Present: Executive Committee: Philippe Rogge (PR, President); Karlo Kuret (KK, Vice President Sailing); John Callahan (JC, Vice President Development); Richard Hart (RH, Chairman Technical Committee); Paul McKenzie (PM, Treasurer); Sarah Kingston (SK, Executive Director); 29 National Association Representatives and approximately 40 other members of the class.
PR opened the meeting and welcomed all attendees.
1. NATIONAL CLASS ASSOCIATIONS
Voting cards were distributed to the National Class Association representatives based on the 1998 IFA dues received.
1. MINUTES FROM THE LAST MEETING
The minutes from the 1997 IFA AGM were approved.
2. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REPORTS
Reports were received as follows:
a. The President
* PR introduced SK as the new IFA Executive Director. The IFA office had now been moved to London and SK had been working for the class since October 1997. PR thanked Josje Hofland-Dominicus for her many years of loyal service to the class.
* PR welcomed the new faces at the Finn Gold Cup and reported that he was pleased to have seen good racing and big fleets at most of the regattas this year. He gave credit to the National Finn Associations in each country for encouraging the continued growth of the class worldwide.
* The Treasurer’s Dues System, as approved at the 1997 AGM, is working well. Whilst providing an increase to the class revenues the system is also encouraging smaller nations to join the IFA. PR requested that National Associations remind their sailors to pay their memberships in good time so that in turn the IFA dues are paid by the appropriate date.
* PR reported that over 100 boats had competed for the Finn Masters this year. He congratulated Larry Lemieux on winning and informed the meeting that Rolf Lehnert (GER) had been appointed IFA Vice President Masters.
* On the Development side there was still much to be done. PR introduced John Callahan (USA) as Vice President Development.
* PR reported that the Technical Committee had met on 15 August 1998. The class was developing fast and there was plenty of work to be done to ensure that there are no loopholes in the class rules, particularly bearing in mind that the Finn dinghies will not be supplied at the 2000 Olympic Games.
* PR informed the meeting that Marc Blees (NED) had been working on a clothing line for the Finn shop. The website had been developed and IFA would be seeking some revenue from sponsorship. The Marketing Commission would be meeting later in the week.
* The meeting was reminded that at the ISAF meetings in 1999 the events for the 2004 Olympic Regatta will be decided and in 2000 the classes will be chosen. The Finn 2004 Olympic Campaign needs continuous attention and all attendees were requested to think about what they could do towards this cause.
* PR summed up his report stating that the recent year had been good from both sailing and administrative points of view.
(b) The Vice-President Sailing
KK verbally summarised his written report which had been circulated earlier in the week to members.
* There was an average increase of 33% in the number of competitors at almost all 1997/98 regattas.
* Equally pleasing was the increase by 24% in the number of nations participating in those regattas.
* KK gave particular mention to the Europeans this year which saw 77 Finn sailors attending from 26 countries, compared with 55 from 23 last year.
* He had noticed a similar trend in junior Finn sailing, and it was healthy to see a number of new faces entering the top competition in the class.
* KK reported that he saw the new "plastic" sail revolution as an important step forward in the policy of developing the Finn as an Olympic Class which leads others in the trend of adopting and applying modern materials and technology. The new sailors have contributed to making today’s Finn faster and more manageable in strong winds.
* KK reported that he had been worried to see that the problem of equipment control had been highlighted this season. Some sail makers (and sailors that chose to race with those sails) were infringing the class rules and a solution needs to be found, particularly bearing in mind the ever increasing number of competitors. KK had written a separate paper to address this issue (discussed later on the agenda).
* KK reminded members that the IFA Executive Committee had had to act quickly when Durban withdrew their offer to host the 1998 Finn Gold Cup. When IFA entrusts countries with the organisation of a Championship it must be reassured that high standards of organisation are achieved.
* Many sailors are now focusing on their training in Australia, starting with the Pre-Pre Olympics in Sydney and preparing for the 1999 Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne in January. Several have chosen to spend many weeks in Australia to be well prepared, but KK reminded the meeting that we must help and support those smaller countries which need logistic help to travel so far.
(c) The Vice-President Development
* JC was newly appointed so did not have a detailed report for the meeting.
* He reported that we are now focusing on the Pan Am Games in Gimli, Canada. This is an ideal showcase for the Finn, and our first challenge is to get the maximum number of countries to attend. The second challenge is to make charter boats available.
* It is important to get the Masters and Juniors involved in the development of the class. The Laser is a good resource class for Finn sailors.
* JC encouraged all sailors to take juniors Finn sailing to encourage growth of the class.
[A meeting was held later in the week between JC, the new IFA Development Coach and the representatives from "developing Finn countries"].
(d) The Vice-President Masters
* The Vice President Masters had circulated his minutes from the Masters Meeting on 4 June in Casteletto, Italy. The President summarised the main points for the meeting.
* The 1999 Finn Masters will be held in Carcans Maubuisson, Bordeaux, France from 21-28 May.
* The 2000 Finn Masters will be held in Weymouth, Great Britain in conjunction with the 2000 Finn Gold Cup.
* The Masters have a tradition that the winner of the Masters Championship may chose the venue for the next Championship, therefore Larry Lemieux had been asked to provide further information on possible host clubs on the US or Canadian East Coast.
* Members agreed that it would be healthy for the Finn class to hold the Masters Championship outside Europe for a year.
* The Masters will be establishing a "Masters’ Page" on the Finn Website.
(e) The Treasurer
* PM circulated the IFA Financial Accounts for 1997 (to be published in FinnFare).
* The causes of the loss (NLG 14,008) is mainly due to the gift of the Finn to the IOC Olympic Museum. Also 1997 had exceptional expenses from coaching clinics and the change in location of the IFA office.
* PM confirmed that, due to the revised Dues system, the 1998 membership income would be higher and costs would be spread more evenly in 1998.
* The IFA Bonds are maturing in Switzerland and we are currently investigating moving the funds to the UK. The funds will probably be kept in a low risk savings accounts, but any expert advice from members in this area would be welcome.
* PM reminded members that the 1999 IFA Membership Dues are payable 10 days prior to the start of the Finn Gold Cup, therefore National Finn Associations will be invoiced in December 1998 for these fees.
(f) The Chairman of the Technical Committee
The following papers were tabled:
- Draft Report of the IFA Technical Committee (TC) dated July 1998 (previously circulated to National Finn Association Secretaries).
- The (unapproved) minutes of the TC meeting held on 15 August 1998.
With this report, agenda items numbered 9 and 10 were discussed, also the minutes of the Masters Meeting on 4 June 1998.
Supporting papers were tabled as follows:
- "Establishing and Control of Class Rules" from Ing. Karlo Kuret (VP Sailing) (agenda item 9).
- Translation of letter from Dr. Gfreiner of the Austrian Finn Association dated 19 June 1998. (agenda item 10).
- Minutes of the Finn Masters Meeting dated 4 June 1998.
The TC Chairman commenced his report with an explanation of how technical development decisions were made within the TC. (This was requested by the Finn Masters). The process is described and attached to these minutes as Appendix A.
The submission from the Austrian Finn Association, and the minutes of the Masters’ Meeting were discussed. TC had discussed the matter at length during their meeting on 15 August and recommended no change to the existing rule. The Austrian submission to forbid the use of Mylar/Plastic sails was voted on and not approved (vote: 0 for; 32 against; 2 abstentions).
After discussions, TC had recommended the introduction of a limitation to two sails at IFA Major Championships. (vote: 29 for; 2 against; 4 abstentions). The IFA Major Championship rules will be amended to incorporate this limitation.
Furthermore, the TC recommended that IFA request organisers of major regattas (ISAF Grade 1 events) to introduce the same limit at their events. (vote: 25 for; 7 against; 1 abstention).
TC had noted that a large number of sails had been manufactured oversize and had been raced in this condition. On TC’s recommendation the meeting voted on the motion that official measurement be required for all Finn sails before they leave the sail loft, if ISAF agrees that this is practicable." (vote: 19 for; 5 against; 7 abstentions).
The VP Sailing’s recommendation that two official IFA signatures be obtained on each sail, and that IFA should maintain a database of such signatures, was not approved (vote: 6 for; 22 against; 4 abstentions).
The meeting rejected the recommendation that IFA request Grade 1 regatta organisers to fully measure each sailor's two sails before racing (vote: 9 for; 22 against; 3 abstentions).
Equipment in General
TC, sailors and others had become concerned at the number of unmeasured or altered items in use at major regattas (other than IFA Major Championships).
In order to try to reduce this, KK had recommended that Official IFA Corrector Weights for Hull and Masts be produced in standard form. His recommendations were voted as follows:
- IFA Official Corrector Weights be produced for hulls (vote: 0 in favour; 26 against; 5 abstentions)
- A central IFA database be maintained for hull corrector weights, stating their weight and position (vote: 0 in favour; 24 against; 8 abstentions).
- IFA Mast Labels be produced and placed under the resin on the mast (stating serial number, weight with and without correction and position of correction). An IFA database would be maintained with this information. (vote: 0 in favour; 29 against; 3 abstentions).
The meeting agreed that Mast builders must ensure that legal masts leave their premises. Masts should be officially measured, if ISAF agrees that this is reasonably practicable. (vote: 26 in favour; 5 against; 2 abstentions).
The recommendation was made that Grade 1 regatta organisers invite a measurer (preferably one with experience of Finn measurement) to their events to make structured spot checks. (vote: 32 in favour; 0 against; 2 abstentions).
TC agreed that other remedies might demand significant alteration to the class rules and agreed that the Chairman should prepare a consultation style paper for FinnFare in the hope that a widely supported course of action could be developed in time for the 1999 AGM.
All sailors were reminded that it is their responsibility to check that their own equipment complied with the class rules before they raced with it.
Manufacturers of the Tactick digital reading compass/timer had requested that we clarify our class rule and if necessary alter it to permit use of their product. The manufacturer of the "Speed Mate Knotmeter" had also requested an alteration to allow this product and possibly electronic wind meters.
TC recommended no relaxation of the present rule (vote: 26 in favour; 0 against; 1 abstention).
It was requested from the floor that some details of the measurement procedure be clarified and promulgated. The TC Chairman agreed to progress this.
IFA Chief Measurer, J¸ri Saraskin, had developed a more practical way to measure the fore-and-aft play at the mast bearings. JS agreed to demonstrate this to sailors at this regatta in order that a vote may be taken at the next AGM to introduce this method into the regular measurement procedure.
a. The Treasurer presented the Summary of the Accounts of 1997 and the meeting approved them. PR thanked PM for his work in preparing the accounts. They will be published in the next edition of FinnFare.
b. PR reported that the Executive Committee were currently preparing a budget for 1999 and this will be put forward for approval at the 1999 AGM in January.
c. The meeting approved that the IFA Accounts will be converted to Euros from 1 January 1999. (vote: 22 in favour; 1 against; 8 abstentions).
5. ELECTION OF MEMBERS TO IFA COMMITTEES
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 approved as follows (vote: 16 in favour; 2 against; 4 abstentions):
Richard Hart (Chairman)
c. The members of the Marketing Committee were unanimously approved as follows:
Marc Blees (Chairman)
d. The Executive Committee recommended that Michele Marchesini be elected as the new IFA Development Coach. The meeting approved this recommendation. (vote: 31 in favour; 0 against; 3 abstentions).
6. IFA CHAMPIONSHIP MANUAL
In accordance with the VP Sailing’s recommendation, the Application Form for IFA Championships and the IFA Championship Manual had been updated to try to improve standards at IFA Championships. Copies of these two documents had been circulated to all National Finn Secretaries.
The Executive Committee recommended that the Manual be amended to include the following:
- The Bond must be paid within one month of the decision.
- Clarify IFA Website in relation to the local organisers website
- Confirm IF rights to footage of the Championship.
- Increase ramp size to 1.5m per every 10 entries.
With the above amendments the Application form and IFA Championship Manual were approved. (vote: 27 in favour; 1 against; 2 abstentions).
7. IFA CHAMPIONSHIPS
PR informed the meeting of the Executive Committee’s recommendations regarding the bid process and they were approved as follows:
- bids should be presented to the AGM two years prior to the proposed dates for the Regatta. This will hopefully reduce the possibility that a host country would lose impetus from approval of their bid to actually hosting the Championship.
- once approved, bidding cities would be requested to sign an agreement with IFA (based on the requirements of the IFA Championship Rules and Manual) and pay the bond within one month of the decision.
- an IFA appointed representative should visit the venue one year prior to the Championship to meet with the organisers and report back to the AGM.
- "Expressions of interest" in hosting future championships beyond two years can be minuted at AGMs.
a. 1999 Finn European Championship
Application forms had been received from Belgium, Estonia and Turkey. Representatives from those countries gave details on their applications and the floor voted for their preferred venue: Belgium: 20 votes; Estonia: 7 votes; Turkey: 6 votes.
The 1999 European Championship will be held in Oostende, Belgium from 5-11 June.
b. 2000 Finn European Championship
Estonia expressed an interest in hosting the 2000 Finn European Championship. They were requested to come forward with further details to the 1999 AGM. Any other countries wishing to host the event will also be considered if their application is returned in due time.
c. 2001 Finn European Championship
Countries wishing to apply for this Championship are requested to submit an application for consideration at the 1999 AGM.
d. 2002 Finn Gold Cup
Bearing in mind the decision that bids would not be considered until two years prior to the Championship, the countries interested in hosting the 2002 Finn Gold Cup were noted as follows: Brazil and Turkey.
PR closed the meeting in order for everyone to attend the Opening Ceremony.
The AGM was reconvened on 17 August. PR welcomed George Andreadis, ISAF Council member and Chairman of the ISAF Sailing Committee and thanked him for his support of the Finn. The Executive Committee was disappointed with the reduced attendance (15 voting representatives).
8. IFA JUNIOR GOLD CUP
PR explained that due to increased participation from juniors it had been proposed that IFA consider introducing a Finn Junior World Championship. As ISAF protect the use of the word "world", the IFA had submitted a request to ISAF to use this word in connection with a Junior event. The Organisers of the 99 Worlds were keen to host the first IFA Junior Gold Cup.
The meeting was reminded that in the past a junior championship had been held separately from the seniors, but this had not been successful. It was generally agreed that we should avoid having 120 boats on the starting line, but currently this was not a problem and it was agreed that the juniors could race together with the Gold Cup fleet (vote: 14 in favour; 1 abstention). The same system as used for the IFA Europeans will be used, including the entry system.
9. CONTROL OF CLASS RULES
A paper was received from Karlo Kuret, Vice President Sailing. This was discussed during the Technical Committee report (see minute 3(f)).
10. SAIL MATERIAL
A letter was received dated 19 June 1998 from the Austrian Finn Association. This was discussed during the Technical Committee report (see minute 3(f)).
11. IFA INCORPORATION
The IFA Executive Committee was authorised to incorporate the International Finn Association once the details have been further investigated. Reasons for doing so are for legal protection of the class against organisers, manufacturers, ISAF, etc.
12. IFA RULES
In order to reflect the revised IFA Membership dues and to keep a reasonable limit on entry fees, it was agreed to amend IFA Championship Rule 6 to read "The entry fee shall not exceed 7 times the current IFA fee....." .
13. ISAF NOVEMBER CONFERENCE
a. It was agreed that PR and SK would attend the ISAF November Meetings on behalf of the IFA.
b. IFA will not be nominating an individual to ISAF this year for the Beppe Croce Trophy. Members were reminded that the IFA may make such a recommendation to ISAF each year. (The Beppe Croce Trophy is presented annually by ISAF to an individual who has made a voluntary outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing).
14. FORMAT OF THE OLYMPIC QUALIFYING REGATTAS
The meeting considered the request from ISAF to all Olympic Classes to "as far as reasonably practical, incorporate the 2000 Olympic Format in their Qualifying Regattas".
It was agreed that the boats have developed in speed sufficiently over the last few years to warrant a review of the Gold Cup format.
It was agreed that the trapezoid course had been developed to accommodate two fleets and fewer boats and therefore wasn’t necessarily appropriate for Gold Cup fleets.
The following decisions were taken:
- retain racing in one fleet Vote: unanimous
- 11 races, 2 per day over 6 days Vote: 13 for; 2 against
- races will be as near as possible to 90 minutes in duration Vote: 13 for; 1 against
- discards if 0-4 races no discard; 5-9 races 1 discard; 10-11 races 2 discards.
- In winds 12 knots or more at the start, the current Gold Cup course (triangle) will be used. The finish will be upwind.
- in winds less than 12 knots at the start, a windward/leeward course will be used, with a short reach to the finish. On the first lap there should be a gate at the bottom mark on the first lap. Vote: 14 for; 1 against
- to retain the Championship Rules regarding shortening of course as they are, ie. the race committee is not given the option of removing legs in light wind. Vote: unanimous
Following a discussion on this decision after the AGM, the Executive Committee agreed to reopen the AGM on 20th August to obtain direct input from this year’s Gold Cup sailors and due to the small attendance at the AGM. 57 sailors attended the second meeting of whom 15 did not want any change to the current Gold Cup format.
It was agreed that the only controversial decision was the lightwind course and so three course options for less than 12 knots of wind were considered and voted for:
* windward/leeward with offset mark (at 50m); reach to finish
(vote: 7 in favour)
* trapezoid course with a true, long reach to the outer loop; reach to finish
(vote: 46 in favour)
* windward/leeward course with an offset mark (at 150m); reach to finish
(vote: 11 in favour)
It was agreed that this format would be tried at the Australian Nationals and at the 1999 Finn Gold Cup. A questionnaire would then be circulated for further discussion at the next AGM.
15. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
(a) 1999 AGM
It was unanimously agreed that the next AGM should be held in Melbourne, on the day before the Practice Race of the 1999 Finn Gold Cup.
(b) IFA Jig
PR informed the meeting that RH is looking into the costs of finding a new jig as the current jigs are not as accurate as needed. Any suggestions would be gratefully received as this will be a big cost to IFA.
(c) 1999 Finn Regatta Dates
National Finn Association representatives were requested to advise SK of 1999 Finn Regatta Dates urgently, so that they can be included in the IFA and ISAF Fixture Lists and, if appropriate, be graded for the ISAF Finn Rankings.
(d) 1999 Finn Gold Cup
All sailors were advised to contact the 99 Worlds Organisers urgently to book accommodation for the 1999 Finn Gold Cup. All the Olympic Classes are holding their world championships at the same time in Melbourne and therefore there is extra pressure on accommodation options.
(e) ISAF Plaque Fees
PM informed the meeting that ISAF had increased the cost of Finn plaques, and therefore IFA was currently making minimal profit on reselling the plaques and rulebooks to boat builders. It was agreed to increase the cost of Finn plaques by £5.00 to a total of £55.00.
There being no further business, PR closed the meeting.
National Finn Association Secretaries
IFA Executive Committee
1998 IFA AGM Minute 3(f) - Method for Development Decisions within the Technical Committee.
The process was described as:
* TC listens to sailors’ ideas and considers also the way ahead for the future;
* TC Chairman receives ideas, proposals and submissions (via the Executive Director), and gives opinions on legality if appropriate after consultation with TC members not commercially involved with the item.
* TC Chairman, after consultation with other members as far as is practicable and appropriate, prepares and presents submissions to Council (AGM).
* The outline of TC submissions to Council is publicised with the Notice of Meeting, although modifications of detail, and matters such as rule clarifications may be submitted later as the result of consultations at the AGM Regatta.
* Council makes decisions at AGM.
* TC Chairman submits desired rule alterations to ISAF in the form prescribed, normally before 1 September.
* An IFA Executive Official (usually the TC Chairman) appears before the ISAF Centreboard Boat Committee at the November meeting to promote the submission and agree any rewording required by the CBC.
Exceptionally, some rule action may be called for more quickly than is practicable under the above procedure.
* Rules may be interpreted by the TC as prescribed under Class Rule 1.4.9. If appropriate, an interpretation may be promulgated as "Case La