INTERNATIONAL FINN ASSOCIATION
2020 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Due to the situation with COVID-19, the AGM was held online.
Voting opened on 10 May 2020 BST 09.00 and closed on 13 May 2020 at 12.00 BST
[All papers here]
1. National Class Associations
Attendance was recorded from 28 Council Members (AUS, AUT, BEL, BRA, CHI, CRO, CZE, DEN, ESP, FRA, GER, GBR, GRE, ITA, JPN, NED, NZL, POL, RUS, SLO, USA, VEN and 6 Executive Committee members). This equates to a maximum of 34 votes.
2. Minutes from the last meeting
The Minutes of the 2019 IFA AGM were approved with 2 abstentions.
The 2019 accounts were approved with 2 abstentions.
The 2020 budget was approved with 2 abstentions.
4. Executive Committee Reports
The Executive Committee Reports were unanimously approved.
5. Elections of Members to IFA Committees
The members of the current Executive Committee, except Tim Carver as Treasurer, who wishes to step down, was approved with one abstention.
6. Bids for Major Championships
2021 Finn Gold Cup – Porto. Approved with one abstention.
2021 Europeans – Hyeres. Approved with two abstentions.
2022 Europeans – Kiel. Approved with one abstention.
Changes to Event Manual: To change the format of the major championships to five days/10 races and delete references to medal/final races. Voting was carried out in three stages to allow three preferences to be stated.
Option 1 - 5 days/10 races/no medal race
Option 2 - 5 days/10 races + medal race on Day 5
Option 3 - 5 days/9 races + medal race on Day 5
Option 4 - Same as now
Option 5 - Same as now without final race.
32 votes cast: Option 1: 18; Option 2: 2; Option 3: 5; Option 4: 6; Option 5: 1
5 days: 78.12%
No medal race: 56.25%
Medal race: 43.75%
6 days: 21.87%
Dropping the options with the two least votes (Option 2 and 5) – New preferences were counted if previous preference was removed.
Option 1: 20; Option 3: 6; Option 4: 6
5 days: 81.25%
No medal race: 62.5%
Medal race 37.5%
6 days: 18.75%
A 5-day event was more popular so the 6-day option (4) was dropped and third preference used.
Option 1: 23; Option 3: 8
5 days: 100%
No medal race: 74.19%
Medal race 25.8%
6 days: 0%
Result: Of the two most popular options, Option 1 received 74.19% of the vote and Option 3 received 25.8% of the vote.
Several questions were added at the end of the AGM. Where appropriate they have been answered by the Executive.
Q1: If Finn will no longer be a member of Olympic family, a reduction of Gold Cup and Europeans entry fees should be considered.
A: We are still a member of the Olympic family for at least two more seasons and maybe more…This subject can be discussed at the class meeting planned later this year at the Europeans or Gold Cup. We need to consider overall class revenue as well as sufficient revenue for organisers to run events and decide what works best. At the moment our entry fee does not come close to covering the costs of the event, so reducing this fee will mean event organisers may struggle to make events work financially.
Q2: Why do you expect a drop in income on membership and labels for 2020?
A: We don’t expect a significant drop in income in 2020 although the cancellation of the Masters Worlds will have some impact. To date revenue has been very strong and the class finances are healthy at present. We don’t expect a drop in 2021 either, because it is an Olympic year. However if the Covid 19 situation into 2021 this would change
Q3: What is the strategic plan for the class association to build younger sailors and to maintain the interest in the Finn for sailors over 40 yrs? There is no evidence of how such a plan will be supported in the 2020-2021 budget.
A: Building fleets and members (young and old) is the role of each club, fleet, and national association. Sailors start at that level and learn from each other in a way that is enjoyable and everyone improves together. The biggest fleets have grown from a few key sailors who grew the fleet with great success over many generations.
The role of IFA comes later when the sailors have reached the level where they are comfortable to come to a Silver Cup, Masters Euro or Worlds or Gold Cup or European. At that point IFA can help to put sailor in contact with other sailors for training, logistical sharing, equipment, coaching etc.
One recent decision has been to reinstate the Silver Cup in 2020 so the U23 sailors can meet again and race against sailors of a similar age as they have done for several years now. IFA will most likely offer a coaching clinic for sailors before the event again this year and help to provide charter boats at a minimal cost.
Other actions include planning the regatta circuit for Senior and Master sailors to reduce travel logistics, avoid overlapping events and to provide top level racing in a variety of locations.
There is an opportunity for local fleets to bid and host major IFA events and use those events to build interest in the Finn in that country. IFA provides all the support necessary to help clubs/ fleets make the events a success. This is the case in 2020 for Poland (Masters Euro and Open Euro), Spain (Finn Gold Cup) and France (Silver Cup).
Q4: What is the forecast loss of revenue from sails and boats post 2021 and what is being done to reduce expenditure accordingly?
A: The forecast loss from sail, mast and hull royalties will be significant but not dangerous for the class in the medium term. IFA has already made organisational changes to reduce expenditure (reduced salary expenses, less executive travel for events and World Sailing meetings and a stricter expense approval process). At present the result is less expense for similar revenue so the class should be in good shape financially before the end of 2021 and we expect to be able to continue to operate on a break-even basis after 2021, even if the Finn is no longer Olympic.
Q5: Is there still a place for the current president if the Finn is no longer an Olympic class?
A: That is a matter for democratic vote each year. At present the class is Olympic and IFA is working hard to maintain that status.
He is not alone in determining our Olympic fate, but he is helming the ship. The Executive Committee are all working hard to get the message across that the Finn deserves its place in Paris 2024, but everyone involved with the Finn needs to share that message in a positive way. We are all responsible and we can all make a difference.
Q6: Regarding the vote on changes to event manual, we think that whatever the result we should consider this decision as provisional and discuss this item in a proper AGM.
A: The Executive will consider the most appropriate format at each upcoming event, and Council can revisit this once there is a proper meeting or AGM in the coming year.