2013 Melges 24 World Council AGM Minutes


Saturday, 23rd November 2013, Budapest, Hungary



Voting Delegates:

Riccardo Simoneschi - Chairman
Michael Schineis - Vice Chairman & representing AUT
Chris Farkas - Vice Chairman & representing USA + CAN
Jens Wathne - Executive Committee Member
Warwick Rooklyn - Executive Committee Member & representing AUS Simon Strauss - Executive Committee Member
Tomi Hakola - Executive Committee Member & representing FIN + FRA Peter Goeckel - Technical Committee Chairman & representing GER + SLO Frank Lieve - representing NED
Martin Muur - representing EST
Jan Inge Hellesmark - representing NOR
Fredrik Wenhult - representing SWE
Arkos Rigo - representing HUN
Conor Clarke - representing GBR
Rasmus Melsen - representing DEN
Michael Good - representing SUI
Franco Rossini - representing ITA, CZE, JPN + UKR 

Non-voting Delegates:

Federico Michetti - builder's representative
Harry Melges - Melges Performance Sailboats
Andy Burdick - Melges Performance Sailboats
Egidio Babbi - IMCA Chief Measurer
Piret Salmistu - IMCA Administrator
Fiona Brown - Minute Taker
Marta Weores - presenting update on European Championship 2014
Enikő Németh - presenting update on European Championship 2014
Luca Babini - translator ITA
Alessandro Poggi - observer ITA
Jan Schmidt - observer GER
Soren Mathiesen Laugesen - presenting Worlds 2015 bid for Match Racing Denmark Gina Borza - standing for office as Secretary/Treasurer
Henrik Anersson - presenting Worlds 2015 bid for Helsinki Sailing Club (HSK) 

Apologies were received from:
Hank Stuart - IMCA Championship Coordinator    

  1. Chairman's Introduction
    Chairman Riccardo Simoneschi 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. 
  2. Introduction of new IMCA Administrator Piret Salmistu
    The Chairman introduced the meeting to incoming Melges 24 Class Administrator, Piret Salmistu, who joined the meeting by Skype. He explained that recovery from a back injury had prevented her from flying to the meeting in person, but welcomed her to the Class and looked forward to a long and happy working relationship. Secretary/Treasurer, Tomi Hakola, showed a short video interview he had recorded with Piret. Piret thanked the Class for their welcome and confirmed that she is very much looking forward to the challenges and adventures ahead. The Chairman also explained that outgoing Administrator, Fiona Brown, was attending the meeting to take minutes and provide administrative support, thanking her for standing in at the last minute. 
  3. National Class Reports

    RS asked each of the delegates at the table to introduce themselves and confirmed receipt of the formal National Class Reports, as below. During the introductions, Italian Class Representative, Franco Rossini, indicated that he wished to raise issues about the management of IMCA by the World Council and Chairman of the meeting. The Chairman acknowledged the request and advised that this would be dealt with at the appropriate time later in the meeting. 

  4. Minutes Of The Last Meeting
    Acceptance of the Minutes of the last meeting as a correct record of the meeting was proposed by Jens Wathne, seconded by Peter Goeckel and approved unanimously.
  5. Treasurer's Report
    Treasurer Tomi Hakola presented the Treasurer's Report and Budget. He responded to questions for clarification and highlighted, that whilst the class finances were in good order, vigilance was none the less necessary to maintain that situation.The Italian Class asked for clarification on the expenditure on photography, reporting, and videography at events. Tomi Hakola emphasised that the championships provide the major shop window for the Class: good reporting and visual imagery (both still and moving) are essential in promoting the Class, the excitement and atmosphere of our events, which in turn help to attract new members. It was recognised that production of good quality output is expensive and agreed that every effort would be made to keep costs low, whilst at the same time maintaining the quality of output. Chris Farkas proposed that the budget be adopted, Jens Wathne seconded, and the budget was approved by a majority. 
  6. Marketing & Communications Report
    Tomi Hakola presented the Marketing and Communications Report  and confirmed that all figures for the online media sources have shown significant growth in the past year. He advised that further work would be done during 2014, to increase internal class communication and maintain a strong level of external media communication. He highlighted the importance of good still and video images in achieving this end. 
  7. Technical Report

    Technical Committee Chairman, Peter Goeckel, advised that the Technical Committee had met the previous day to discuss ongoing general technical issues and to review the technical and rule change proposals incorporated within the AGM Agenda. He presented the Technical Committee's Report and it was agreed that the individual recommendations relating to Agenda items would be covered under the relevant sections later in the meeting.

  8. Builder's Report
    Federico Michetti introduced the Builder's Report and Vision Document by Melges Performance Sailboats.  He highlighted that their desire in presenting the document was to provoke discussion within the Class and look at ways to promote increased Corinthian participation and ownership, particularly in the United States. The meeting discussed the proposals at length and felt that, whilst it supported the need to ensure maximum Corinthian participation, care must also be taken to maintain the strict one-design nature of the boat and preserve its unique selling points and existing strengths. It was agreed that the individual rule change proposals in the document would be dealt with separately during the rule changes section of the meeting. 
  9. Election of Officers

    Vice Chairman - Michael Schineis was standing unopposed for a second term in office and was unanimously reelected.

    Secretary/Treasurer - Tomi Hakola was standing for re-election for an additional one-year term to provide continuity during the handover of the Administrator role to Piret Salmistu. Gina Broza was nominated for the role by the Canadian Class. Both candidates made a short presentation about themselves and their work to date with the Melges 24 Class. Following an opportunity for questions, a vote was called and Tomi Hakola was elected by a majority to remain in post for one further year. 

    Technical Committee Chairman - Peter Goeckel was standing unopposed for a second term in office and was unanimously reelected.

  10. National Class Association Submissions To AGM

    1. Italy Proposal 1 - Amendment to Regatta Regulations 23 - Approved with minor modification
      The request to strengthen the requirements and recommendations in the Regatta Regulations regarding signage, first aid facilities, a detailed site plan, and the provision of emergency medical aid were discussed. In recognition of the fact that each venue and country has different emergency service support facilities and that there could be considerable cost implications of such a requirement, it was agreed that the proposal requiring that an ambulance be present on site at all times be modified to require that each venue be required to clearly inform the competitors of the correct procedure for obtaining an ambulance. Otherwise the proposal was approved for incorporation into the Regatta Regulations.
    2. Italy Proposal 2 - Championship Rules - Amendment to number of races - Rejected
      Chris Farkas highlighted that there is a need to retain some flexibility within the championship rules to allow for local variations and needs. Riccardo Simoneschi emphasised this saying that reducing available sailing days or making the regulations too restrictive could put the successful completion of events at risk. Following discussion the proposal was rejected.
    3. Italy Proposal 3 - Regatta Regulations - Supply of Measurement Templates to National Classes - Rejected
      Italy's proposal that multiple sets of measurement templates be made available via the national classes for general use by owners was discussed. Egidio Babbi noted that the application of templates must be supervised by a qualified and experienced measurer and that it was not appropriate for individual owners/sailors to have free use of templates without measurement supervision. It was noted that the single builder, one-design nature of the class meant that all keels delivered from the factory come from a single source and are identical. It was also noted that to produce multiple sets of templates and arrange for their transportation would be extremely expensive and that maintaining the accuracy of such sets of templates would be almost impossible. Following discussion the proposal was rejected.
    4. Germany Proposal - Reduction In Entry Fee Levels - Acknowledged
      Peter Goeckel presented the proposal noting that this was not a matter on which they required the AGM to vote, but that the German Class felt it important that event costs be kept as low as possible to encourage maximum participation by Corinthian and younger teams. The meeting unanimously agreed that this point must be taken into consideration when reviewing the regatta regulations and planning events.
    5. Norway Proposal 1 - Rudder fitting modifications - rejected
      Peter Goeckel reported from the Technical Committee that a key issue here is a matter of maintenance and knowing the correct procedure for maintaining and tightening the gudgeons. They recommend rejecting the rule change request, but are in liaison with Melges Performance Sailboats about producing maintenance instructions. The proposal was rejected.
    6. Norway Proposal 2 - Strengthening knees in transom - deferred
      Peter Goeckel reported from the Technical Committee that it is involved in ongoing discussions with the builder regarding this matter. At this time some issues are still being clarified and they are not yet in a position to word a rule change to cover this. The Technical Committee therefore recommended deferring this decision pending full information. The meeting unanimously agreed to defer this change pending research. 
    7. Chairman's Proposal 1 - Support Boats
      Following discussion on the recommendations for change to the Support Boat Appendix for major championships the meeting felt that the existing wording governing communications (in conjunction with the RRS) was adequate. The proposal to amend the Appendix to prevent boats being towed back to the dock after racing was approved.

    8. Chairman's Proposal 2 - Regulation 20 - Advertising
      The Chairman highlighted to the meeting that great care must be taken by the class to ensure that Regulation 20 is correctly applied at our regattas. In particular, he highlighted the issue of stern numbers, which have been used at some regattas, but which are specifically forbidden by the regulations. He also emphasised that checks must be made to ensure that the size and positioning of event sponsor branding complies with the regulations. The meeting instructed that the event management teams pay particular attention to this issue at future regattas.
    9. Chairman's Proposal 3 - On the water judging 
      The Chairman reported to the meeting two serious errors by on the water judges during the 2013 season which had directly impacted the podium positions of the World and European Championships. He highlighted that on the water judging is only effective when experienced and correctly trained judges are available and that accessing such judges is becoming increasingly difficult. Fiona Brown highlighted that, whilst ISAF requires an International Jury for World and Continental Championships, the added cost of providing the boats and fuel necessary for on the water judging adds very considerably to the cost of regattas. The meeting agreed that unless a jury of suitable experience was available, on the water judging should not be used. It instructed that the Regatta Regulations be amended to make on the water judging optional.

      The Chairman noted that although events may not apply on the water judging, the international jury will still go afloat to observe the racing in the normal way. Recognising that protests on the final day of a regatta can cause delays for the awards ceremony, he recommended that the Regatta Regulations standard NOR and SIs be amended to include a provision for the jury to conduct on the water hearings with helmsmen following the final race of a championship. This proposal was approved and the Regatta Regulations and standard documents will be amended. 

  11. Rule Change Proposals

    1. The following rule change proposals were approved by the meeting:

      1. Batten Rule Clarification

        (omissis)....The sail shall have 4 batten pockets in the leech. The upper two shall be full length and extend from leech to luff. The centreline of the 4 batten pockets shall divide the leech into five equal parts, +/- 100mm.

        NEW RULE:
        The sail shall have 4 batten pockets in the leech. The upper two shall be full length and extend from leech to luff. The centreline of the 4 batten pockets shall divide the leech into five equal parts, +/- 100mm, measuring the straight distance between the aft head point to the centreline of the top batten pocket, between the batten pockets and between the lowest batten pocket and the clew point.

        To stop the confusion on the method for checking the position of the battens. Proposed by Peter Goeckel, seconded by Riccardo Simoneschi and approved unanimously.

      2. Short Stanchion Rule Change Confirmation

        Two Factory supplied 
        stanchions either side with
        hiking line





        Underside of hole in
        stanchion above deck

        Following discusssion (see notes below) Peter Goeckel proposed the following rule wording which was seconded by Jens Wathne and approved by a majority.

        NEW RULE:

        Two Factory supplied 
        stanchions either side with
        hiking line





        Underside of hole in
        stanchion above deck

        Various proposals had been submitted to the meeting on this subject.  Peter Goekel reported back on the Technical Committees findings on this subject and there was discussion around the table on the correct wording for the rule and the need to protect the one design of the boat (ie that allowing two different heights of stanchion or a variety of heights would not be appropriate).  Federico Michetti drew the meetings attention to the detail in the Builder's Report highlighting that a low cost retrofit kit is available for those who do not wish to purchase a new set of stanchions. 

      3. Hiking Line Deflection

        C.7.2(5) When pushing down hard on the hiking lines at the mid point between the two centre stanchions, no part of the hiking line including padding etc shall touch the deck. 

        Following discussion Peter Goeckel proposed the following rule change which was seconded by Chris Farkas and approved by a majority:

        NEW RULE:
        The hiking lines shall be tight at all times. The hiking lines shall not stretch more than 250mm measuring from the deck to the top of any padding, when pushing down hard on the hiking lines at the centre point between the two stanchions.

        The various proposals and options for hiking line deflection were discussed and Harry Melges (who was attending the meeting by Skype) assisted the meeting by testing several of the proposed solutions in situ on a test boat fitted with the new lower stanchions. It was agreed that the deflection needed to be reduced to match the new shorter stanchions but that to require the lines to be completely tight would be counter productive and could result in a great risk of people falling back into the boat in extreme heeling/broaching situations. 

      4. Clarification of Crew Limitation Rule

        (b) No crew member shall be substituted during an event of less than 7 consecutive days, unless prior written permission has been granted by the race committee or Jury. 

        NEW RULE:
        (b) No crew member shall be substituted during an event of less than 7 consecutive days, unless prior written permission has been granted by the race committee. (delete jury) 

        To avoid confusion at future events. We have in practice used the RC to approve all crew changes for some time, however, a recent jury queried this rule and felt it needed amendment to avoid confusion. This is therefore just a housekeeping change. Proposed by Peter Goeckel, seconded by Chris Farkas and approved unanimously.

      5. Bowsprit Launch Line Cleat

        H.2 - ON COCKPIT BULKHEAD - To port, fairlead with cleat behind for bowsprite launch line

        NEW RULE:
        H.2 - ON COCKPIT BULKHEAD - To port, fairlead with 1 or 2 cleats behind for bowsprite launch line.

        To prevent an unexpected release of the line. Proposed by Peter Goeckel, seconded by Tomi Hakola and approved unanimously.

      6. Jib Construction:

        G.4.2 CONSTRUCTION
        (b) The body of the sail shall consist of the same woven and/or laminated ply thorughout.

        NEW RULE
        G.4.2 CONSTRUCTION
        (b) The body of the sail shall consist of woven and/or laminated ply thorughout.

        1. With the new sails like 3DL the weight of the sail is different throughout the sail.  This is a purely housekeeping change to ensure the rules continue to reflect actual practise.  Proposed by Peter Goeckel, seconded by Tomi Hakola and approved unanimously.

      7. Spreaders


        F.3.3(b) Spreaders, including the spreader bar, to the approved design shall only be supplied by the licensed builder. The spreaders shall be connected with the spreader bar only. 

        F.3.3(b) Spreaders, including the spreader bar, to the approved design shall only be supplied by the licensed builder. The spreaders shall be connected with the spreader bar only. The upper shroud shall be retained in the spreader tip using the builder supplied retention clip for newer-­‐style, black spreaders. For older-­‐style, white spreaders the upper shroud may either be captive (as originally supplied) or retained with seizing wire in a slot cut into the spreader tip , parallel to the leading edge, no greater than 5.4 mm in width and extending no further inboard than the original hole. Seizing wire may be threaded through two additional holes of the minimum necessary diameter, drilled for this purpose. Stop swage balls are required above and below the spreader tip in all applications. 

        The Melges 24 is currently sailed with one of two approved masts and spreaders. The newer, black mast and spreaders use a stainless clip to retain the upper shroud in a slot cut into the spreader tip. This configuration allows for easy removal and replacement of either shroud or spreader in the event of damage or periodic maintenance. While it is clearly a superior design, this change was never addressed or allowed by the Class Rules.

        The older, white mast and spreaders were designed with a captive shroud. This design requires, in the event of damage to the spreader and its replacement, that the shroud be replaced as well. Prudent maintenance would suggest that the other shroud be replaced at the same time. This unintended consequence of the design was addressed with the transition to the black mast, but remains a dilemma for owners of the older boats. 

        Following consultation with Melges Performance Sailboats and a review of methods used by existing boats the above rule change is a housekeeping change, proposed to bring the class rules in line with current good practice.  Change proposed by Peter Goeckel, seconded by Tomi Hakola and unanimously approved.

    2. The following rule change proposals were rejected or deferred for further investigations:

      1. Rule A.15.1 Centralisation of Measurement Certificates
        Peter Goeckel reported that whilst the Technical Committee supports this proposal in theory, in practise there is still some work and research needed before it could be implimented. He proposed that the change be deferred until that work is completed.  His proposal was seconded by Riccardo Simoneschi and unanimously approved.
      2. Rule C.11. Boat Handling Rules - Seated Hiking
        The proposal to introduce a boat handling rule to require crews to be seated when hiking was discussed at length.  The Technical Committee recomended that this be deferred pending a review of the introduction of the new stanchion heights and hiking line deflection rules above.  Peter Goeckel proposed the change be rejected at this time, this was seconded by Jens Wathne and the meeting unanimously agreed to reject.
      3. Rule C.2.1 Limitations - Crew Weight Limit 
        The proposal to remove the crew weight limit completely was discussed.  It was agreed that whilst this was appealing in terms of simplifying things for the sailors, there are a number of issues that need to be clarified before this could move forward.  These included how crews of light weight individuals (ie women's crews, some of the Japanese teams, etc) who already race 6 up could be accommodated, how the issue of varying your crew number from event to event according to expected weather conditions would be handled, what safety implications there might be in terms of the design loading on the stanchions if crews are much heavier, etc.  The Technical Committee felt that considerable further research would need to be done before such a rule change could be drafted and Chris Farkas proposed that this matter be deferred to the Technical Committee for research with a view to drafting a proposal for the next AGM.  Riccardo Simoneschi seconded the proposal and it was unanimously agreed to defer.
      4. Rule D.6.1 Fittings (a) Mandatory H.2. Mainsheet - Proposal For Mainsheet Bridle
        This proposal to allow a mainsheet bridle was discussed.  The issue of protecting the one design status was felt to be the key consideration and it was agreed that only one mainsheet system should be allowed. Peter Goeckel proposed that this change be rejected, his proposal was seconded by Jens Wathne and passed by a majority.
      5. Builder Enhanced Keel Box
        The builder had put forward proposals to modify the keel box for the Melges 24 to use the same system as used on the Melges 20.  Federico noted that there have already been some problems with this system.  Although no formal rule change proposal had yet been put forward the meeting felt that such a change could not be considered unless clear evidence could be presented that the change would be a marked improvement on the existing system.  No vote was needed on this matter.
      6. Tilting Trailer
        The builder put forward proposals for a new tilting trailer design to make container shipping on the trailer possible and to make the boat legal to tow in countries where it currently exceeds the width limit.  The class felt that this was an excellent development but that as no rule change is required, no vote was needed.
  12. Proposed Changes To Class Constitution
    There were no Constitution change proposals.
  13. Future Events - Current Situation
    1. Worlds 2014 Geelong, Australia, 29 Jan to 2 Feb
      Warwick Rooklyn updated the meeting on the progress with this event which is now in the final stages of planning. All key elements are now in place and entries are coming in well with 28 boats from 4 continents entered to date including Flavio Favini, Bora Gulari, Riccardo Simoneschi, Andrea Rachelli, Testuya Matsunaga, Zarko Draganic, and Bruce Ayres. Some additional charter boats have been located and details of these will be published on the website this week. Warwick highlighted that the initial entry deadline is on 1 December. He also reminded everyone that the Australian Nationals will be held as part of the Geelong Festival of Sails immediately preceding the Worlds and encouraged visitors to also take part in this regatta too. Federico Michetti confirmed that he would be racing the event with a team which included Harry Melges and Andy Burdick.  Click here for the event website.

    2. Europeans 2014 Balatonfured, Hungary, 2-9 May
      Marta Weores (Regatta Chair) and Eniko Nemeth (MKB Marina and Yacht Club) presented an update on the planning for this event and responded to questions from the floor. Arkos Rigo (Hungarian representative) invited everyone to a warm up regatta they will be hosting on the weekend of 26/27 April, that will be raced on the same waters as the Worlds.  Click here to see the presentation.  Click here for the event website.

    3. North Americans 2014 - Deferred
      Chris Farkas reported that following scheduling challenges with Chicago Yacht Club, the 2014 North American Championship will be deferred to 2015. Efforts had been made to find an alternative host club, but at short notice it was impossible to find a club able to commit to meeting the regatta regulation requirements and their costs with such limited time to secure sponsorship. 

    4. North Americans 2015 - In Association With Bacardi Maimi Sailing Week, 1st week March (schedule TBC)
      Chris Farkas confirmed that the planning for this event is already well underway and that currently the Class and OA are working on the budget and the fine details of how the event will be incorporated into the overall regatta.

    5. Worlds 2016 - In Association With Key West Race Week, mid January (schedule TBC)
      Chris Farkas confirmed that planning for this event is also well underway and both the US and IMCA teams are in regular contact with the Key West organisers. He confirmed that the Melges 24 Class will have its own dedicated race circle.
  14. Future Events - Proposals and Decisions
    1. Worlds 2015
      Proposals were presented by Middlefart, Denmark and Helsinki, Finland. Both proposals were felt to be excellent and the meeting thanked the club representatives who had attended to make the presentations. Following discussion, the meeting voted and Middlefart, Denmark was awarded the event to take place in July/August of 2015. The exact date to be finalised by the Executive Committee in consultation with the international sailing calendar and the schedules of the other Melges classes.
    2. Europeans 2016
      No outline proposals had been received for this event prior to the AGM. The national classes were asked to bring forward full proposals for this event to the next AGM when a decision must be made to award the event. Tomi Hakola confirmed that Helsinki would like to be considered for that event and will update their proposal for the 2014 AGM. 

    3. Worlds 2017
      In light of Denmark being awarded the 2015 World Championship, Rasmus Melsen advised that Denmark would withdraw its bid for the 2017 Worlds. The national classes are asked to bring outline proposals for this event to the 2014 AGM for consideration.

    4. European Sailing Series 2014
      The following events were confirmed for the 2014 European Sailing Series

      Portoroz, Slovenia – late March/Easter - TBC
      European Championship, Balatonfured, Hungary, 2-9 May
      Kiel Week, Germany, 21-24 June
      Italian Act 3, Riva Del Garda, Italy, 3-6 July
      Dutch Championship, Medemblik, 19-21 September

    5. North American Sailing Series 2014
      The following events were confirmed for the 2014 North American Sailing Series

      Key West Race Week, Key West, Florida, 19-24 January
      Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, Miami, Florida, 6-8 March
      Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week, Charleston, SC, 10-13 April
      St Francis Yacht Club Rolex Big Boat Series, San Francisco, CA, 11-14 September
      US National Championship, Davis Island YC, Florida, 21-23 Nov

    6. Australian Sailing Series 2015
      Warwick Rooklyn advised that the Australian fleet is currently finalising its programme for 2014, and will confirm the dates for its ranking events shortly. Currently the Worlds in Geelong are the only confirmed event. 
  15. Any Other Business

    Italian Class complaint against IMCA Chairman and Executive Committee
    Riccardo Simoneschi exercised his Chairman's prerogative to hear the Italian Class' motion from the floor, their complaint against himself and the Executive Committee, that had been submitted verbally by Italian Class representative Franco Rossini at the start of the meeting. He reminded the Italian Class that there is a formal procedure clearly defined in the Constitution for submitting such requests and asked them that in future they comply with the Constitution's requirements. However in the best interests of the Class, he agreed to hear their submission regardless.

    Franco Rossini presented his case against Riccardo Simoneschi, in particular, and the IMCA Executive, in general, in Italian, translated by Luca Babini. Riccardo Simoneschi provided his and the Executive Committee's response. Following which, Chris Farkas requested that the delegates be allowed to return to the work of the Agenda and review any further issue pursuant to Constitutional process. The motion was seconded by Simon Strauss and approved by majority.

    During a break in the meeting Riccardo Simoneschi and Franco Rossini met one to one to discuss the issues and attempt to find a way forward. Following their meeting, the two men rejoined the AGM and in a joint statement advised the meeting that they acknowledged that they each have the best interests of the Class at heart, and that in the best interests of the Class, they wish to work together going forward to rebuild the Italian Class and the bonds between the Italian Class and the International Class. Having shaken hands, Riccardo and Franco made a toast to the future success of the Melges 24 Class with glasses of Palinka, a traditional Hungarian liquor, that had been made by the grandfather of Arkos Riko, the Hungarian Class representative. The entire meeting joined them in toasting the success of the Class and welcoming this excellent news. 

  16. Next Meeting
    The next meeting will take place in Italy in late 2014.  Date and time to be confirmed.