How to get the teams buy new sails
  • How to activate big nations and their owners keeping sailing
  • How to keep alive and activate also the small national classes (with less than 10 boats) 

According to Jens sponsorship is our biggest potential to grow and renew the class. The boat is still super cool to promote and get the people there. 

Michael Tarabochia commented the situation in Germany where the membership is dropping down. Some of them are not happy with the Corinthian status and classification because lot of PRO’s are starting in COR division and the Corinthians are frustrated about finishing 10 minutes later than them. There is a potential of 20 or more boats sailing only for fun on the weekend and during the holidays, but due this fact they are not interested to race at the events.

Jens admitted that there are gray areas in World Sailing classification system we can’t do much about, but he has understand the importance of the social side at the vents. Therefore JAVA Cup in Norway was created and therefore the Volvo Cup in Italy was so successful being still in the sailors’ minds with great memories. Volvo Cup has gone with the winds but how can we take the key factors and best things out of it and get people sailing out there again.

The key for the class is to lift the Corinthians involving them with the PRO’s who are also very important, but who also already know how the events are held, and how the racing goes.  Social part of the events and socialising is very important for the Corinthian, also media. People like to see themselves in the photos, videos, interviews, listening their stories – this is the same important for the COR’s (especially) than for PRO’s.  

Michael Tarabochia said he will try to get the Corinthian teams also to the clinic in Portoroz for few days before the event itself – to have the tips from PRO’s and stay together. Peter Göckel encouraged also organise the clinics and events in local level on their home lakes. Michael Good said the local sailing only does not bring the teams or the class forward - you need the higher level of competition, and bigger fleet for the growth and development, you need to show to these Corinthians the pro level and what kind of great events are out there. Michael Tarabochia agreed that showing to the less experienced teams nice venues and events like we have in Riva, Middelfart, Hyeres can be great, but lack of experience to sail with 30 knots in a big fleet can also crash them.

Jens highlighted, that competition level starts locally (if you don’t feel the boat at home, you don’t travel), but more experienced teams need to teach the Corinthians how to act in the bigger fleet, and the learning will be by doing – no any other option. And here the big role is on NC’s. 

IM24CA budget proposal for 2017 
Tomi explained the background behind the scenes for the 2017 budget. From the expenditure side the main amount is budgeted to one paid daily staff person Piret plus for the rest IM24CA staff mentioned above (Measurer/Technical Advisor, Championship Coordinators).
Besides these we have budgeted footage providing for the main events and some for the rest of the World (Zerogradinord) and photos of main events from Pierrick Contin. Tomi highlighted the need for high class marketing and communication - is A MUST. Also more focus must be given to the social media (see online report). With these numbers net expenditure will be 64 450 €.  
Tomi explained that the amounts for footage are EUR 9,000 (EU) and EUR 3,000 (US) now, but this 3,000 EUR can be also the rest of the world. It was also noted that this year Zerogradinord is going to the Worlds in Miami and IM24CA will take care of the fee and flights for them (was not budgeted).

Duncan Stamper – Referring to 2016 the footage budget was equally split between US, AUS, EUR. Why can’t we have this equally split between them in 2017? Tomi said that if the total cake for footage is 12,000 EUR it’s up to us how we’ll split it.
Ronald Veraar – We are happy with the amount spent on footage as we find it to be very important and we like it a lot. At the same time class pays for the photographer and the teams need to pay additionally for the photographer for the photos. Could it be the option to add one nice photo per team into the championship package? Tomi agreed with that point and thought it’s negotiable with Pierrick. Jens suggested discuss having one photo per boat Included to the entry fee of the event.
Michael Good explained that what we buy is always the “right to use photo” and copyright always stays for the photographer.
Ronald also gave as an example of J22 Worlds, where after the event every team got the package with small files of their boat with a deal how much these would cost in higher resolution. This point was also taken by Tomi and approved as a good idea for our class as well.

There was a discussion how to split/share the budgeted footage money and it was agreed to change it to one line in the overall budget and the final decision will be made by the Exec Comm how to split it. 
Tomi highlighted that all the numbers in the Budget are including VAT, taxes and costs. 
It was budgeted also 5 EUR increase of the price for Sail Label to the Sail Lofts.

With this all said the Budget for 2017 was approved by the AGM.

15 minutes coffee break until 10:55

6. Marketing & Communications Report 
Treasurer Tomi Hakola gave the overview about the Marketing & Communication Report 2016

How the Exec Comm is seeing the things can be summarized into one sentence – we can’t do the things like we used to do three, five or ten years ago. The world is changing and so has been changing media and we have to change as well. We need here the strong input of the NCA’s.
The mobile phones are here to stay - the surveys are saying that 85% of your time you have the mobile phones in your hands. It’s a wonderful gadget and also the public platform to share your moving footage and messages.
The business models are changing – for instance in alpine skiing the trend especially for younger people (under 28 y old) is not to own your own skis or boots, they want to be more careless renting the stuff rather than owning it. The same trend is becoming more popular also in our business – the sailors in J70, Moth and match racing do not want to own the boats anymore.
The message is that we can’t continue the same way anymore, we have to change. Melges 24 is a really strong brand a really good boat, but we need to think how to survive in ten and in fifteen years from now.

Miles Quinton – I’m just wondering what kind of choices the sailors are making now and why they are making these choices? In UK we have found out that the younger people are excited to sail, but they are more in to Moth and such foiling boats rather than keelboats now, but they are interested to sail.  We as a class can extend this knowledge about the boat and encourage these youngsters showing how exciting it is to sail on Melges 24 having the cameras onboard and creating more footage and share with the fleet/class, giving out the prizes etc.
Tomi – As an example in Finland during the Gulf of Finland Race we were thinking about new steps and we started to go live in Facebook in the beginning of this offshore race. At the end we ended up with more than 300 followers in Saturday evening to follow the offshore race on the Gulf of Finland. Some ten years ago it was enough to have a yearbook, some articles and photos about the race, but it’s not enough anymore. The question is how to get more awareness about the racing and people to get committed?

Tomi said that our strength is friendly fleet and great social events ashore and this need to be shared through many platforms now. And this is not the mission only for IM24CA, but also for the NCA’s all around the world – we need the footage from every level of sailing to be shared. This is what we can share as a class.
Ronald Veraar – Isn’t it the mobile phone something not allowed on the boat?
Miles – Today we know already that the phones are on the boat and if they’ll be used for the footage reasons I guess the sailors won’t break the rule and are not communicating with them any other way. We can of course encourage using GoPro’s and may be helping to edit and download the footage if they can’t make it themselves.
Ronald Veraar – In our NED827 team there is Joost who is very keen to produce such footage as a film, but it takes 4-5 hrs commitment daily to get such 2-3 minutes footage moving around. May be we can use these professionals who we hire for media job to help editing the footage on behalf of the teams which would help a lot. Also what we have been doing via Piret to give a raw footage to Zerogradinord to add some of it to the event’s daily footage, which is very nice to see.  
Tomi suggested having a specific place and person to get the footage from the teams in the specific place in the dock already to make this easier for the sailors. And Ronald made a comment about the need to be explained the technical requirements for the footage to be usable.
Piret – As we have discussed before may be the class should have our own GoPros at the events and picking up randomly the boats for the footage which can be used in the daily highlights later.
Jan Schmidt – At the ORC events in Germany they have such media prizes. For example the biggest number of “likes” in FB for the photos and footage will give you a media prize what could be a bottle of rum etc, but this definitely creates a buzz.
Annette Haugsdal – Also it is important to tag your FB posts with the relevant tags and hashtags which can create more sharing and attention.
Piret mentioned the hashtags to be important especially for the Instagram where she can re-post all the photos what sailors have been posting with #Melges24 to IM24CA account where there are lots of followers already and the number is growing daily.
Miles Quinton was agree that GoPro cameras for the class would help with the footage and then the class should negotiate with the media company to do additional edit with the material of the sailors. Also helping to put the cameras in different places onboard will give us different angles and interesting material.

Jens Wathne – To summarize our discussion we can:

  • Encourage teams to create footage and share with the class in the well established system
  • Editing sailors’ moving footage daily needs extra steps and time, but can be negotiable
  • Go to GoPro pick the number of cameras and have them possibly as a gear sponsor of the class for some years

Benedek Fluck – If we have a central platform to upload the footage and not about the sailing only, then sharing it with biweekly newsletter and social platforms would create a number of followers.  

E-Newsletter 
Tomi introduced the history of the newsletter which was done by Fiona many years ago and was dropped for a while, but now successfully restarted again by Piret since the beginning of 2016.
During 2016 30 E-Melges 24 newsletters have been sent out with an average opening rate of 35-40% of ~1200 recipients, opening rate and also clicking rate are rather high. This has been the platform to share the footage of the teams and has been working well.
Miles Quinton suggested to send E-Newsletter to the press distribution list as we have a great content and fresh news can be picked up to the online magazines easily. For example the stories like it was published about Embarr team recently was very human and nice.

Website
Tomi explained the statistics behind website melges24.com having the visitors from 155 nations, in Top 3 visitors from USA, Italy and Germany and newcomers in Top 10 are UK, Sweden, Switzerland and Estonia. Explaining the decreasing numbers on webpage is related to the more content and visitors to social media where the information will land to the news feed more quickly.
Miles was surprised that 60% of the website users are doing it from the desktop, not the mobile devices. Visiting via mobile devices will increase during the weekends and the events. When building new website it’s crucial to do that mobile compatible for an easy usage on these devices.
What created also the impact to the unique visitor numbers on webpage is that we moved our still pictures content to the flickr account – which is easier reachable and the photos get the better exposure. Even the statistics of the webpage are lower because of flickr, our general exposure and numbers are definitely better this way.

Facebook
We started our page in 2012 and it has been steadily growing, in 2016 the growth in “Likes” for FB page has been more than 500. In light of how hard is to get exposed in FB lately due to the changes in FB system, this is a great number.

Official facebook page likes progress:
AGM 2016 at 2 305 likes
AGM 2015 at 1798 likes
AGM 2014 at 1 454 likes
AGM 2013 at 1 146 likes
AGM 2012 at 618 likes
79% of our fans (Page Likes) are men, but 64% reached were men (& 35% women), 46% are aged 25 – 44 year old.
The highest reach for FB posts in 2016 – for 9th September (final day of the Europeans) 26,000 unique visitors! It was admitted that these numbers are really high and can be a great asset for the potential sponsors.
Top 10 posts in FB during 2016 were all from the Europeans (photos and videos) which mean we can use the potential of the title event much more committing the sponsors! And the more photos and videos we have, the more we can attract the followers.

YouTube
Dramatic drop in YouTube channel but this is also because of the growth of FB usage and also because of the “war” between FB and YouTube where FB is gaining much more visitors because of the LiveStreams and videos posted directly there. The quality of the footage will suffer in FB, but the speed of sharing it is much quicker and also exposure from the FB news feed is much better.
Youtube channel has 400 subscribers and the good thing is that superb footage is done by i.e. Zerogradinord, SportsXstream. The biggest challenge for 2017 is how to get the majority of the Melges24 footage under one media platform. Is it Youtube?

Twitter
We started the account 28.6.2009, it’s growing every month, now followers 803 (2015: 675, 2014: 532, 2013: 446). Tweets made 4,329 (2015: 2303, 2014: 1248, 2013: 980). Twitter is most active usage in all major championships when communicating from the race course. Reposting of the tweets around the world creates the followers and tweets also.

Instagram
Photos from the events and photos from all around the world. Account started 8th January 2015, followers 1 071 (2015: 272). Posts 695 (2015: 126)
There are 3 272 posts under #melges24 in Instagram. There are around 20,000 likes on all ~700 posts. Piret has been again reposting the photos from all around the world with the hashtag #melges24 and #worldofmelges24 or #melges24worlds, #melges24europeans #m24ess etc.
Reposting of the posts is really good tool to attract the followers and share the content.

Big thanks go to Tomi!

Michael Good mentioned that these presented figures are remarkable, in FB especially!
Jens Wathne – Besides having Tomi as a Treasure, this is a great value to have his media background and concentration on media for the class too!
It was suggested to check if such numbers of the other classes are available to compare.
Annette Haugsdal was admitting that it’s a great job what IM24CA is doing with media and this is very important for the sailors to see them in these communications. Local classes have lot to learn from this to get more exposure and attraction. 

Benedek Fluck asked if there is any way how we could be more involved in World Sailing’ media or is there anything what WS could do for more exposure of any class under their roof? It was admitted that more than tagging FB or Instagram or Twitter posts with World Sailing and sending our releases to them we haven’t explored, but was agreed it worth to check.

11:50

7. Technical Report 
Peter Göckel – The Chair of the Technical Committee told having the Tech Comm meeting yesterday admitting there are no big issues coming up this year. Decisions from the Tech Comm meeting
Peter gave the floor to Jan Schmidt, Tech Comm Member Europe for the European report. Unfortunately we haven’t get the report from America and also the Tech Comm Member America has been changed without noticing IM24CA (JA Booker to Dari Esfahani). We have a report from Harry Melges - boat builder MPS which will be presented after Jan Schmidt’ report.

European member in Techincal Committee, Jan Schmidt reported the current situation about Europe. No owner came directly to him to report any problems, so there seems that there are no big issues. Ruder Gudgeons production options in Germany: Jan has asked for some prices for the gudgeons. The range is the following:
461 € for a single set.
208€ / 10 Sets.
201 € / 20 sets
192 € / 50 sets
176 € / 100 sets
Prices are for one set (hullpart-rudderpart-pin) excluding VAT. The rudder part will be laser cut. The Hull part is made of 3 laser cut parts, welded together and the horizontal wings will be milled straight. According to Jan the hiking lines should be checked more regularly - at some events there were some differences between the lines. 

8. Builder’s Report 
Peter was unhappy not seeing any of the builders present either via Skype or personally. But he read the report from Harry Melges.  

‘We built 4 new M24’s this year. 3 for the US and 1 going to Italy after the Worlds in Miami. The class appears to be strong in the US with a great US Nationals going on right now at Lake Geneva and the Miami Worlds are getting a lot of attention in the US and we are getting some inquiries from new potential owners. We’ve also had some inquiries for new boats from existing owners here at the Nationals for delivery next summer.  
We have not had any requests for the new style gudgeons so we have not sourced a supplier for the machined gudgeons.  
Egi was going to start collecting data for keel measurements to the leading edge instead of the trailing edge. It is too easy to modify the keel chord length and move the keel forward further. We would like to see the measurements taken to the leading edge and not the trailing edge. Not sure where this stands but would be nice to move  forward.
As we’ve said before the requirements to host a major regatta in the US are too demanding and it’s becoming harder and harder to find yacht clubs willing to take on the risk to host an event. This needs to be addressed promptly as after Miami it will be very difficult for the US to host the Worlds in the future under the existing guidelines. We continue to get complaints about too many races and events being too long, especially the Worlds. Luca’s article on Scuttlebutt was pretty accurate and should be discussed. http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2016/09/15/lets-keep-fun-sport/

9. Election Of Executive Committee 
Jens referred to his chairman report highlighting the election under new constitution being in force and impacting directly the length of the term of officers.

Tomi explained the process of the elections and the voting procedure together with the number of votes based on the number of paid class members. The votes according to the constitution per members (country vote + membership votes) and for the Executive Committee members can be seen here. According to these figures there are 71 members’ votes plus 7 votes of the Exec Comm members. 

There wasn’t Brian Hutchinson, US representative with a proxy to vote for US class in present at this point, Jens called him to ask about his participation and it was asked to hold the process for 15 minutes.

For the ones online the votes have been requested to type into the Skype chat window.

Chairman - Jens Wathne (NOR) has been elected 2014 replacing Riccardo Simoneschi, with 2 year term, up for election today. Jens has been nominated by Germany, Austria, Norway, Switzerland and Italy.  Second contender Duncan Stamper (CAN), nominated by Canada and USA, withdrew for personal reasons.
The vote was called and it was elected unanimously in favour of Jens Wathne (NOR) to continue as the Chairman.

Vice Chair America - Brian Hutchinson was selected to replace Rob Britts in 2014, with 2 year term, the post up for election today. Duncan Stamper (CAN) is the only candidate nominated by USA and Canada.
The vote was called and Duncan Stamper (CAN) was elected unanimously to be the Vice Chair America.

Vice Chair Asia/Pacific - vacant (new position created at 2015 EGM, new constitution), up for election today. No nomination by Australian Melges 24 Class Association as they are short on people to do jobs for the Association at present. Brian Hutchinson asked if there is a right-in-vote? Tomi explained that according to the constitution the nominees from the floor can be proposed only by the Chairman. This position was left unfilled.

Member Europe - Michael Good was elected in 2014 replacing Jens Wathne, with 2 year term, up for election today. Michael Good has been nominated again by Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy.
The vote was called and it was elected unanimously in favour of Michael Good (SUI) to continue as the Member Europe.

Member America - Duncan Stamper was elected in 2014 replacing Simon Strauss, with 2 year term, up for election today. Two candidates here: Paul Krak Arntson nominated by Canada and Kevin Welch nominated by USA.
Duncan Stamper introduced Krak Arntson from Lake Tahoe as a great Melges 24 sailor sailing with his wife and teenage kids. He’s been sailing Melges 24 since 1995.
Brian Hutchinson made a comparing introduction of both candidates saying Krak has a family team and Kevin bought a boat about five years ago and has a pro-team. Krak is for keeping weight rule, Kevin would like to get rid of the weight rule. Krak is organizing events on Lake Tahoe where the fleet is coming back, also he is a Treasurer of the US class getting things more organised than they used to be before. Both are great guys according to Brian.
Kevin Nixon said he does not know the guys but has been hearing Kevin to be busy all the time and not having time for dealing Melges 24 stuff. His question was who of them has more time and is more ready to do the job for the class. Brian admitted that the communications with Kevin might be harder. Duncan agreed that Krak might be more committed to the class.
The vote was called both for Paul Krak Arntson and Kevin Welch. After the votes were counted for both candidates there was a tie 27/27. As per constitution 5.9 and 12.8 in the event of a tied vote the Chairman shall have a casting vote, Jens Wathne gave his casting vote to Paul Krak Arntson.
Paul Krak Arntson was elected as Member America.

Treasurer – Tomi Hakola was elected in 2008, 3 year term, re-elected 2011, Gina Borsa (CAN) was nominated in 2013 and lost, Tomi’s term was extended one year 2014, term extended one year 2015, up for election today. There are two candidates:
- Tomi Hakola (FIN) - nominated by GER, AUT, ITA
- George Haynie (USA) - nominated by USA, CAN
Jens was asking either USA or CAN representative to introduce George Haynie first.

Due to the technical issues the topic was interrupted and it was decided to have a 45-minutes lunch break until 13:30.

Brian was introducing George Haynie as recently retired Certified Public Accountant and he was running the US Nationals in 2013, also lately he has been helping with the organisation of the Miami Worlds being competent in finances and management. He should have enough time for this post as recently retired and willing to contribute in the class.

Duncan Stamper (CAN) raised the issue of Constitution 5.3 about the elections of officers and the length of their terms including Treasurer. He pointed that according to the constitution World Council can extend the term of the Treasurer if there’s no other nomination. As we have another nomination then is Tomi’s nomination valid? Discussion was held to clear the situation. USA and Canada’s opinion about the wording of the Constitution is that World Council should be down to one nomination now. 

Miles Quinton said that according to the Constitution we have the schedule of activities before the AGM and the motions to the Agenda should have been submitted to a certain deadline before the AGM. Cancelling one candidate now would totally change the basis of the vote at the AGM which we can’t do. Also we have the proxies of the NCA’s based on the Agenda published before and now changing the Agenda we can’ really use their votes on this topic. Miles did not see any other way than cancel the election now, clarify the technicalities and call the vote in proper way any time soon based on the clear agenda.

It was admitted that this point in the Constitution was overlooked and not noticed also Duncan was agree that World Council may delay the vote in these circumstances calling an EGM and have the vote then.

Discussing about an option where the Chairman could make the motion from the floor was not accepted either as the proxies and votes of the NCA’s were given based on the Agenda before the AGM and we don’t know the vote of them if the Agenda and nominees would have been different.

Jens admitted that the wording of the Constitution is pretty clear, but the problem of the class is that we did not recognize that before the AGM. Miles was sure that we can’t use the casted votes on the changed Agenda and for only single nominee – he was certain that we need to ask the NCA’s again to get their votes as we can’t assume if there would have been only single candidate.
Brian Hutchinson suggested Tomi to withdraw his candidacy seeing his nomination not to be valid.

To respect the announced Agenda, given proxies and votes from NCA’s based on that Agenda, Jens did not accept the amendments from the floor to respect, also Tomi did not withdrew because of the nominations by three nations and their votes. Jens admitted that it was a failure of everybody not to read constitution properly – otherwise we would not have this situation now. The only way to solve it in a democratic way is to hear the NCA’s present giving their feedback how to move on.

Michael Tarabochia said that he has the votes for Tomi from France, Slovenia and his own German class members based on the given Agenda and he can’t vote anymore if the agenda and the nominations will be changed here.

Miles Quinton said the same having a casted vote from the UK class and he does not have any idea what their vote would be if the nominees and agenda would have been different.

Michael Good proposed the real vote on the current Agenda and then after the votes to have a referendum here according to Constitution 5.3.
Ronald Veraar said also that if the Agenda would have been different, also the given votes have been different and the votes can’t be counted in if the agenda and nominees will be changed.
Miles Quinton said it would create a huge confusion in the NCA’s if they have casted their votes, but the AGM will do what it wants – then there’s no point to cast any vote. Based on these facts he was quite sure that we can’t have the elections now.

It was agreed that the only solution to solve it in proper way according to the constitution is to invite an EGM with not less than 6-weeks-notice and the certain directions will be announced shortly.

Chairman of the Technical Committee - Peter Göckel was appointed pre 2010, no term limits (year to year per old and new constitution). According to the new constitution the Chairman of the Technical Committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee on an annual basis, but with no fixed limit to the period of office. There’s no knowledge about having any nominations to this position and Peter Göckel (GER) will continue in this role. 
The list of Executive Committee members 

10.   National Class Association Submissions to AGM

  • Italian Class Proposal - Events & General Policies: Jury and Race Management – Andrea Racchelli representing Italian class opened a discussion on Jury selection and umpiring on the water as a result of a many years observation while sailing in Melges 24 class, also they were expressing their concern about having too many races (more than 2 races) per day at the title event as the RC has set such goal  – it was said the most important thing is to have fair and high-quality racing than planned number of races no matter what. Also the number of courses has been too much for the event – 2-3 should be enough. There was a good discussion held and proposed that the survey could be run among the sailors to have a good input for the regatta regulations under the renewing now.

Jens said that on-water-umpiring has been debated in this class for a long period of time and it was agreed at the AGM few years ago that it will be decided case by case making sure the quality of the jury. At the upcoming Worlds in Miami there won’t be umpiring on the water. The number of races comes from the Regatta Regulations, but his is a professional suggestion and we will definitely considering that because it’s a suggestion only in the regulations. We want enough racing, but the quality of races is the same important. Suggestion on the number of courses is worth to consider – 7-8 courses are definitely too much, and 3-4 is enough because if the conditions are better to end the race close to the shore, it helps the race management.

Discussion was held about the proposal. Jens also highlighted the concern about the length of the event and the number of the races by Harry Melges.

Ronald Veraar was not agree to have only 2 short races scheduled for the title event, especially when travelling long way to the event and then having around 2,5 hrs racing per day, why not to use good conditions and have for example 4 races and not limiting it to 2.

The majority admitted that the suggestions of Andrea are definitely worth to consider for the regatta regulations and Miles Quinton proposed to ask from the members their opinion about the number of races and courses, because we can’t speak on behalf of all of them. However – his team usually wants to sail as much as possible if the weather conditions allow and are favourable.

Peter Göckel was glad that Andrea has started this discussion with the suggestions to the regatta regulations. He said that it could not be a good solution if we would squeeze us too much while setting some certain limits to the numbers, but as we are in the process of amending our Regatta Regulations, this would be the topic to discuss and consider there. He also supported the idea of asking from the class members their opinion – if we would leave these numbers a bit open and at the same time respecting our sailors, we should be on the right path.

Jens also highlighted the suggestion from Harry Melges about the length of the event – all these issues should be considered now when updating the regatta regulations.

Benedek Fluck – From the PRO point of view RC is trying to deliver the best service for the class in the best possible way. Peter is right that if the class would have very strict rules without any room to change them, then this would make the work harder for RC to serve the sailors.

John Abel – Me as a PRO and Championship Coordinator of course have to follow the class rules and for me to act having certain regulations from the class will help to do my job. Talking about the race officials and jury members, I would see class having a broad list of preferred race officials and jury members to choose from.

Jens was thanking Andrea for these suggestions of combined issues and opening the discussion on these topics. At the same time he admitted that survey among the class members would help a lot to finalize the amendments of the regatta regulations.

John was confirming that the working group of Arto Kiiski (IJ, FIN), Benedek Fluck (IRO, Champ Coordinator, HUN) and Mike Turner (IJ, CAN) are working on these proposals and they will be listing the proposals to be presented to the class soon.

Andrea was happy to open the discussion and it was not an idea to propose something very strict, but more to have these proposals to be considered and adopted in the best sensible way.

John confirmed that the survey will be run after the Worlds in Miami among the participants and we can easily add these questions to find out the opinion of the class.

Miles suggested that this kind of survey should be run online through all NCA’s and class members all around the world – it would give us valuable information and would engage the people at the same time.

John confirmed that Championship Coordinators and working group is working for the class and these suggestions will be definitely go back to the working group to end up with the updated regatta regulations.

Jens also highlighted the need to be flexible in the regatta regulations depending on the every possible venue where we are going to do our events. Also – engaging the class members with that kind of survey is definitely a good thing to do.

Conclusion: Italian class’ suggestions will be brought to the IM24CA working group who is working on the regatta regulations to be amended; IM24CA will run an online survey among the entire class with the questions raised by the Italian class and AGM.

11.   Proposed Rule Changes

11.1. USMCA Motion A – Topic: Hatch Boards

Proposal: The boat may be sailed without the Companionway Hatch Boards.  
Brian Hutchinson explained the reason for that proposal: This is considered a housekeeping measure. Boats are currently weighed without hatch-boards, yet, under the current rule boats must have them on-board (dead weight) while racing. Keeping these boards in-place can obstruct normal use of the berths on the boat.          
Peter Göckel confirmed that Tech Comm was discussing all technical issues and was supporting this proposal and both Peter and Jan Schmidt explained the reasons for approval. By the rules hatches do not belong to the boat weight and Jan was referring to the Class Rules C6.1 and C5.1b.
Tech Comm supports the Class Rule Change with the following wording: The boat may be sailed without the Companionway Hatch Boards. Ronald Veraar asked the question if we do not need to follow World Sailing safety rules about the safety here?

There was a discussion held if we need to see what World Sailing requires and options were listed:

  • Either we can’t do that like we wish as World Sailing does not allow that.
  • Or we will do that and need to find the way how to add it into our class rules.

John Abel was mentioning that Melges 24 sailing is not an offshore racing really and the offshore safety rules should not ally on our racing. Michael Good said if we have managed with this existing rule for more than 20 years, we should leave it as it is. 
Conclusion: Because of the risk of overruled by World Sailing, Jens was asking if US class would withdraw the motion? Brian Hutchinson agreed to take the US class motion off from the table.

Jens suggested write down the proper wording with all considerations and explanations and change the rule in the future (either at the EGM 2016 or AGM 2017).

11.2. USMCA Motion B – Topic: Modification to H.3 Re-Weigh

Proposed rule: Regatta Organizing Authorities have the option to have no teams re-weigh on the last day of a Championship regatta. (This could be employed where there are geographical barriers, such as traffic-packed bridges between the haul-out and the location of the scales.)

Brian Hutchinson explained the reasons behind the proposal. In every championship the last race is “the race to the dock”, to the trailer, to the airport. In most cases crewmembers need to be to work or school on Monday morning and missing a flight out could be problematic. To schedule “an extra day for logistics” is deemed quite costly in today’s economy and could be the difference in between a team entering a championship.  In championship regattas teams are held to an allowable weight for a string of 5-6 days. Potential variation from the class weight limit would be minimal and not sufficient to translate into any speed advantage. It applies especially on specific venues.

Peter Göckel confirmed having the discussion on that proposal one day before and also last year and he was confirming we do not want any cheating because creating exceptions in the rules, will definitely create “open doors” to interpret the rules. Race Committee here has the decisive role where and when to follow the rule on the final race day depending on the certain circumstances. 

Conclusion: Modification to H.3 Re-Weigh rule was discussed, then a vote was called and it was rejected by a majority in favour of not to accept the rule change (42 vs 18).

11.3. USMCA Motion C - Topic: Backstay

Proposed rule: The cleats and hardware restrictions for the backstay control lines shall be the same as for the Traveler - “1 or 2 cleats on brackets on each side tank for Backstay control-line cleats, blocks, etc…”

Brian Hutchinson explained the reasons behind the proposal what has been written down by Brian porter: This is considered a “housekeeping measure” and puts each system on the same level. The control lines and cleats for the Backstay are within 25 mm of those for the Traveler. These controls are within the reach of the helmsman an effect sail shape to a similar degree. It is logical that the systems should have similar level of convenience and functionality. The motion will make sailing the Melges 24 easier for by using a continuous backstay one can cleat the leeward side of the backstay from the weather side. 

USMCA’s submission on Backstay was supported by the Tech Comm one day earlier with the following wording to the H.2.  

STANDARD FITTING SPECIFICATION

DIMENSIONS

DIMENSIONS

PERMITTED MODIFICATION OR DIMENSION SPECIFICATION

1 or 2 cleats on brackets on each side tank for backstay control line

 

 

The backstay cleats may be placed within a box measuring 1900mm and 2150mm aft of the Measurement Beam and between the lower edge of the deck non skid and a line 180mm below this edge on the cockpit moulding.

1 block on deck eye on each side tank to lead backstay control line to cleat

Dia optional

 

Location optional

A vote was called and it was accepted unanimously to accept the rule change with the proper wording above from Tech Comm.

11.4. USMCA Motion D - Lifelines

Proposed rule: The distance between the bearing surface of the lifeline straps and the deck shall be no closer than 10 cm when a 20 kg load is placed at mid-span.

Brian Hutchinson explained the reasons behind the proposal: The language of the old rule is vague and impossible to enforce uniformly. The new rule provides a standardized weight and allowable deflection. He said that to use a simple bucket full of water would do for this 20 kg. The group did not agree with the bucket measuring as the buckets might be different and it’s not secure method.

Peter Göckel explained that we have ORC measurer Jan Schmidt in Tech Comm and also Antonio Cardona as the Chief Measurer – discussing the topic a day earlier at the Tech Comm we ended up with 5 kg load for checking (In ORC they are measuring deflection with 4 kg).

Tech Comm supported the Class Rule Change with the following wording: The hiking lines shall be tight at all times. The distance between the top of the bearing point of the lifeline straps and the deck shall be no closer than 10 cm when a 5 kg load is placed at mid-span.

Peter explained the background of the approval.

Brian Hutchinson suspected that 5 kg is not sufficient to reach the linkage.  Ronald Veraar seconded this opinion and proposed 10 kg instead, Peter Göckel seconded that. Antonio Cardona said how important is to have in the rule something you are able to control. 20 kg on choppy water with 10-20 knots makes this checking quite impossible. Ronald Veraar suggested for a checking method to use a digital hanging scale which is easy to use either on the dock or on the water.

Talking about the method the suggestion was that the measurers need to find a proper method to check a certain proposed weight. Discussion ended up with 20 kg to have in the rule.

A vote was called to have 20 kg instead of 5 kg in the proposed class rule change wording. The motion was approved by majority to have 20 kg in the rule (47 in favour / 11 against).

Conclusion: AGM accepted the rule change with the following wording: The hiking lines shall be tight at all times. The distance between the top of the bearing point of the lifeline straps and the deck shall be no closer than 10 cm when a 20 kg load is placed at mid-span.

Coffee break 5 minutes

11.5. ITA class motion – Topic: Bowsprit

Proposal: Permit the use of a second method to fix the tack on the bowsprit. Use an optional loop with a block or a ring with the eye strap on the bottom of the bowsprit to avoid the movement of the loop
Reason: This system can be easier and cheaper, the ring is more durable than the block, less risk of break.

Italian class’ submission to permit the use of a second method to fix the tack on the bowsprit and to use an optional loop with a block or a ring with the eyestrap on the bottom of the bowsprit to avoid the movement of the loop, was supported by the Tech Comm a day earlier.

Peter Göckel explained that Tech Comm had a long discussion after the meeting yesterday and agreed that the existing rule is a bit old.  Tech Comm supports the proposal and agrees that the block can be replaced by ring or timble with the following wording in the Class Rules H.2. BOWSPRIT: 

STANDARD FITTING SPECIFICATION

DIMENSIONS

DIMENSIONS

PERMITTED MODIFICATION OR DIMENSION SPECIFICATION

Eye bolt/ Fairlead at outer end of bowsprit

 

 

 

End block, ring or timble

Dia optional

 

 

End block, ring or timble

 

 

The way to fix the tack is optional. The tackline shall be leaded through a optional fitting which shall be attached to a fairlead mounted along the bowsprit.

Conclusion: A vote was called and AGM accepted the class rule change with the wording above unanimously.


12.  
Proposed Changes To Class Constitution

Tech Comm Chair Motion - Topic: Additional Registration Fee 
Proposal: Introduce a registration fee. Something between 50 and 100 Euro as an onetime registration fee additional to the annual IM24CA fee for full members. It will have to be paid as soon there is one or more year membership interruption.
Reason: It may reduce the on/off memberships which we have now and keep the numbers of members/boats more stable.

Annette Haugsdal (NOR) was pretty sure that it would scare the members away. US class guessed that 50 Euros initiation/maintenance fee is enough and would not represent a barrier to the new owners. Duncan Stamper was sure not to add any additional fees to the members as already now they think that they do not get as much for their money as they would like. Ronald Veraar said that we’d better figure out the ways how to get the owners racing locally to make them easier to go to the big events for the first time – trying to make their fee as low as possible. Kevin Nixon admitted that somehow Melges 24 owners do not want to pay the membership fees on any level – they’d better get discounts etc, but not paying the membership.

Submission of the Tech Comm Chair Peter Göckel to introduce membership entry fee was not approved by the AGM, Peter withdrew it but the discussions how to get the boat owners pay IM24CA and NC membership fee will continue.  

13.   Future Events – Current Situation

a. 2016 Worlds in Miami, US – November 26 – December 3 
Report about the upcoming Worlds in Miami was given by John Abel, IM24CA Championship Coordinator in Western Hemisphere. John, being with the class less than a year by now, gave an overview about the current situation in Miami saying it’s been all but easy to get this event delivered. Even the number of participants we have seen on the entry list has been decreasing it will be still be the biggest number of participants during the Melges 24 Worlds happened in US. Sponsorships are below expectations as a result of lot of things giving about 15K USD which means a lot of challenges. Shore side activities in Island Gardens Marina will be delivered, but to manage it there is really challenging. Jungle Island next to it will be the place for some recreational events – openings, dinner and awards.

About 25% of the fleet will be moored in the Miami Beach Marina due to the challenging budget. Challenging budget is also the reason why the organizers’ goal is to deliver a high-quality event on the water in the first place – having PRO Anderson Reggio and a very experienced Coconut Grove Sailing Club RC on the water we can be confident about the professionalism on managing the racing. Also the Jury, chaired by very experienced Leo Reise (CAN), is of a high-level quality. And the last but not least is that Randy Draftz from Charleston has been taking over the management of the event since the spring and has been doing a huge job to make this event happen. Also in spring the hosting organisation was changed as the initial MYC was not very keen and also capable so much to handle that size of event.

Jens raised the question about the Dockage and event dates – Event dates ARE the dates when the registration and measurement starts. To charge the teams for mooring on Nov 26 and 27 can’t be the option. The same with carnage – launching and hauling have to be included to the entry fee always. The concerns on paid moorage, launching-hauling out were addressed to the organizers to deal with before the event yet. John and Brian have explained the background behind these decisions. Brian mentioned that there are many options for free launching what many will use – Coconut Grove, Biscayne Bay etc, also he said it’s not expensive and he would not alarm about that.

Ronald Veraar was very concerned hearing that the fleet will be split up and this is not usual at all at the Melges 24 events. Brian explained that allowing dockage in different marinas was made for financial reasons as it would save for the organizers some 20K USD and it would be very expensive to pay for the dockage of all boats on Island Gardens.

Brian said also that about 20k USD decision will be made shortly about the accommodation (it means to have the people of RC, Jury, media and IM24CA hosted by the community people instead of accommodating them in the hotel. John ensured that the existing regatta regulations will be followed but people will be asked to step up and voluntarily stay in somewhere else than the hotel.

John highlighted the need to amend the regatta regulations shortly as it will influence a lot the clubs/organisations willing to host the title events as they are afraid of the event costs, especially because of IM24CA requirements. Into John’s mind there is a lot of flexibility possible to add to our regatta regulations to make the hosting easier. 

b. 2017 Worlds in Helsinki, FIN – July 28 – August 4 
Tomi Hakola, NCA Finland, was talking about the preparations of the 2017 Worlds in Helsinki having close to 40 boats registered from 11 nations by now with 266 days to go yet. Target is getting 50 boats before 2017, our minimum target is 70 boats but hoping for 80. Some general facts have been posted to the website http://melges24.com/Worlds2017 
Organising team, Jury and most of the RC are set, sponsorship negotiations are underway, so are the discussions with the ferry companies to get the best deals for shipping. The organizers are discussing yet with Finnlines to make coming to Finland much easier. Direct line operates from Travemünde to Helsinki and there is another line from Stockholm to Turku - we have a deal already but trying to get a better one with a great discount from normal prices.
Facebook page for the event is live https://www.facebook.com/melges24worlds2017/ 
The website will be opened after Miami Worlds to avoid clash. 

c. 2017 North American Championship – Columbia River Gorge Racing Association, USA – July 19-22 
Brian Hutchinson gave an overview about the current situation. Columbia River Gorge Racing Association is doing a great job to manage the event, they are ahead of fundraising, local public radio station has been signed to be one media outlet, moorage and dockage arrangements are being set. It’s a beautiful venue and great to sail there.  CRGR has a great experience hosting different high level events and will do entirely Race Management. Target number for participants is 65 – this is also pretty much all what the dockage and river could accommodate. NOR is ready to be published – reviewed by John and Brian – but will be published after Miami Worlds.  The dates of July 19-22 (just 6 days before the Helsinki Worlds) are set and this was the only window for Gorge. For those going to the Worlds the US guys have the charter boats available. Question was raised about the Jury – Brian said the list is not finalized yet but they have been working on the list of high-quality people with John Abel.  

d. 2018 Worlds in Victoria, BC, CAN –  May 31 – June 8 
Duncan Stamper (CAN) gave an overview about the current situation of the 2018 Worlds Canada regatta management saying they have a really good organizing committee and sponsorship chair person – Duncan’s father with a lifetime experience in sailing and organizing sailing stuff - in charge.  When Canada was bidding for the Worlds there was a talk about the inner harbour for the event. When the discussions started, then one international marina approached to the organizers and now they are negotiating with both parties yet. Both would have pros and cons. Target number will be 60, but hoping for 70-80 boats, also charter boats will be available.
John Abel confirmed that all the key people (RC and Jury) are in place by now and they are trying to get good deals from BC ferries, although they are already now quite OK. It was admitted that Canada looks in a very good position and good shape with the organisation and class is looking forward to see this part of the world.

 e. 2018 Europeans in Riva del Garda, ITA – TBA beginning of September 
Garda is a familiar place for Melges 24 class and even there was not that much to talk about the event yet, we can be pretty confident about the organization, venue and etc. As Andrea Racchelli needed to leave just before this topic, then more information will be given in the future.  


14.
Future Events – proposals & decisions

a.  2019 South-Americans, CHI  - Chilean class has an intention to have the first ever South Americans, but we do not have a bid yet. If this will be still their intention, John Able will be in the process to start the discussions on that. Also we have the opportunity to talk with the Chilean guys in Miami. There’s no bid and no decision yet, but the discussion will continue. 

b.  2019 Worlds, GER - The class has an intention to bid the 2019 Worlds from the German class – there’s no particular yacht club yet, but the intention from the country. Jan Schmidt from German class introduced Warnemünde (Rostock) as the best option for the event in Germany as Kiel withdrew.
Jan confirmed that the sailing conditions there are great, big waves are guaranteed, easy to reach with ferry connection from Denmark, Sweden and Gdansk. From Kiel to Warnemünde is about 2.5 hrs drive taking ferry from Norway to Kiel. There are two harbours – a new one and old, which will be totally renewed by that time. There are lots of hotels in Warnemünde, touristic place, beach and lot of recreational activities. The locals are experienced with the events as they are organizing Warnemünde Woche in July including big boats and Olympic classes.
As this will be discussed in the consortium of the German clubs soon, it will be TBA.
Warnemünde has been a historical sailing capital and the representatives of the German class said it’s definitely better spot than Travemünde and most probably the best venue to sail in Germany. Also was mentioned that it will be standalone event, not part of the Warnemünde Woche.

Jens thanked Jan for the introduction and as we do not have the correct bid yet, proposed to grant the event to the German class since we haven’t had the title event in Germany for a very long time. He invited to call a vote on this motion.
Tomi highlighted that in general we have the process when we need the proper bidding on the table and then AGM will vote about it. 
The vote was called and the majority voted in favour of giving the rights to the spot  Warnemünde if the correct bid will be presented at the next AGM.

c.  2019 North Americans – Sail Newport, USA  - Brian Hutchinson explained that Sail Newport lost the bid of the Worlds 2016. This is an historic place and there is a professional team to host the event. Newport is waiting the updated IM24CA Regatta Regulations before saying their final say seeing also the potential participants and the events Melges 24 schedule all around the world in 2019.
Peter was concerned about the long drive to the ocean from the harbour saying that the infrastructure might not be the best there. Brian confirmed that it might be one our drive to the ocean or a bit less, but Melges 32s were there to race lately and had 1-2 days sailing inside – it could be the case for the Melges24s as well as the place has been a venue of the many many big regattas and title events. According to Brian it’s a good location as not far from where the Melges24s are located in US. The details on that event will be announced in the future. 


15.
Any Other Business

a. Proposal/opinion from the Ukrainian team Marusia UKR819 – off the AGM Agenda (received after the submissions’ deadline): Reduce the weight of the rudder, tiller and extension required by rule E 4.6.
Reason: During the Europeans 2016 many boats had to add weight to their rudders, even though they were factory-made and haven't been modified. So maybe the weight of the rudder is the subject to rewise in the rules, as there is no convenient way of increasing it's weight by the sailors themselves.
Tech Comm Committee found it important and necessary topic and shall be scheduled for next AGM (proposed by the Tech Comm). Also Measurement Certificate needs to be amended, as there is no place for the rudder and tiller weight. 

b. 2017 European Sailing Series - The preliminary schedule for the European Sailing Series have been available for a while, the dates for Portoroz SLO, Riva del Garda ITA, Marstrand SWE, Helsinki FIN and Luino ITA has been set; Medemblik NED need to be confirmed. Jens was also talking about the potential sponsorship deal, but these details will be confirmed in the future and most probably this won’t happen for the entire series anyway. Ronald will be back to Piret with the details of the Dutch Nationals in September.  

c. Melges 24 logo update – Brian Hutchinson: As a housekeeping issue MELGES 24 International class logo is shifted and different from the original one. Krak Arntson has been working on that to give the best overview about the logo history and needs some housekeeping as the original logo on hull and sails is not used by the class – will be fixed in the process of building a new website. 

d. QUANTUM World Winter Series  - Brian Hutchinson introduced QUANTUM World Winter Series with 3 events in US – The question was raised about the series’ name including „World“ – this is misleading as the events are taking place in US only and it was requested to delete from the name of the series.  It was agreed that this name is misleading and should be only Quantum Winter Series.


16.  
Date and venue of Next Meeting 
At the present moment there were not any suggestions for the 2017 AGM yet. It was agreed to discuss it at the EGM. The details about the EGM and the announcement of EGM will be done in coming week.

Thank you to all participants for your time and efforts!

The meeting ended at 17:50.