UK 14 Association AGM 2017

19 Sep UK 14 Association AGM 2017

UK International 14 Association
Annual General Meeting, August 29th 2017 at 6pm
Held at Rock WS&SC. Approximately 40 members were present

1. Minutes of previous meeting July 2016
No minutes were available for review. The current Chair, Andy FitzGerald explained that administration of the Association had struggled after the 2016 Carnac Worlds with a lapse in leadership following the resignation of Graeme Oliver and the appointment of Andy FitzGerald in January 2017. The Committee has been restructured to rectify this.

2. Treasurer’s report
2.1 Statement of funds
Andrew Penman reported that income was c £2,500 for financial year 2017, and fixed annual costs such as RYA and ISAF (WSF) levies, Strawberry Marketing, website etc were c £1,500. There was an exceptional cost of c £2,000 to subsidise POW because of low numbers and the lack of a sponsor leading to a deficit for the financial year. There are reserves of c £6,000, so there are funds to cover the deficit however this is clearly not a sustainable position.

2.2 Annual Membership subscription charges for 2018
The Chair stated that it had been previously agreed to raise membership subs, but had not been implemented. He proposed that the Boat Owner category should be raised from £50 which had been the charge for at least the last 20 years to £100 from 30th March 2018 when subs became due, with other membership categories remaining at current rates. Extra income would mean the class can subsidise POW if no sponsor is found, and could do more, for example, have a photographer here at POW, do more marketing etc.
He also suggested that Association membership would be checked at Open Meetings, starting at Easter Tray on 1st April 2018.
Members discussed these proposals. Other classes like Merlins and Fireballs charge less c £30 pa, but for both helm and crew. There was concern that the higher charge could put new owners off, but this was offset by a suggestion to reduce the first POW entry fee by £100 for new Boat Owners, and market this discount actively to encourage attendance. Action – The new boat owners’ discount would be discussed by the Committee, and the other types of membership reviewed as the membership categories and voting rights may not be appropriate any more.
The meeting voted by a majority to adopt the basic increase proposals stated above for March 2018 subscriptions. The Chair also asked that the Committee review how and where we reconcile who was a member.

3. Chairman’s statement
3.1 Thanks to the committee
The Chair thanked outgoing committee members especially Chris Watson for his organisation of POW, and Tom and Izzy Watkins for the Dinghy Show and marketing/social media support respectively over several years.
He also welcomed new Committee Members and thanked them for stepping up i.e. Harvey Hillary as the new Sailing Secretary, Caroline Gosford Class Secretary, Mark Tait Measurer, and Hugh Maclean Dinghy Show. Andy Penman is continuing as Treasurer, Luke Boughton on Social, Dan Holman has rejoined the Committee together with Fleet captains Ed FitzGerald and Andy Partington, Kimball Morrison will continue the great job of looking after trophies and Rich Dobson is likewise continuing with website/IT.
There is a vacancy for Media/Gossip Editor, and Neale Jones volunteered to co-ordinate event reports from major events during the year. The system of pre-nominating someone different to write the race report each day here at Rock was working well.
The Club to Class system that is being used at Itchenor to enable members to communicate and display results such as the POW results this week is beta test software, and is being upgraded to suit class needs.

4. Committee for election
Hon Chairman – Andy FitzGerald
Hon Secretary – Caroline Gosford
Hon Sailing Sec – Harvey Hillary
Hon Treasurer – Andy Penman
Class Measurer – Mark Tait
Media/Gossip Editor – Vacant
Social – Luke Boughton
Hugh Maclean – Dinghy exhibition
Dan Holman
Club Class captains
Trophies – Kimball Morrison
IT and website management Rich Dobson
The meeting voted to accept all Committee members as listed above.

5. San Francisco Worlds 2018
5.1 Worlds Information
The Chair confirmed the Team Worlds starts on 11th August 2018 and the last race of the regatta is on 25th August. These dates will go onto the website – action Committee. Without promoting the event fully, there are around 17 UK boats intending to go, with another 4 undecided. This is a great news story and needs promoting – action Committee.

5.2 Containering
Containers can take maximum 11 + 9 at a squeeze, so over 20 boats means another container. The estimated cost at this stage based on 18 boats is £1,355 per boat including insurance of £15,000 per boat. This is to load and unload at Oceanair in Selsey or similar. The route is sailed south via Panama Canal which is slower and takes longer than East coast and truck across; this route would add c £1,000 per boat.
As always, getting the boats into containers costs money; the transport to Oceanair, lift to floor and pick up 2 hours later costs £600. It was suggested that loading at Peters and May facility at Hedge End facility is investigated as this might save cost and is central for everyone – action Andy F.
There are the normal containering “rules” to ensure a quick and efficient pack up: each box needs a lead person, each boat brings 2 people, wheels and cradles must easily come off trollies, rigging and if possible spreaders off masts, may be space for spare masts. Containering is scheduled for Saturday 23rd June which leaves one week contingency. It was queried if this is sufficient given the issues suffered last time when they were delayed and had to be trucked across incurring increased costs, but it was also pointed out that the season is already very short. It is proposed to collect a non-returnable deposit of £500 on 1st October to reserve places. All information, and answers to questions raised will be circulated – action Committee.

6. Future of the Class
Facilitating a new boat programme and ensuring our survival as a top flight class is the greatest challenge for the fleet, and one that the Committee is focusing on. The class needs a builder and a better flow of new boats to generate a second hand market. The boats are essentially bespoke items, and standardising some equipment like rudders and stocks for example would make them more attractive to builders. The Committee has started to look at this issue and will report back progress in due course.

7. Venue for 2018 POW Championship
Harvey Hillary explained that the remit was for a 4 day championship in May with lower entry fees than recently incurred. He has approached 5 smaller clubs and had strong positive interest from 4, with the Committee making the final decision after feedback from this meeting. The front runner at this stage is Exe SC at Exmouth, also Looe and Paignton. Exmouth has a dinghy racing pedigree and the clubhouse had recently been refitted, and Phil Morrison would be PRO. The club offers great value for money, launching is from club ramps with a sail out into the bay. Looe is another nice club with sheltered beach launching and parking, but abit further away from the club, and Paignton would be on village green with a beach launch into Torbay. Targeting a May Bank Holiday weekend to reduce leave required to one day, either sailing Friday, Sat, Sun and Mon or Saturday, Sun, Mon, Tues. The members preferred the latter as all time off would be in one week. The late May Bank Holiday (24-27th) is half term which would make it more expensive for accommodation, and it also clashes with the Hayling Island Whitsun Regatta, so early BH (3-6th) was preferred. There was a request for POW Race to be outside the weekend to avoid clashes with other events. Measuring could be shelved as all boats are already measured, with spot checks as required. Roger Gilbert commented that Exe SC was the nicest club he’d been to, the sail out could be quite tidal, and launching needed care for foils. Looe is a real open sea wave venue. A Committee member would visit Exe SC and report back.
Action: The Committee will agree the venue and date and confirm as soon as possible.

8. European Championships 2019
Flensburg was proposed for the next European Championships by the German fleet at Garda. It is near the Danish border and the German fleet had recently had a good event there. It is sheltered and seemed a popular venue, and it was agreed that the UK fleet support this proposal. Action: Committee to write to German fleet to confirm support and request dates are finalised and shared as soon as possible.

9. Any Other Business
9.1 Mainsail Rule
At the Garda Europeans, there was an informal debate between the class members present from UK, Germany, Australia and US about allowing a second mainsail at International regattas which came from the Aussies – current International regatta rules only allow one to be registered for that regatta. There was no clear conclusion reached at Garda.
The meeting discussed whether having a smaller main could raise the sailing level of the fleet in breeze at little or no cost using a cut-down main, also potentially having the option to use an older main on big days to preserve the “good” sail. Current rules allow zips and stumping which can equally achieve this. It was suggested that the UK could stimulate this activity to assess if it would be beneficial.

9.2 I14 Clothing
Teeshirts are available from Simona for £20

9.3 Growing the Fleet
It was asked if the Committee is looking at growth of the fleet after Dan’s useful SWOT diagram. The Chair responded that it is their Number 1 priority.

9.4 POW racing format
It was requested that the format of racing for POW week was reviewed to standardise on 2 races a day except POW, and the Chair responded that the Committee would discuss this.

9.5 Regatta weeks
It was suggested that sailors with young families could join a big summer handicap week with a beach venue such as Abersoch or Chichester Harbour Week.

9.6 Open Meeting Programme
It was suggested that more travelling Open Meetings should be programmed in future years as they help support new and growing fleets and the Chair responded that the Committee would discuss this. The Itchenor fleet is willing to travel, but the issue is that more fleet centres are needed.

The meeting closed at 7pm

Mins prepared by Caroline Gosford.

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