Annual General Meeting of the International Finn Association, Vallensbæk, 3 July 2009
Annual General Meeting of the International Finn Association, Vallensbæk, 3 July 2009
The 2009 International Finn Association AGM was held at Vallensbæk Sailing Club, Denmark on Friday 3 July. The President opened the meeting at 18.00
1. National Class Associations
22 countries were voting; representing a total of 30 votes (including the executive members), out of a possible 49.
2. Minutes from the last meeting
The minutes of the 2008 AGM were approved.
Treasurer's report was presented to the meeting. The Treasurer proposed a EUR 4 increase to EUR 24. The meeting proposed to increase subscriptions to EUR 25. The 2008 Accounts and Budget to 2012 (.xls file) were approved. The motion to increase subs to EUR 25 was approved.
The Executive Committee presented their reports. (see attached)
(iv) Vice President Masters
In addition, it was noted that Dan Slater had been re-appointed as the Finn Class Representative on the ISAF Athlete's Commission. He mentioned the topics currently under discussion and requested that all comments should be directed through him.
Henk de Jaeger, representing the Vice-President – Masters Fons vans Gent, reported on the overwhelming success of the 2009 Masters which attracted 264 entries as well as on how the Dutch Masters have been encouraging Junior development in Holland.
4. Election of Members.
All members of the Executive, Marketing and Technical Committee were re-elected with the addition of Alain Bugeaud to the Technical committee.
6. IFA Championships
6a Presentations were received from Falmouth, UK, Scarlino, Italy and Moscow Sailing School, Russia.
2011 Finn Silver Cup will be at Moscow, Russia in August
2012 Finn Gold Cup will be in Falmouth UK in early May
2012 Finn Europeans will be in Scarlino, Italy. Proposed dates were 16-24 March, though the EC will look into holding it after Falmouth to give time to get boats back from the 2011 FGC in Perth Australia
6b Zach Railey updated the meeting on the 2010 Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco, USA
The event will be at the St Francis YC and sailing in the 'Triangle' (Alcatraz, Bay Bridge and Treasure Island). Assistance will be available in shipping boats either after Kiel or to the Miami OCR. It was recommended to ship boats to the East Coast and send to SF by rail. The Silver Cup will precede the FGC and about 25 boats are hoped to be arranged for use by Junior in the FGC and by Juniors and developing nations in the FGC. Proposed start dates are 18 August for FSC and 29 August for FGC.
6c It was proposed to add EUR 50 to the entry fee for FGC to be used for TV coverage of the event. The meeting was not in favour of this proposal and asked EC to find future venues which provide free media coverage or other ways to generate revenues to cover TV coverage expenses.
This year had been quiet for FIDes programme though a request was made for old gear to be donated by sailors to be given to developing nations, many of who still use Vanguards and metal masts.
7b Soup to Nuts – No report had been received from Gus Miller. However the VP Development will brief the EC after getting in touch with Gus Miller
8. Technical committee
8a Richard Hart presented his report (see attachment)
8b No changes were proposed, though some cleaning up of words may be required over the next year
8c The submission regarding equipment building development control was widely discussed. The meeting agreed with the wording of the proposal but requested the EC to come back with a more detailed proposal by the 2010 AGM regarding guidelines according to which the commission will take its decisions. The Chairman of the Technical committee, presented views from some members of the TC who had reservations about the proposal including any effective way to control it. The meeting then voted in favour (29 for, 4 abstentions) to establish an Olympic Gear Commission. Sailors were encouraged to provide input into this over the coming year.
8d. An additional item to the agenda was proposed by Gasper Vincec who requested changes to the free pumping rule to make judging more consistent. He proposed to reduce the wind limit to 8/10 knots and perhaps remove the elastic JC strap or limit sail trimming through the floor block before free pumping is allowed. The meeting agreed to experiments at regattas and for further thought during the coming year. The wind limit reduction for free pumping could be tested as early as the 209 Europeans in Varna.
9. Olympic selection campaign
The Executive Director updated the meeting on last year's successful meetings in Madrid where the Finn was selected for the 2012 OG in Weymouth and stressed that the challenges ahead were likely to be the toughest yet. The ED encouraged all sailors to maintain contact with their Council reps and promote the Finn.
The meeting closed at 21.50
PRESIDENT’S REPORT FOR THE 2009 AGM OF THE INTERNATIONAL FINN ASSOCIATION
3 July 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
In my President’s letters published frequently in Finnfare over the year you are regularly updated on the events of the Finn Class and the international Olympic sailing scene. Therefore in the present report I would just summarize my overall thoughts on what we have done in the past year since the 2008 AGM at Scarlino and what is ahead of us in the near future.
1. The Finn Class of today
Previous years have shown that the Finn class is getting stronger than ever in terms of number of sailors as well as represented countries and continents in all age categories.
At our major championships the class today has a very solid international senior fleet of 80-100 entries from around 30 countries per event, an increasing junior fleet (around 40 sailors at the Silver Cup in Balaton) and an formidable Masters fleet comprising of almost 270 sailors at this year’s Masters Worlds in France.
In the new Olympic cycle came along with many new faces who have joined or re-joined the international Finn scene. The Finn has been a natural pathway for ex Laser sailors and this year also shows how these to Olympic classes complement each other.
Similar developments can be identified at both national and continental levels as well. If you have a look at the country news chapter of the last editions of Finnfare, you find a long list of national Finn events sailed by a large number of sailors in all age categories.
Last but not least, we celebrate this year the 60th anniversary of our beloved class and the celebration will be held in true Finn style holding a regatta in Uppsala where the Fibb was born in 1949.
2. The Finn and the Olympics, Event Selection for London 2012
Competition among classes for Olympic spots is these days as tense as ever. ISAF might be planning a reform of Olympic sailing events by increasing the number of women events and high performance boats while achieving a larger number of participating countries. There is currently an intense debate on the reform of not only the selection of Olympic classes, but also on the reform of ISAF and its decision making processes.
Our main task for the near future is to show ISAF and the wider sailing world that the need for a one person man heavyweight dinghy event is even larger than in the past. The 2008 ISAF AGM was held last November in Madrid. Thanks to a well run, effective and fair campaign the Finn class has managed to keep the heavyweight men’s single handed event for the 2012 London Olympics. Besides the IFA Executive Committee’s work the presence of active and former Finn has contributed enormously to our success in Madrid.
The Finn International Development Support is a project aiming to help young sailors and new countries to join or rejoin the international Finn fleet and overcome the first hurdles by offering free of charge or discounted equipment. Partly as a result of this initiative I can proudly report that Cyprus, India and Venezuela have received support and transformed it into Olympic quotas in Beijing.
The Finn Class has three main assets in my view: (i) the sailors, (ii) the boat and (iii) the Finn community being a close symbiosis of present and past sailing talent.
Finn sailors are true heroes sailing in one of the most tactical and at the same time athletic sailing boat of the present time. On the other hand there is a huge amount of fraternity, sportsmanship and fun involved in the life of our class. These are all values which if presented on the right way all contribute to a growing media interest in the Finn Class.
You might have noted that our media releases have more than ever focused on the sailors’ voice because personalities and the own stories of great sailors are those things which really appeal to the public.
The Finn Channel on YouTube and the 60th Anniversary Photo Book are our two new novelties for 2009.
5. Major Finn Championship venues
In an endeavour based on a fairly direct and understandable request from Finn sailors attending the AGMs at Kalmar 2005 and Split 2006, the IFA Executive decided to become more pro-active in the course of finding suitable sailing venues for forthcoming major Finn championships. In this manner has been Copenhagen proposed and decided for this year’s and San Francisco for next year’s Gold Cup. Not less importantly we have received valuable bids for the 2012 Gold Cup, 2012 Europeans and 2011 Silver Cup.
Wishing you a great regatta and fair winds.
Dr. Balazs Hajdu
International Finn Association
Championships and format of racing
At the 2008 AGM in Scarlino, the courses and number of races sailed on the IFA Championships were on the agenda. The meeting decided to have 2 races each day except on the last racing day when one race is sailed. All the details about the decisions on format of racing on the IFA Championships can be read in the meeting papers for the 2008 AGM. This new format of racing will be used at the 2009 FGC.
The number of Finn sailors under the age of 22 is increasing and the IFA Silver Cup has become a success. The recommendation of the juniors is that the Silver Cup is held every year. This would help to make the Class even more attractive for juniors.
During the ISAF meeting in Madrid John Craig, competition manager at Saint Francis Yacht Club, was informing the IFA represents about the venue for the 2010 FGC. It promises to be a great event. IFA will follow up the preparations and post the details on the website. Dates for the Championship were proposed to be in late August with the Silver Cup prior to the Gold Cup.
Interpretations of the RRS 42 are often discussed among sailors. During the past year the Class have had a number of meetings between sailors and International Judges where the RRS 42 has been discussed and explained. This has been very valuable to get fair and good competition on our Championships. A special thanks to the judges who helped the Class in this issue.
Furthermore it’s important that the Class continues to work with the best Int. judges on our Championships to secure the high level of judging and fair racing.
An extended Championship Manual has been composed by our President, the 2008 edition Championship Manual. This will help organizers in the future to improve the level of race management even further.
Daniel Birgmark, VP Sailing
VP Development Report:
This has been a very busy year with a lot of different ideas being implemented with the Finn Class Development program. One of the largest positives is the number of Junior sailors who are starting in the class with a good number of them becoming very competitive in short time.
At the beginning of the year there were a few major areas that the Development Program wanted to focus on:
1. National Finn Development program tested in the USA
2. GPS and Video Tracking System
3. Fides and getting equipment donated for use
4. Soup to nuts finalized and produced
5. Cost effectiveness of the class (especially for new sailors)
GPS and Video Tracking System:
This was researched through a number of different companies and after a lot of work and consideration a full "class" tracking system was just not cost effective. Both in the purchase of the programs and the needed upkeep and running of the programs at events.
Given the fact that all the SWC events were having GPS tracking and were contracted out, we felt that we should focus our attention on the video portion of the system. We have on-board camera footage and are going to look this coming year at having them at each medal race of SWC events in 2010. This will be in coordination with the media teams at each SWC Event. Again, cost and logistics could be a barrier here. We will work to see about options.
Also, the biggest step forward in this was the start of the You Tube Finn Channel which has been very successful. Michele was a huge help in getting this started and ISAF recently contacted the Finn Class in starting their own You Tube Channel for the SWC Events. This was a huge step in showing that the Finn Class is forward thinking in getting sailing out to the larger audiences around the World.
Stats for the Channel so far are:
In six months we had 20,000 hits, 98 subscribers and 78 videos loaded, from National Championships, to masters, to World Cup and Olympic Regattas.
We will work to continue looking at options to increase our expansion in this area in the coming years.
We need your help!!! Plain and simple we have many sailors in the class that are looking for equipment to use that can be donated to the class to distribute. We will be working this coming year in making contacts in the Master Fleet to help us find more equipment for sailors to use.
For the 2010 Worlds we are working with the large masters fleet in the USA to have available boats for sailors interested in sailing the Silver Cup in 2010 or the FGC 2010. Our goal is to have 25 boats available for sailors to use for free or a very low charter fee. These charters will be on an as needed basis, with emphasis given to sailors who cannot attend the event without the use of a boat already present at the venue.
Also, our junior fleet is expanding at a very fast rate and we are looking to get a system developed for them to register with the International Class and let us know of their desire to compete on the international sailing circuit. We will then be able to coordinate with other sailors that could offer a boat for use at events, with the intention being class building so we would look for free use or a small charter fee. We will be working on collecting information this coming winter, but will rely on all of you to help get these sailors boats to use at events (if available)
Soup to Nuts:
Expecting update from Gus Miller
Cost of Class and Gear Development:
There is a submission being put forward that details an Olympic Gear Commission. This is aimed and keeping Development cost within reason so that all sailors have access to the ability of purchasing the best gear at a fair price. We find it very important, on the development side, that the costs remain affordable to any sailor and that the emphasis is on the sport and not solely on the technological challenge.
Pilot Program in the USA:
This year (2009) the USA Finn Class headed a program to get more junior sailors involved in the Finn Class. At our USA AGM, the class voted to allocate $5,000 USD to buy a boat to be class owned. We then put out a set application deadline for anyone under the age of 21 to apply to use the boat. Other criteria we took into consideration:
3. location of hometown
4. desire to race internationally
5. support from family, yc, sponsor etc.
6. past results and boats sailed
The goal of the program was to increase the number of Junior sailors in the class, by giving them a cheap entry level into the Finn Class. We selected Caleb Paine, from San Diego, California as the sailor for 2009. Caleb was given the Finn we purchased with USA Class money and he has now competed in many of the national regattas. He has also been at Kiel with a top 20 finish and is currently here racing at the FGC.
Overall, this program has been very successful and we will continue this program next year in the USA. At the end of this year, Caleb will be required to get his own equipment and another sailor will be selected for 2010.
This was also a great help to the entire Finn Class as the sailor selected must pay a fee of $2500 and this money is saved and used only for Finn Class clinics put on by high level coaches at the National and North American Championship free of charge to any NA Finn Class Member.
The goal of the Developmental committee is to seek 5 additional nations to introduce the same program in 2010 for their home countries. We will need a volunteer to help with this from these countries and we have put together a preliminary list of 5 countries we believe could introduce this program:
If other nations are interested please contact us directly, but we do want to make sure that the resources are available and that there is a committed person to help run the program in the country. So we are looking for volunteers to help support this effort in presenting it to your National Association and moving forward from there. All the details and information from our Pilot Year in the USA will be used to help facilitate a smooth transition. Now all we need is volunteers to help!!!
Thank you all very much!!
Before I start I have a couple of apologies to make. First I have to apologise for not being present. The date of the FGC this year meant that it was simply impossible for me to attend. Second, I have tried really hard over the last few weeks and months to try to redraft the 2006, 2007 and 2008 accounts on a credit as opposed to a cash basis. It was hoped that this would have evened out some of the fluctuations that skewed the Profit and Loss in 2006 and 2007. Unfortunately, this has proved to require a much more fundamental re-working of the way the accounts are prepared than I had originally envisaged. However hard I tried, and I tried, I simply could not get the numbers to balance. The situation was not helped by the fact that some of the people that Invoice us are very careless with the dates that they put on their invoices. I have been speaking to Corinne and we will transition to Credit based accounting gradually, starting in 2009. I have been through the Invoices for 2008 and there are very few that are dated 2007 or 2009 so I am happy that this will not significantly impact the four year budget that I have prepared.
Looking at 2008 then and comparing it with 2007 our major outgoings are;
Payroll is up €3748 – this is because Corinne didn’t draw some of her salary in 2007.
ISAF Meetings is up €2428. This reflects the costs associated with lobbying hard to retain our Olympic status so clearly, money well spent!
Regatta Expenses have increased by €1822.
Revenue dropped markedly in 2008 although it is still up on the 2006 level. This I think reflects the four year Olympic cycle and has been built into the future budget prediction. In 2007 we sold lots of masts and sails and boats as sailors desperately scrambled to qualify for the Olympics. Once each country has selected its sailor the pool of competitors buying lots of gear reduces. The few that are left spend more but that doesn’t make up the shortfall. Advertising revenue is also down and I think this is perhaps a reflection of the start of the economic downturn that has hit Western economies so hard in the last 18 months.
Talking of the economic downturn, the major line item on the Profit and Loss for this year is Foreign Exchange (FOREX). We have made a nominal loss of €11588 because we hold savings in GBP and we account in Euros. This is purely an accounting anomaly so I have included a FOREX adjusted P&L line in the enclosed account summary. I think we can ignore the FOREX losses for the moment on the basis that what went down is currently going back up. Forex is known as trading, you can learn about forex and forex brokers from here. Visit forex and binary options website to learn about trading forex and brokers. I will of course, keep this under review but there is no danger of us running out of working capital just yet.
When you look at the P&L with the FOREX losses removed however you still see a loss every year which is unsustainable long term. In 2008 there is a €4400 loss which is slightly up on 2007. We have lost money in each of the last three years and this is starting to eat into our capital base. There is no option I believe but to increase the membership fees. I have prepared a 4 year budget looking ahead until 2012. This is based on the historical records for the last three years along with what we can predict based on the nature of the Olympic Cycle. The minimum level of fees required to support this budget in a capital neutral way is 24 Euros. This is a rise of 4 Euros from the current level of 20 Euros.
The major line items in the budget for 09/10/11 and 12 alongside Payroll are Development, ISAF Meetings and FinnFare expenses. These I have maintained at a high level simply because I believe they are vital to sustaining our position as THE Olympic Single Hander for normal sized sailors. Simply put we need to expand our reach by developing the class in nations across all five continents, then we need to go and tell people we are doing it by lobbying at conferences and finally we need to produce a world class publication to sell the achievements of our sailors.
I am of course happy to be guided by the class and it’s executive on the level of the membership fee but if we do not increase it then we will inevitably have to start making some cutbacks in the services that we can provide to developing nations and sailors and our ability to represent ourselves on the world stage.
Finally I’d like to thank Corinne and Paul McKenzie for the hard work that they have both done to help me prepare the accounts this year and I look forward to seeing you all on the water soon.
Technical Committee Chairman’s Report for July 2009 (main points)
* Measurement and Equipment Inspection at the Olympic Regatta and at recent regattas have shown no special problems apart from difficulties caused by a shortage of normal measurers in some countries. We have tried to address this issue.
* What is noteworthy is the huge effort that the class as a whole has made to deal with the weight reduction and re-swinging process. Well done everybody!
* After a long process Jüri Saraskin has had new Templates and Swing Hooks made.
2008 - 2009 Rule changes
* Last year AGM approved and directed a raft of changes, the most significant of which related to the permitted use of digital compasses and a simultaneous weight reduction.
* The Class Rules Sub Committee were concerned about whether we could muster the measurement resources to re-swing the boats. A rule has been included to allow some boats to update without re-swinging. This is only likely to be suitable for some older boats.
* Our submission that, where an MNA will not appoint or recognise measurers for our class, then IFA may do so was rejected. No alternative solution has been offered.
* The submission to replace the 'Q' (with race committee options) with 'O' as the pumping flag led to three rewrites.
* The need for a mandatory paddle has been deleted with a new paragraph inserted making it optional.
* The hand bailer or bucket is still required on hulls not fitted with a double bottom (i.e. pre-1974), and is optional for the rest of us.
* On 15 May (2009) I received approval, and finalised the new versions of our Rules, Measurement Form and Certificate.
* Several measurers requested and helped to develop a standard 'reweighing' attachment for the Certificate. It¹s on the ISAF website.
Changes for 2009 2010
* Some minor editorial tidying is needed.
* Discussion with TC whether we should tighten the hull specification regarding 'additional stiffening' which 'may be of any material'.
* As ever, we need to keep the costs of our equipment under review.
As usual, I have received valuable support, input and commentary from the members of TC, and from manufacturers. Some do not reply to messages often, but their membership is valuable because they may give valuable input when they have special knowledge.
I should like to propose the TC as last year with the welcome addition of Alain Bujeaud Robert Carlen, Rodney Cobb, John Driscoll, Guillaume Florent, Jan van der Horst, David Howlett, Gilbert Lamboley, Lawrence Lemieux, Walter Mai, August Miller, Miklós Németh, Jüri Saraskin, Tim Tavinor, Clifton Webb.