2017 Melges 24 World Council AGM Minutes

Saturday, 4th November 2017
Royal Ocean Racing Club Ltd - 20 St James's Place, London, United Kingdom

 M I N U T E S

Voting Delegates (either present or via Zoom):






Jens Wathne




Miles Quinton

Vice Chairman, Europe



Duncan Stamper

Vice Chairman, Americas



Michael Good

Executive Committee Member, Europe



Kevin Nixon

Executive Committee Member, Asia Pacific



Tomi Hakola

Executive Committee Member , Treasurer



Adam Affleck

President, Canadian Class Association



Jan Schmidt

Vice President, German Class Association



Gian Luca Perego

Member, Italian Class Association



Steven Boho

President, United States Class Association


Non-Voting delegates (either present or via Zoom):





Peter Göckel

IM24CA Technical Committee Chairman


Federico Michetti

IM24CA Technical Committee Member, Melges Europe


Benedek Fluck

IM24CA Championship Coordinator Europe


John Abel

IM24CA Championship Coordinator  Western Hemisphere/Asia-Pacific


Piret Salmistu

IM24CA Administrator & Media Coordinator

2017 AGM Agenda with all related documents on the website of IM24CA



1. Arrival
2. Opening Welcome, Introduction of new representatives, Chairman’s report
3. Round Table Class Reports & Updates 
4. Approving the Minutes of the 2016 AGM and 2016 EGM Minutes 
5. Financial Report and Budgets 
6. Marketing & Communications Report  
7. Technical Report 
8. Builders Reports 
9. Elections of Executive Committee  
10. National Class Association Submissions to AGM  
11. Proposed Rule Changes  
12. Proposed changes to Class Constitution    
13. Future Events, current situation 
14. Future Events, proposals & decisions  
15. Any Other Business 


2. Opening Welcome, Introduction of new representatives, Chairman’s 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 National Class Administrators to the class and World Council:

Ken Abbott – Australia,
Adam Affleck – Canada,
Peter Møller Jakobsen – Denmark,
Gisle Bø – Norway,
David Pinner – United Kingdom,
Travis Weisleder – United States.


The introduction was followed by the Chairman’s report from Jens Wathne being in this role for 2+1 years by now.

‘This AGM represents my third year of being the chairman for the International class. I want to begin by thanking the officers of the NCA 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.

The new constitution works and was important for the class to keep its place within the International Sailing Federation WS. It is the base from where we govern the class. 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 IM24CA holds absolute rights to. 

Last year I urged the class to renew itself. We need to continue the development of IM24CA. The balance of keeping what works and what needs to be changed is always hard.  In one area we were in urge by members to change. For this reason, we issued an update on the regatta regulations, which has been presented to the AGM. This document will be presented and hopefully be adopted here today. This document is a key to make available the best racing and the best venues as possible for our members. Splitting of regatta coordinators has been a success. 

Our economy is dependent on memberships and sail labels. The last year both of these are down. This must and will affect the budget and the possibilities for IM24CA next year. The executive group of IM24CA need to step up and secure class sponsorships and other sources of incomes to provide stability. New active members are needed for the class to stay strong. After 24 years running, this boat is by many regarded, as the best one design boat ever built. 

In a difficult economic climate, the chase to cut cost is hard. Sponsorship money is hard to come in. However, the 2017 Worlds in Helsinki and the first North American Championship on the Gorge, were a success. Having regatta series as pinnacle events throughout the year in different regions is a great way to engage members throughout the season. European Sailing Series and NOR AM Tour are great examples of this. Efforts from NCA and IM24CA into these bodies are important to keep activity level high. They are also interesting for the media and will promote the class in a positive manner. To get a good schedule in a timely manner is incredible hard. A long-term approach is important for us to create predictability. Good events in good venues at an affordable price promote the willingness to travel and to participate. 

In 2017 there has been built four new boats and there are enquiries for next year – all good news. Second hand market seems to go well. Boats are sold to new active owners. Support for the Melges Performance Sailing has been great both in US and in Europe. New boats are being built as we speak and spare parts have been provided to our members throughout the season. For technical reasons Melges Europe was temporal unavailable but it was solved and is now working. Melges Europe was also a strong supporter and sponsor of the Worlds in Helsinki. 

From a technical perspective, few proposals for change have been submitted. This shows us that the boat is working well and provides a fantastic platform for one design racing. 

Communication is important for us and among us. IM24CA is available on modern Social Medias and the sailing community expect it. The contribution of NCA’s in giving us the stories, pictures and the people behind it important. The IM24CA attracts competition on a high level, but also a big crowd of Corinthians. Class pictures and stories from regattas is a key to competitors across entry lists.  

IM24CA has started the building of a new website that we need to meet the future. This site will be the entrance to IM24CA but it will also provide an opportunity for all NCAs to have their own page under the umbrella. A template and assistance will be given by IM24CA and will for some cut cost of developing and hosting their stand-alone platforms. It will provide a class profile on the web. 

2017 has been the 24th year of this boat. There is an initiative to make a 25-year anniversary book about the history of the class. The great history of this class is an important part of the class. Great personalities of the class have generously agreed to contribute.

During the last year, we have held numerous Executive Committee meetings online. The executive group has been active to run and develop the class. We have lots of work to do yet, but the future of the class is very much positive and prosperous. 

On a personal level I will take the opportunity to thank those who are leaving us after many years of hard work and efforts on a voluntary basis. We could not have made it without you. Thank you so much.’


3. Round Table Class Reports & Updates

The following National Class Reports have been received by IM24CA;

To give an overview of the local activities a class report of United States was introduced by Jens and discussion was held on topics highlighted in their report. Adam Affleck was expressing his concern how to attract full members and get the owners back sailing on Melges 24. Federico Michetti from Melges Europe was also curious how to get this ‘Melges 24 family’-feeling back. It was discussed to run a survey among the members and sailors in early 2018 to get the feedback and ideas.


4. Approving the Minutes of the 2016 AGM and 2016 EGM Minutes

Acceptance of the Minutes of 2016 AGM and Minutes of the 2016 EGM as a correct record of the meetings was proposed by Jens Wathne and approved unanimously.


5. Financial Report and Budgets

Financial report 2017 and budget proposal for 2018 was presented by Treasurer Tomi Hakola (online).


Royalty Fees have coming down a great deal due to the world wide economic situation & sailing industry since 2011 (2011: 16 boats, 2012: 7 boats, 2013: 3 boats, 2014: 1 boat, 2015: 10, 2016: 4, 2017: 253). The high volume production years are really missed. The new boats ordered directly correlates to our income levels (3968€ in 2011, 2016 1026€ & NOW 0€). Second handmarket are still superb.
Class Affiliation / membership fees YTD 253 members from 20 nations. Members dropped from 2016 from 302 full members to 253 (= -16.4%). Meaning a decrease of income -4410€ vs 2016. 
Sail Royalties Sold YTD 330 * 95€ = 31 570€ >> decrease of income 5240€ vs 2016. Target ist o sell over 400 labels. 
Income overall both our major income sources decreased -13 239,05€ (-19,23%).


Personnel, photography & costs have been rather stable during past few years to keep up with the changing world. But 2017 the expenses have been too high… The class truly is global and professionally managed. Piret has been working as a full time class administrator since 2013 and doing a superb job. Doing everything to make the class work on a day to day basis, weekly marketing, governing / running our major and smaller events. Expenditure overall increase in expenditures +12.99% (from 61 592,01€ to 69 593,94€). 
Balance Sheet The deficit for 2017 shall be appr. - 14 000€ (2016: +7 243,99€)

The following was proposed to the AGM in brief:


1) Strong emphasis in keeping the association professionally managed for the growing awareness and attention towards our class. Our strong personnel is needed for daily house keeping and securing our strong position as the premium one design keel boat class in the world.
2) The need for high class marketing and communication is A MUST. Also more focus must be given to the social media (see online report). ! ! !
3) All expenses shall be paid Euros without any conversation rates and including VAT net expenditure 42 600€


1) Continuing with one class affiliation fee (= membership fee) & no change to full membership fee, 100€ / full member. RISK?
2) Small +5€ increase to the sail label fee, 100€ / one sail label. 3) With a low budget level our income level should be during 2018 appr 58 000€

SUMMARY >> With super cost saving throughout 2018 to the end of 2019 is REALLY important. BUT not forgetting to build more awareness of our SUPERB BRAND.

Discussion was held what can be done about to stop the trend of decline in the numbers: membership, sails etc.  Duncan Stamper initiated the need to create a group of people to reform the membership. Discussion will continue later. The report presented was interim as of October 31. The concerns on the budget were discussed – incomes and expenditures. Federico Michetti mentioned, that commercial side is very important and how to create some income.  The budget presented is proposal and very conservative. The budget was proposed to accept as it is and was approved by the AGM with a note that every effort will be made to increase the incomes.


6. Marketing & Communications Report

Tomi Hakola also was introducing a Marketing and Communications report listing all the media channels what the class uses to be on track according how the world and media is changing – website, e-newsletter, Facebook, YouTube,Twitter, Instagram, Flickr. The class has recorded some remarkable statistic numbers during the year being active in a large level of social media and creating footage and coverage as much as possible. Now the new website has become crucial as it’s almost impossible to present videos, photos, social media channels or upload html-files. The process is finally underway. 

It was suggested to send out guidelines by IM24CA how National Classes can send the content to IM24CA to be uploaded on IM24CA website or social media. VIDEO and LIVE VIDEO is the content the class needs the most.

7. Technical Report / 8. Builders Reports

Peter Göckel, Chairman of the Technical Committee was introducing what was discussed at the Tech Comm meeting previous day. Jan Schmidt was reporting on behalf of Europe and Builder’s report from Melges Performance Sailboats was introduced.  Federico mentioned that Southern Spar will shut down their production and Melges is working on the solution, but it might affect the Melges 24 class as well. As there are lots of used boats somewhere available, the refurbishment of the boats was discussed - how to we encourage people to bring the boats to be refitted in Melges? Federico will ask MPS to invite owners to do that via FB, newsletters etc. Pimp My Ride campaign was a great idea before Miami Worlds and it was found as a good idea to do that also in Europe, for example approaching the Europeans 2018 in Riva.

As Peter Göckel has decided to retire since 2018, he was thanked for his 10 years time service in Tech Comm and Exec Comm of IM24CA. Jens was thanking Peter for his outstanding job in the Technical Committee, hard and firm when needed, always open for discussions. From IM24CA Peter was awarded with a special glass statue and 3D Melges 24 graved into it.


9. Elections of Executive Committee 

The following Executive positions are up for election at the 2017 Annual General Meeting (See the full list of current Exec Comm):

  • Vice Chair Asia/Pacific, vacant (new position created at 2015 EGM, new constitution), was no nominations in 2016, up for election 2017, no nominations in 2017
  •  Treasurer, Tomi Hakola elected 2008, 3 year term, re-elected 2011, Gina Borsa CAN nominated 2013 and lost, term extended 1 year 2014, term extended 1 year 2015, term extended 1 year 2016, up for election 2017 
    - Nomination -  Laura Grondin, USA - (click on the link for CV) nominated by CAN class

Regards the elections there wasn’t any nominations for the post of the Vice Chair Asia/Pacific, new position created at 2015 EGM, new constitution), the post will be vacant until the next elections.

Post of Treasurer was up for election (Tomi Hakola elected 2008, 3 year term, re-elected 2011, Gina Borsa CAN nominated 2013 and lost, term extended 1 year 2014, term extended 1 year 2015, term extended 1 year 2016).

The only nominee was Laura Grondin, USA - (click on the link for CV) nominated by Canadian class. Laura was participating the meeting online and had a chance to introduce herself. ‘My objective would be to serve the members in the best possible way,’ she said in her introduction. Steve was asking from Laura how she has been supporting M24 class and she was introducing MudRatz project for youth sailors.

Voting was carried out and Laura Grondin was elected as the next IM24CA Treasurer.

Tomi was thanked for his long time devotion serving as the Treasurer of the class since 2008.


10. National Class Association Submissions to AGM and 11. Proposed Rule Changes 

World Sailing has not ratified IM24CA's Class Rule submissions for 2017 so far. The ones proposed after 2016 AGM are available here. Both Chief Measurer Antonio Cardona Espin and Piret have been in contact with WS often, but due to the fact WS was moving their headquarter and there were lack of people to deal with Rule Changes, then several classes did not get their Rule Changes approved in 2017.

- USA 1 - Topic: Class Rule F7 - Running Rigging 
Steven Boho was presenting this proposal was pointing out the reason for that proposal. There might be a problem of the swivels instead, as this appears also on M20, Federico Michetti said. Italian Gottifredi Maffioli parts will be tested as they are from newer materials. The problem of Running Rigging will be first tested by couple of pro teams in strong winds. It was agreed unanimously.

The following proposals were discussed together. 
USA 2 - Topic: Class Rule C 2.2. - Weights - No Weight Rule 
USA 3 - Topic: C 2.2. Weights - Owner driver weight rule option

Steven Boho was introducing both proposals. A long discussion was held and it was strongly suggested by CAN and USMCA to deal with the weight rule issue either this or that way. Miles Quinton said that we have heard the point of views of US and CAN, but want to hear also European opinions. He was concerned that to lose weight rule would be fundamental change in the class and we need to canvas it more largely to the membership before doing this. We need to be open to everything but we can’t do crucial changes without investigating all the consequences. It was suggested to ask from the European members their view on that, before to decide as the class needs to adapt with the situation where we are. The class can’t wait with this for a very long time.
Federico was explaining and comparing the weight rule of other classes they are following. ‘I’m totally in favour to ask from every single member their opinion about such important class rule changes,’ he said.

Voting on proposal USA 2 – Topic Weight Rule – a vote was called and it was rejected by a majority in favour of not to accept the rule change (pro/against: 22 for change the rule/35 for keeping the rule.) 
Voting on proposal USA 3 – Topic Owner driver weight rule option - a vote was called and it was rejected by a majority in favour of not to accept the rule change (5 for change the rule/62 for keeping the rule). 

CAN - Topic: Permanent bow numbers

Duncan Stamper was representing the proposal and description of the system prepared by himself and Krak Arntson. The Permanent Bow Number System was reviewed. It was agreed that there will be downloadable design files available in the class rules and the numbers can be printed by local print houses guaranteeing the material and printing quality. Cost of the Bow Number will be on the owner of the boat. According to the CAN experience the cost of numbers following described requirements, was less than 100USD. 
A vote was called and it was voted in favour of rule change - 43 for YES/15 for NO.

Class Rule changes approved will be applied to World Sailing together with the ones from 2016 AGM.


12. Proposed changes to Class Constitution   

- CAN - Housekeeping edits to Class Constitution. 
Duncan Stamper was presenting the housekeeping edits and they were voted to change unanimously.
Motion from the floor from the Chairman:  Constitution 12.4. l – About the Proxies for AGM, never happens that they will be submitted 3 weeks before. It was proposed to be changed ‘to be submitted before the start of the meeting’. 
A vote was called and AGM accepted the edits to the Class Constitution unanimously. 

- CAN - Introduction of Roberts Rules of Order to class Constitution. 
Duncan Stamper was presenting the idea of need for such reference document. In case IM24CA Constitution is not governing the case, it can be referred to the Roberts Rules following that. The idea was supported to have a reference document, although RR is not so familiar in Europe. 
A vote was called and AGM accepted the proposal of adding Roberts Rules of Order as a referent document to the Class Constitution – (47 votes for YES and 11 votes for NO)


13. Future Events, current situation

2019 Worlds
There was a discussion about the Worlds 2019 in Travemünde, GER. Two major things: 1) We have asked to give us standalone event, but we were still offered to be part of the Travemünde Week; 2) Class wants to have the location where everybody wants to go. The motion was submitted to add a second location to the possible venues:  Cagliari, ITA. Federico Michetti presented Melges Europe’s idea and support to the event as they have a “golden bridge” today to Cagliari organising there several events and was highlighting very good connections with the local municipalities and ferry companies for the logistics. Containers can be shipped directly to the Cagliari, 5 flights from Milan daily – easy to reach. The place will get a huge boost in coming years as also AC’s Luna Rossa team’s headquarter will be in Cagliari. October would be the best time, not crowded and there are fewer regattas. But at the end of August would be great as well - 2nd or 3rd week of September, having Italian Championships before. 
A vote was called and AGM accepted the proposal of changing the location of the Worlds 2019 to Cagliari: 28 for YES/11 for NO.

Jan Schmidt representing Germany said he was not aware of the fact that the Worlds in Travemünde were not proposed to be as the stand alone event. Germany will fight for the next events.

2018 Worlds – Victoria, CAN - http://melges24worlds2018.rvyc.bc.ca/ 
Duncan Stamper gave an overview about the process – report can be read here. He said that 60 entries is the target for entries – all registered team on entry list are already paid participants to avoid a drop in entry numbers approaching the Worlds. Options for transportation were discussed and Duncan said that team Mikey guys are offering some solutions, but obviously the continent is huge. IM24CA Championship Coordinator John Abel was confirming how wonderful place Victoria is and how swimmingly the organization of the Worlds has been going there.  

2018 Europeans – Riva del Garda, ITA 
Piret gave an overview about the process confirming that Riva del Garda and Fraglia Vela Riva is familiar for Melges 24 class and the experience of the club supported by Italian Melges 24 class will guarantee a successful event. Website building is underway, teams have started to book their accommodations and the test event one month before in Torbole is a great chance to test the waters of Garda Lake. On the same weekend, when there will be registration for the Europeans, another test event will be arranged for the final test. To meet the interest of US teams, Bill Goldsberry has offered his know-how and knowledge how to ship the boats to Riva and there might be also other contacts who can help with the logistics from US etc. Class will help to publish and promote these options.  


14. Future Events, proposals & decisions 

2019 North AmericansUSA/Fairhope - intention to bid ; USA/New Orleans - Intention to bid 
The decision would be made within USMCA later this year.

2020 WorldsUSA/Charleston - Intention to bid - Letter of Intention 
Steven Boho said that Charleston is the frontrunner of US and awesome proposal was submitted by US Melges 24 Regatta Management and Randy Draftz. Steve and John were confirming the start of the process shortly, but everything looks good about this plan. Jens was commenting his experience racing at the CRW and ensuring it’s an awesome place and great leadership by Randy.
USMCA is confident having Randy Draftz running CRW for 20 years, the Worlds will be a success. John Able had also high confidence in Randy and his ability to create a wonderful event. The rights to organize the Worlds 2020 were dedicated to Charleston.

2020 EuropeansITA intention to bid –  SLO letter of interest ; SLO submission 
Portoroz and Slovenia has proved its high level of organisation and hospitality for several times being the first event of the European Sailing Series for four times already. There’s no doubt about their abilities to host a high standard event there, just proposed dates are concerning as too close to the Worlds in Charleston. Portoroz will be asked to propose another time for the event and the final decision will be made in 2018 AGM with more information available.

2021 WorldsITA intention to bid 
The proposals will be discussed in 2018 AGM with more information and bids available. 


15. Any Other Business 

Proposed IM24CA Regatta Regulations and Championship Rules were presented and reviewed - Championship Rules ; Event Management regulations 

Jens was introducing what was done by the group led by Arto Kiiski (FIN), John Abel (CAN), Benedek Fluck (HUN), Mike Turner (CAN), Randy Draftz (US) and was thanking them for their job and commitment. John was commenting the job done by the group and how the process was carried. Amended documents were approved by the AGM and AGM members were content that the future amendments to the ‘living document’ can be made by the Executive Committee.

Approved documents will be published after amendments discussed at the AGM to the IM24CA website under Rules&Regulations.


The timing and venue of 2018 AGM was discussed. The timing will be one week later i.e. November 9th and 10th, 2018. Venue options: suggested by Antonio Cardona Espin in Palma de Mallorca, ESP (the price offer for B&B for one person is €35 and the meeting rooms in Yacht Club Palma de Mallorca are free of charge) and by Jens Wathne in Bergen, NOR (well connected from most of the airports in Europe, meeting rooms with high-speed internet connection would be free of charge). Another proposal for hosting the AGM2018 are welcome and a decision will be made in August 2018 at the latest.


Thank you to all participants for your time and devotion!

Jens Wathne - Chair of the Meeting 
Piret Salmistu – Minutes Taker

Meeting lasted 9.5 hrs including lunch and breaks.