2012 AGM - Minutes

INTERNATIONAL FINN ASSOCIATION
2012 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Falmouth, Great Britain
11 May 2012
 
MINUTES
 
The meeting was opened at 18.00
 
1. National Class Associations
There were 16 nations represented at the meeting, accounting for a total of 32 votes, plus seven Executive Committee members.
 
2. Minutes from the last meeting
The minutes from the 2012 IFA AGM were unanimously approved.
 
3. Accounts
3.a Treasurer’s report
Key Messages - Costs are under control. This is the third year in a row where expenses have reduced.
 
The budgeting process is improving year by year and expenses in 2011 were only €4225 more than expected which is a significant improvement over the previous two years and gives us confidence that the 4 year budget that we have set up to 2016 will prove accurate.
 
The Net Result in 2011 was a FOREX adjusted profit of €37707. As a result all bank accounts have increased balances at 31.12.2011. The overall Capital increase is €39774. This is very important as we lost money in each of the preceding 5 years. We now have a very solid financial base upon which to continue to develop and promote our Class and its Sailors. If you want to learn about how forex works, how to trade binary options and forex and forex brokers visit this website.
 
Revenue - Revenue was significantly up in 2011 reflecting the usual high level of activity in the third year of the Olympic cycle. An increase in Income from Sails, Masts and Hulls was the main contributory factor to a €33202 increase in revenue overall.
 
A percentage of entry fees at the ISAF European and World Championships are also a new form of revenue. We usually get some of our Regatta expenses reimbursed by the organisers but at the ISAF events we get a percentage of the entry fee instead. This is also reflected in Expenses where Regatta expenses are greater than normal.
 
Advertising Revenue was down which is disappointing, albeit that it is still a good figure compared to years other than 2010. This is because North and Victory stopped advertising. If any of the sailors are in a position to influence the amount of advertising revenue that our suppliers contribute to class funds then please don’t hesitate to do so.
 
Expenses - Expenses are relatively stable compared with 2010. The reduction comes from the fact Stickers and PhotoFINNish books were printed in 2010 for several years. As a result there were minimal or no costs in 2011. Expenses in 2010 also included the cost of the Promotional Video (shown under Development).
 
Conference expenses were high, because it was a year when the decision for 2016 was taken. This resulted in an increased effort and presence from sailors at all of the ISAF conferences.
 
Office Expenses were higher than expected and this is mainly due to the Executive’s use of a 3G mobile phone connection while in Australia. Corinne is going to look at other solutions to make sure that this does not happen again. Unfortunately the costs only became apparent once she had returned to France, by which time it was too late to do anything about it.
 
FinnFare expenses are down in 2011 but unfortunately the Royal Mail in the UK is both increasing its prices and starting to add VAT so it looks like costs may increase again in the future. We could look at extending the digital distribution but I suspect most sailors appreciate the hard copy. I know I do.
 
FinnShop costs were high at €1038. The main costs were the Half Models which we have now sold into profit. We have also used 10 for Presentations. PhotoFINNish sales in 2012 are already around €2700 and we have sold more copies in the first 6 months of this year than we did in the whole of 2011. This is partly because Robert is offering Free Delivery at the Gold Cup and World Masters. We have also sold €450 of other merchandise and Robert is hoping to run a stall during the Falmouth Finn Festival.
 
Overall, our commercial activities around the FinnShop are predicted to make a small profit ever year. As long as it runs at least close to break-even it is worth it as the goods are both assets and also excellent gifts to delegates.
 
Assets - Accounts of €2676 is PhotoFINNish Royalties. The Committee have agreed to clear these now and PhotoFINNish Royalties have been added to the budget.
 
Budget - Corinne, Balazs and I have extended the budget out to 2016. The budget for payroll has been significantly increased to better reflect the experience, time and workload of Corinne. The IFA finances didn’t allow an increase since 2007 but is now able to support an adjustment based on hourly fee and time increase due to more work within ISAF. The payroll costs still compare very favourably with those of other equivalent organisations.
 
Tim Carver, 4th May 2012
 
 
 
3.b The 2011 accounts were unanimously approved (available on IFA Website)
3.c The budget for 2012/13 was unanimously approved.
 
4. Executive Committee Reports
4.a President
On the occasion of the 2012 IFA AGM let me reflect on some recent achievements of and forthcoming challenges for the Finn class.
 
As you know the 2011 May ISAF mid-year meeting in St. Petersburg secured the status of the one person dinghy heavy event and the Finn as equipment on the 2016 Olympic programme. This achievement was a result of the fact that the Finn as the longest standing and technically most developed Olympic sailing class, managed to answer the questions asked in the framework of recent ISAF reforms and emerged as one of the strongest and most popular Olympic class.
 
Since May 2011 the focus within ISAF shifted to equipment selection for future Olympic events (e.g. Multihull, Women’s Skiff) and event structure for the Sailing World Cup and ISAF Worlds.
 
At the end of April 2012 on behalf of IFA I signed the 2016 Olympic Class Agreement with IFA detailing the cooperation between IFA and ISAF for the coming years leading up to the Rio Olympics. The current ISAF management has been pushing for more and more centralisation but we managed to retain the importance of our class major events and control on event PR and event administration.
 
The flow of young sailors to the class has continued over the last year which results in healthy entry numbers at the Junior Worlds and Europeans. These events have grown rapidly in the recent past with separate junior championships already fixed for the next years.
 
As I have stressed on many occasions within ISAF and the class in the past, the Finn allows the widest range of weight, age and physical sizes to compete on a truly equal level and is the only single handed dinghy to allow sailors from 85kg to 110kg to competitively sail at Olympic level. At the same time the Finn has a real depth in terms of club and national fleets, as well as junior, senior and master age groups, which is partially the result of the fact that the class has been for a long time able to manage the different needs and interests of Finn sailors in every age category, on every level and in every segment of the Finn sailing world.
 
Although we are doing very well at Olympic level and in terms of youth/masters as well as national fleets in the classic Finn countries, the main challenge for the future years will be the strengthening of the Finn’s global presence including Asia, Oceania, Africa and South America.
Through the IFA-assisted boat-production in South Africa and Brazil, we already have strongholds in Africa and South America. Oceania could also be reached from Australia. So, for the coming years we will have to reach out to these continents by way of special IFA projects and be ready for the time when Olympic qualification will be decided on a continental basis and Olympic classes will be judged also on their continental presence.
 
One of the reasons for our strength compared to other Olympic classes has been equipment control and evolution. The Finn has managed to move smoothly on a battle field many other classes fell casualty of. As a new item on our list is the hull control programme on which the Technical Committee and the Chief Measurer will report on at the AGM.
 
All in all, naturally there are further challenges ahead. We need to continue working on gear evolution and equipment control, further adapt the class rules current technology and IT, review issues as racing format, media presence, class sponsorship, attractive major Finn events and build on our traditions, strengths and experience.
 
Thank you all for the support in the last years and look forward to working with you in the future.
 
Dr Balazs Hajdu
 
4.b Vice President Sailing
The London Olympic Games are naturally this year’s highlight. The Games are less than 3 months ahead and final preparations are on. There will be 25 great sailors competing in the Finn on the waters of Weymouth Bay. The Games started last December in Perth where in Finn 18 nations qualified their country for the Olympics 2012.
 
ISAF Worlds in Perth were quite a success. The Finn boat park, with no dressing room and showers, was may be the only bigger disappointment in event organising. The sailing conditions were excellent for the classes sailing on the first week, Finn included. The final two gold group races and the medal race were sailed just in front of the big audience sitting on the breakwater. That was a great experience not only for the spectators but also for the sailors. For Finn as a class it was positive appearance when everybody could see how active and dynamic Finn (boat) and Finn sailors were in 20 knots.
 
It was nice to see young rising guys qualifying their nations in Finn. Stakes for the Falmouth Gold Cup are high while its many strong countries still without a spot. Also the national selections are about done for most.
 
This Spring’s biggest event was Europeans in Scarlino. This time the conditions were not ideal when regatta was suffering from really light winds. Anyway happy to see the podium filled with a lot of experienced but also some young blood.
 
Rule 42. Free pumping in 10 knots has been now around for two years and it seems like a successful decision now afterwards. Now when sailors have got used to it and adapted to new techniques required and race committees know when to hoist Oscar flag, things have been in balance. Also the amount of questionable yellow flags has decreased.
 
The future of Finn. Last year Finn ensured its Olympic status for Rio de Janeiro 2016. In mid-May the rest of the classes are decided. When the classes are clear the next thing is the format of sailing. The ISAF Event Committee has come up an idea to profile the classes more different from each other. One suggested idea has been that in Finn free pumping would be allowed in all conditions. It’s a radical idea. Before saying absolute no for this proposal it is good have an open discussion about it. I think the question is, concerning this proposal but many more coming up in near future, how much are we ready to put on table when fighting for Finn to remain its Olympic status?
 
All Best for the year 2012
Tapio Nirkko
 
4.c Vice President Development
This year with the qualifications upcoming for the Olympic Games it has been great to see more and more sailors on the circuit.
 
The largest focus this year has been on continuing to push for younger sailors to get involved with the class and it is great to see that even more new sailors are getting involved.
 
There are a few items to look at with the new format of the World Cup that will allow us to expand the outreach of the class. There are many more details to come on the format but I believe that we can focus getting more people involved in the class.
 
Looking at the next 4 years toward Rio 2016 we can make a big push of getting more sailors from South America competing in the class. With a builder in Brazil and their ability to access boats this should be a major area to continue to push over the next 4 years.
 
Overall, concentrating on building the class through these 4 areas below over the next 4 years will hopefully lead to more participation:
 
1. Clinics in new World Cup Venues (prior to events)
2. Focusing on building the participation in South America
3. Focus on pushing class through more media exposure and marketing
4. Minimising cost of entry into the class by helping new younger sailors and developing nations by giving equipment to International/National Class
 
We have a great ability to get more people involved in the class buy utilizing the increased exposure the World Cup will offer. This gives the class a huge opportunity to get new Nations involved in the class which can only be good for all involved.
 
Zach Railey
 
4.d Vice President Masters
In July 2011 we had a very good Finn World masters Championship in Punta Ala, Italy, with 283 competitors. I already reported about this in my Report 2010-2011.
 
Decisions made after Punta Ala for future Finn World Masters Championships are:
- Group allocation will be done by daily results. The random system appeared not to work very well in both Split and Punta Ala.
- The aim for the group sizing will be 125 for each group. Many competitors found the groups in Punta Ala (70 boats per group) too small.
- On the last racing day a medal race will be sailed by the top ten sailors in the results on the last day of opening series. Prior to this medal race the final group races for the rest of the competitors will be sailed.
 
The FWM in Punta Ala showed that the numbers of competitors is reaching a maximum. There were thoughts about setting a maximum, but in my opinion this is difficult, as it is depending of the venue how many competitors can be handled.
This brings me to the Finn World Masters 2012 in Pwllheli, North Wales, UK, where we will certainly not reach very high numbers of competitors. As I said before: it is not a goal to set new entry records every year. A good Masters for all sailors and their families is the real goal. Of course with good and competitive racing. The preparations for the FWM in Pwllheli started already in 2009, when I visited the venue with Mike Till. Pwllheli Sailing Club is situated in the Snowdonian region, close to mount Snowdon, the highest mountain of the UK. The club is very experienced in organizing sailing events with large numbers of competitors up to over 300. So we can expect a smooth organization there.
 
Entry numbers have reached 132 now and I expect they will reach 150. The first candidate for 2014 is THE in Tihany, Lake Balaton, Hungary. I visited this venue in September 2010. It is situated on the Tihany peninsula.
 
During 2011 the Polish Finn Masters announced a Polish candidacy for 2014 and they had 4 venues in mind.
 
I visited them in September, we discussed pluses and minuses of each venue and in the end the present Polish Masters announced Sopot Sailing Club in Sopot as the official candidate for 2014.
 
In January 2012 Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in Los Angeles, California announced its candidacy for 2014. The Masters Committee decided to give it a chance and accepted the candidacy.
 
The voting for 2014 will take place in the Annual Masters Meeting 2012 in Pwllheli, on Tuesday May 30th, 2012. A pre-presentation of all candidates can be watched on www.finnworldmaster.com
 
In the Annual Masters Meeting 2012 we will take leave of Michael Till (GBR 55) as a Masters Committee member. We will, for sure, miss his sharp and realistic approach. His succession will be on the agenda of the AMM.
 
We are all looking forward to the Finn World Masters Championship in Pwllheli. Almost everything has been arranged and set and of course we are looking forward to a good Championship in a sportive spirit and to the voting for the 2014 venue.
 
In 2013 we will sail the FWM in La Rochelle, France, from May 17th till 24th, 2013.
 
For now I wish all Finn sailors worldwide good sailing in good winds and I hope to meet many of them in coming events and I thank everyone who gave me support and assistance during the past year.
Fons van Gent
 
4.e Treasurer
(see item 3a)
4.f Chairman of the Technical Committee
(see item 8)
 
5. Elections of Members to IFA Committees
The current members of the Executive Committee were re-elected.
The members of the Technical Committee were re-elected.
The members of the Marketing Committee were re-elected.
 
6. IFA Championships
6.a. The meeting received a progress report for the 2013 Finn Gold Cup in Tallinn. Dates are confirmed as August 23-31. The Estonian championship will run immediately before the FGC. Web page will be published in August. Address will be www.finngoldcup.org/2013.
6.b The 2014 Europeans will be held at La Rochelle, France in early May between Hyeres and Delta Lloyd, subject to approved budget.
6.c A proposal has been received to hold a combined Olympic classes European championship in 2015. The meeting agreed to this in principle and that the decision on the venue would be taken by the Olympic Classes Committee. Possible venues include Arhus and Gdynia.
 
6.d For the 2015 Finn Gold Cup bids have been received from Takapuna, New Zealand and Quiberon, France. The Executive are also pursuing a bid from Rio as a major event in Brazil prior to the Olympics was thought a good idea, especially economically. Also possible to have South American championships in Brazil near the test event in 2015.
 
7. FIDeS
7.a A clinic is proposed before the Silver Cup in Maubuisson in July. This has been a big success in the past. There should be a focus on more clinics around the world to build participation, especially in Asia and Africa. Distribution of used gear to new countries. It is intended there will be two collection points every year – one in Europe, and one in the Americas. This will mirror the changes to the Sailing World Cup – which will be used to develop sailing regionally rather than as a series.
7.b Interest has been shown in the Finn by the Kosovan and Sudanese sailing federations.
7.c The meeting was informed of the changes to ISAF Sailing World Cup and the need for further continental Finn fleet development to further strengthen the class worldwide.
 
8. Technical Committee
8.a Chairman’s report
During the year before the Olympics we try to leave the rules well alone. During 2011 – 2012, a problem showed up with the wording for the Pumping Rule, and it was amended. There were also some editorial corrections, incorporated into a 2012 Edition of our Rules. In total: tidying but no change.
I was asked to present a paper about Class issues including the supply of Official Measurers and our development of the Measurement Database, to the Equipment Committee at ISAF in November 2011. This was apparently well received, but there has been no specific feedback.
 
Agenda Item 8 (b): The Measurement Database is up and running, with many boats already on it thanks to Devoti Sailing and Marcin Owczarkiewicz, the Official Measurer who services Devoti. We now need to get as many as possible recent boats on it, so that we can present it to ISAF as a valid tool for use at Equipment Inspections. Subject to AGM approval, I hope that we can move forward with our wishes regarding Prototype Inspection and Periodic Inspection of builders.
 
At the Sailing World Championship in Perth, Corinne and the Equipment Inspector André Blasse had a great run around, and we had bad publicity, because a number of Boats had been measured but the Certification process had not been completed. The process is set out in the Rules. You need to keep any old Certificate Documents, and there is provision for reweighing without recertification – but it must be clear that any extra reweighing is an “attachment”.
 
TC and the Executive have been discussing ways to make the processes simpler.
 
Agenda Item 9: One item which can cause problems is the Annual IFA Sticker. We all agreed that the present system requiring a sailor’s membership sticker to be glued to his boat is awkward when you change boats or charter! We have worked out two possibilities which we think would be an improvement. Corinne thinks we should get right up to date by having a membership database, which could take update information from the National Secretaries. The other possibility is to issue through National Secretaries as at present, numbered cards which would also have the member’s name written on them.
 
Agenda Item 8: We have had a hard look at the Certification Process, starting with the question “Should we allow the whole Certification process to be completed by the Official Measurer?” This is what we do with Rudders, Spars and Sails, but on balance several members of the Technical Committee believed that the present system of Certification of Hulls by the National Finn Association or National Authority should be retained.
 
Our discussions led to the conclusion that we should concentrate on simplifying the system and making it more workable, by making the fundamental identifier the ISAF Sticker Number, making it possible to complete the certification process by Email, allowing charter boats etc to certify without being given a national sail number. (Most Charter boats go to people who bring sails with Personal Sail Numbers or their own boat’s numbers, but we might need a “what if?” provision for an option to use the sailor’s national letters plus the ISAF Sticker number).
 
After all that – how about the boat?
 
Agenda Item 8 (d): TC have discussed and propose that we ask to remove the rules about sail corner reinforcement dimensions. We don’t think they do anything useful.
 
We have been having a more difficult discussion about “Load Path” or “3DL” sails. We have a rule stating that the sail must be made from panels not more than 1 metre wide. This prohibits the one-piece sails made over a mould. The technology is now in use by more than one manufacturer. “Work arounds” for our rule have been devised such as panels with a varying thread pattern, and simply cutting a moulded sail into 1 metre strips and then gluing it together again. Maybe it’s time to remove the restriction and allow the development. Will we look out-of-date in 2016 if we don’t allow it?
 
The problem is that the moulded sail is likely to cost more, although it may have a longer life as “new”.
One manufacturer of Solo sails quotes
Panelled Dacron € 645 + VAT
Panelled Kevlar Laminate € 853 + VAT
Thermo moulded 3DL €1135 + VAT
Looking at the number of small shaped panels in some current sails, maybe the price difference will be less for our class, but don’t hold your breath!
I plan to ask AGM for direction about this: please talk to your National Secretary or representative, so that AGM can reflect the views of all the class.
 
I wish to record my gratitude to Our Chief Measurer Jüri Saraskin for his wise guidance and service. In addition to Jüri, we have a corps of International Measurers (who act as Equipment Inspectors at major regattas) including August Atz (ITA), André Blasse (AUS), Vladimir Burkalov (RUS), Dimitris Dimou (GRE), Kevin Farrar (USA), Peter Hinrichsen (CAN) and most recently Vasiliy Kravchenko (RUS). These people serve and know the Finn very well – please help them concentrate on the real world by making sure your paperwork is right!
 
Agenda Item 4 (b).
As ever, various members of the Technical Committee have been very helpful during the year, and I will propose them for re-election next year. They are André Blasse (AUS), Robert Carlen (USA), Rodney Cobb (GBR), Robert Deaves (GBR), John Driscoll (IRL), Guillaume Florent (FRA), Jan van der Horst (NED), David Howlett (GBR), Gilbert Lamboley (FRA), Larry Lemieux (CAN), Walter Mai (GER), Gus Miller (USA), Miklós Németh (HUN), Tim Tavinor (GBR), Clifton Webb (NZL).
 
Richard Hart
8.b Online certificate database
The online certificate database is up and running and just awaits the physical move to the IFA server. Boats are being added on an ongoing basis.
 
8.c Measurement certificate certifying system
(see report above)
 
8.d Rule matters arising (refer to above)
The proposal to have inspection of hulls when new moulds are introduced was passed.
 
The proposal to remove the sail corner reinforcement rule was passed.
 
A discussion was held about 3DL sails. A show of hands was taken to follow up with further investigation: 15 for, 7 against, 2 abstentions. The Technical Committee was directed to report back with further findings.
The Technical Committee was re-elected.
The proposal on sail numbers was passed.
 
9. Administration
9.a Membership
It was decided to investigate a membership online database so regatta organisers and others can verify NFA membership of sailors. This would negate the need for IFA membership stickers but it was felt that these could continue on a non-numbered basis for those that wanted to display them.
9.b Constitution change
The following amendment was passed:
3.5 There shall be the following Executive Officers:
• President
• Vice-President (Sailing)
• Vice-President (Development)
• Vice-President (Masters)
• Treasurer
• Chairman of the Technical Committee
• Up to 4 other non-voting Executive Committee members (as elected by the IFA AGM) working on special IFA projects
• Executive Director
 
10. International update
10.a The meeting heard about the current ISAF plans on future ISAF Sailing World Cup. It is being changed completely and will no longer represent a series, but a collection of continental events that can be used as continental qualifiers to world championships, and as second Olympic qualifier...etc
10.b There will also be a EUROSAF regatta circuit using many of the old Sailing World Cup events.
10.c It is proposed that the Finn be submitted as an Olympic core event
10.d A small group of sailors had an informal meeting during the Finn Gold Cup to discuss the 2016 Olympic format and Olympic reselection for 2020. Pieter-Jan Postma and Tapio Nirkko to report further, in FINNFARE or on the website
10.e Finn fleet size for 2016 is being reviewed by ISAF.
10.f Countries that wish to use country quota allocations places not taken for 2012 need to formally request the place.
 
Any other business
Dan Slater is retiring from the ISAF Athlete’s Commission and a new person will need to be found from November. Dan has represented the Finn Class since the committee started in 2007.
 
The meeting was closed at 20.40
 
To be circulated to: National Finn Association Secretaries. IFA Executive Committee IFA Website, Email list Finn sailors
 
 
2011 IFA ACCOUNTS
Revenue
 
Memberships                               37998
Sail labels                                     34352
Mast labels                                  11754
ISAF Plaques for New Boats      11557
Interest                                        10
Advertising                                 4692
Finn Shop                                  715
ISAF Worlds & EURO entries  9010
PhotoFINNish Advertising        0
PhotoFINNish Sales                  3449
Regatta Revenue                        0
Forex Gain                                 2067
 
Total                                          115602
 
Expenses
 
Payroll (Exec Dir)                       34976
Payroll (Exec Dir Owing)            0
Payroll (Other)                             0
Office expenses                           2883
Regatta & IM expenses               10272
Bank charges                               234
Finnfare expenses                       6725
Postage                                      708
Stickers (mast, sail, IFA hull)    0
IFA Clinic                                  0
ISAF Building Fee                    0
Development                             450
Promotion                                  0
Masters Admin                           2500
Website hosting and technical support 197
ISAF meetings                          12797
Calendar printing                        0
PhoFinn Printing & Mailing      200
PhoFinn Royalty                       2849
Finn Shop                                 1038
Forex Loss                                 0
 
Total Expenses                         75828
 
Annual P/L                                   39774
FOREX Adjusted P/L                  37707
 
Assets
 
Petty cash                                      194
Accounts receivable                     0
GBP Working Account                46890
GBP Capital Account                 28799
FRA Working Account               28612
 
                                                    104495
Delta                                           43836
 
Liabilities
 
Amount Payable **                    2676
Salaries owing                            3958
FGC Bond AUS                         0
 
                                                 6634
 
Capital                                     97861
 

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