1999 IFA AGM - Minutes

Minutes from the 1999 Annual General Meeting of the IFA

Minutes from the 1999 Annual General Meeting of the IFA

 Melbourne, Australia - 7 January

Present: Executive Committee: Philippe Rogge (President); Karlo Kuret (Vice President Sailing); John Callahan (Vice President Development); Paul McKenzie (Treasurer); Sarah Kingston (Executive Director); 25 National Association Representatives and approximately 15 other members of the class.

The President opened the meeting and welcomed all attendees. He thanked ISAF Vice Presidents Goran Petersson and Ken Ryan for attending the beginning of the meeting.


Voting cards were distributed to the National Class Association representatives based on the 1999 IFA dues received.


The minutes from the 1998 IFA AGM were approved.


Verbal reports were received as follows:

(a)   the President;

*        the class is healthy. It was particularly pleasing to see the increase in Finn sailing in the southern hemisphere.

*        the Australian Nationals had been well attended last week and everyone was looking forward to the Gold Cup.

*        there are two areas to concentrate on this year - (a) pumping/rocking on the water. IFA has been working with ISAF and judges to try to achieve consistency in on-the-water judging. Good communication is needed. The President invited all sailors to attend the meeting between IFA and the Jury prior to the practice race. (b) there will be measurement spot checks this year, as decided at the last AGM.

*        the President and Executive Director had attended the ISAF November Conference. The events for the 2004 Olympic Regatta had been decided and in essence there will only be one men's single-handed dinghy event in 2004. The President requested everyone's support in the IFA's efforts to keep the Finn in the Olympic Games.

(b)  the Vice-President Sailing;

*        ISAF had agreed to the request from the 1998 IFA AGM to have a Junior Finn Gold Cup. This year was the first year that this was taking place.

*        it was pleasing to see so many nations in Melbourne, it was a particularly important regatta as many sailors will be looking to qualify their country for the Sydney Olympics.

*        the VP Sailing reminded the meeting that this was a trial run of the new format for the Gold Cup (as voted on at the 1998 AGM), all feedback was welcome.

(c)    the Vice-President Development;

*        the Pan Am Games are being held this year, and we must ensure that as many Pan Am countries as possible are represented in the Finn. The VP Development requested that anyone with Finn contacts in those countries should assist.

*        it was pleasing to see some new countries at the Gold Cup this year. Particularly Japan, China, Belarus and the US Virgin Islands.

*        plans are being underway to hold a development clinic in Sydney prior to the Pre-Olympic Regatta.

(d)   the Vice-President Masters;

*        the President read the written report from the VP Masters.

*        preparations for the 1999 Finn Masters (Maubuisson, France) are going well, a maximum number of competitors are expected to attend.

*        the Masters expressed their wish for caution in the technical development of the Finn.

*        the President hoped that many Masters would attend the 50 Year Party this year. He looks forward to the 2000 Finn Gold Cup which will take place in Weymouth at the same time as the 2000 Finn Masters.

(e)   the Treasurer;

*        the 1998 IFA Accounts were circulated.

*        the accounts were in good order and there was no cause for concern.

*        the Swiss Accounts had been closed and the money had been transferred to a Reserve account in the UK. The Executive Committee is looking for a good long-term investment for the reserve funds.

(f)   the Chairman of the Technical Committee.

*       the report of the Technical Committee was circulated.

*        the Finn class rule changes approved at the 1998 AGM had been approved by ISAF. They will become effective on 1 March 1999, and will be published in FinnFare.

*        an old jig had been found in Melbourne and been renovated by the Chief Measurer. It is his intention to use it at the 1999 Gold Cup and at the Pre-Olympics.

*        to allow interchangeability of masts and boom between boats it is recommended to standardise the boom pin arrangement. This should result in better rule observance; assist with measurement; provide standards for manufacturers; keeps the boat simple; the lower black band would become redundant and possibly allow future simplification of Rule The Technical Committee had prepared a draft recommendation for rule changes to allow this. The President recommended that this be circulated to National Finn Associations for a postal vote in time for submission to the 1999 ISAF November meetings.


The Treasurer presented the Summary of the Accounts of 1998 and the meeting approved them. They will be published in the next edition of FinnFare.


(a)     The members of the Executive Committee were unanimously approved as follows:

President - Philippe Rogge

Vice-President (Sailing) - Karlo Kuret

Vice-President (Development) - John Callahan

Vice-President (Masters) - Rolf Lehnert

Treasurer - Paul McKenzie

Chairman of Technical Committee - Richard Hart

(b)    The members of the Technical Committee were unanimously approved as follows:

Richard Hart (Chairman)

Jan Bjoernberg

John Driscoll

David Howlett

Larry Lemieux

Walter Mai

Andrzej Ostrowski

Juri Saraskin

(c)    The members of the Marketing Committee were unanimously approved as follows:

Marc Blees (Chairman)

Gerardo Seeliger

Robert Deaves

Corinne Rolland-McKenzie

Sarah Kingston


a.     To receive an update on preparations for the following IFA Championships:

(i)    1999 Finn European Championship

The Championship will be held in Ostend, Belgium from 5-11 June 1999. The notice of race has been finalised and circulated to all National Finn Associations. The race committee has plenty of experience. All preparations for the Championship are going well.

(ii)     2000 Finn Gold Cup and Finn Masters

The Championships will be held in Weymouth, England from 6-16 June. The Gold Cup will be the third and final opportunity for countries to qualify for the 2000 Olympic Regatta. Discounted ferry rates across the English Channel have been negotiated. A leaflet was circulated at the AGM. Details will be placed on the IFA website, and in FinnFare. Sponsorship is being sought.

(iii)    2001 Finn Gold Cup

The Championship will be held in Marblehead at the Eastern Yacht Club during mid-September 2001. The PRO will be Charley Cook. Early preparations are proceeding well.

(b)    To receive bids to host the following IFA Championships:

(i)     2000 Finn European Championship

The meeting noted that Estonia has withdrawn its bid for this Championship since the 1998 AGM. Applications had been received from Genoa (Italy) and Palma (Spain).

The Vice President Sailing read some of the details from each application after which the meeting strongly voted for the 2000 European Championship to be held in Palma. IFA should request that the championship be held either in early July or in early May.

(ii)    2002 Finn Gold Cup

Brazil and Turkey are both still interested in hosting the 2002 Finn Gold Cup. Their applications will be considered at the 2000 AGM.

(iii)    2003 Finn Gold Cup

The President informed the meeting that, after reviewing the outcome of the 1999 Combined Olympic Classes World Championship, ISAF were considering the possibility of holding such a combined olympic class championship every four years in the year prior to the Olympic Games. Denmark is one of the countries bidding to host the next championship and Mr Jens Hansen and Mr Jesper Andersen from the Aarhus Organising Committee were welcomed to the meeting. They gave a brief presentation to the meeting, making the following proposals:

*       Each class would have its own course area and harbour area.

*       In order to accomplish the above point, the combined championships would need to be spread out over a four week period. This is proposed as July 2003.

*       Accommodation will be affordable.

*       All Olympic Classes would be involved (this will be an ISAF requirement of future Olympic classes).

*       There will be large, covered areas for measurement.

*       The relevant class associations will be deeply involved in the organisation of the championship.

*       Funding has been guaranteed by the city. It is hoped that sponsorship will also be found.

*       ISAF will decide on the venue at their meeting in April 1999.>

(iv)    2004 Finn Gold Cup

The New Zealand Finn Association handed the IFA Executive Director their written application to host the 2004 Finn Gold Cup at Murrays Bay Sailing Club in Auckland.


The meeting agreed that the quota system for entries as detailed in Part D of the IFA Rulebooks should be amended to allow entries to the Junior Finn Gold Cup to be made on the same basis as for the Junior Finn European Championship.


The President reiterated the need for all sailors to comply with the measurement rules. Spot checks will be made at the Gold Cup this year.


The AGM reconvened on 16 January to review the decisions made at the 1998 AGM on the format of the Finn Gold Cup in light of the experience gained at the 1999 Gold Cup. ISAF President Paul Henderson was in attendance.

The President reminded the meeting that at the 1998 AGM it had been agreed to try a new format at the 1999 Gold Cup, in order to conform to ISAF's request that "as far as reasonably practical, incorporate the 2000 Olympic Format in their Qualifying Regattas". The new format (11 races over 6 days; 90 minutes in duration; 2 discards; trapezoid courses) had been used at the 1999 Gold Cup.

The ISAF President stated that ISAF's request was that where appropriate class world championships should try to match the Olympic format, where not appropriate the class should do whatever is best to suit Finn sailing.

The meeting (of 35 sailors) then voted as follows:

*       2 races per day(29 votes in favour)

*        1 race per day (6 votes in favour)

*        11 races over 6 days (15 votes in favour)

*        9 races over 6 days (17 votes in favour)

*        1 discard only, once 5 races have been completed (24 in favour; 7 against)

*        using 1999 Gold Cup courses ie. trapezoid below 12 knots, triangle in over 12 knots (22 in favour; 8 against).

*        Courses of 90 minutes duration (26 in favour).

*        Angles would be as per the 1999 Gold Cup sailing instructions, with a true reach between the two upwind marks (28 in favour).

In summary:

For the 1999 Europeans and 2000 Finn Gold Cup, the format will be as follows:

*       total of 9 races

*        the 9 races will be sailed over 6 days (to be scheduled in conjunction with the local race committee, ie. taking into account the likely local weather conditions).

*        There will be no possibility to sail 3 races per day.

*        Races should be approximately 90 minutes in duration.

*        1 discard will be allowed, which will take effect once 5 races have been completed.

*        The triangle course (as per 1998 championship rules) will be sailed in winds over 12 knots; the Olympic trapezoid will be used in winds under 12 knots.


The President informed the meeting that the IFA had recently received a draft contract which ISAF requires all classes wishing to be considered for use in the 2004 Olympic Games to sign. He read out some of the items on which the Executive Committee may decide to negotiate with ISAF. The meeting unanimously agreed that it was important to the class to remain `Olympic' and therefore, accepting that the class may have to compromise on some issues, the Executive Committee should proceed with their negotiations with ISAF.

11.     FINN SHOP

The Chairman of the Marketing Committee updated the meeting on progress with the new Finn shop.

*        A brochure was produced after the 1998 AGM and has been widely circulated.

*        National Finn Associations are urged to help with sales, in order to promote the class and provide extra income.

*        National Finn Associations may buy in bulk, and therefore achieve a profit for themselves as well as for IFA.

*        Some of the clothing items will be changed in a few months.

*        Credit cards will soon be accepted.

*        The Finn shop will soon be accessible via the IFA website.

It was important for all National Finn Associations to note that the IFA logo may not be used without first obtaining permission from IFA. This includes used of the logo at national Finn championships.


The Chairman of the Marketing Committee reported on the preparations for the 50 Years Finn celebration.

The Celebration will be held in Loosdrecht, Holland on 12 and 13 June 1999. The Prize giving ceremony for the Finn Europeans will be held on Friday 11th June, allowing everyone to drive to Loosdrecht on the morning of Saturday 12th. There will be some fun sailing on Saturday and Sunday, and a huge party on the Saturday evening. Three sponsors have been secured: Swatch, CMG and O'Neill Europe. All Finn sailors, past and present, are invited.

The new book, currently being written by Robert Deaves, celebrating 50 years of the Finn, will be launched at the 50 Year Party.


(a)    Sail Cloth

Concern was expressed that the newest sailcloth is very expensive. The Masters Fleet had also expressed concern over the developments in this area. The rules should avoid monopoly and we should discourage sail makers from selling only to selected sailors. Simpler materials are more accessible to the majority of sailors and IFA should bear in mind developing countries.

The Technical Committee is asked to look into possibilities to have a limit on cloth weight and possibly a sail weight rule limit. National Finn Associations will be asked to vote on the Technical Committee's final proposal by postal ballot in April or May 1999.

(b)    1999 Membership Fees

All National Finn Associations were reminded that membership fees for 1999 were due by 27 December 1998. Any countries who have not yet paid should contact the IFA office immediately.

(c)    Rule 42 - Pumping

It was suggested that the yellow flag should not be used in winds stronger than a certain limit. However others felt that pumping should not be `opened up'. This will encourage some sailors to develop their fitness to enable them to pump in strong winds, which would not generally be good for Finn sailing.

Mateusz Kusznierewicz (POL) briefly described a system he had come up with which used two flags for judging during racing. A red flag would replace the current yellow flag; and a yellow flag would be used as a warning. The President asked Mateusz to put his proposal in writing for discussion.

Many present felt that the current system was working well and, with improved consistency in judging, the system as currently laid out in the rules should be adequate. It was suggested that judges should be ex-Finn sailors; they might consider using binoculars to assist them; and they might consider taking into account video camera footage. The meeting was reminded that IFA is working closely with the ISAF Race Officials Committee to try to improve consistency in judging at Finn regattas.


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