SUMMARY - Annual General Meeting 2017 of the International Melges 24 Class Association

November 8, 2017 - IM24CA - The International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA) held the 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London on Saturday, November 4th preceded by the Technical Committee Meeting on Friday, November 3rd. The Minutes of the AGM will be published shortly, but this is the summary what was discussed and decided.

Jens Wathne - IM24CA Chairman - representing NOR and CHI with proxies
Miles Quinton - IM24CA Vice Chairman, Europe - representing UK, FIN with proxies 
Duncan Stamper - IM24CA Vice Chairman, Americas - online , representing Krak Arntson, Member US
Tomi Hakola - IM24CA Treasurer -  online 
Michael Good - IM24CA Member Europe - representing SUI and HUN, AUT with proxies 
Kevin Nixon - IM24CA Members Asia Pacific - online, representing AUS with proxy  
Peter Göckel - IM24CA Tech Committee Chairman 
Federico Michetti - IM24CA TEch Committee Member, Melges Europe
Benedek Fluck - IM24CA Championship Coordinator, Europe - online 
John Abel - IM24CA Championship Coordinator, Western Hemisphere/Asia-Pac - online 
Piret Salmistu - IM24CA Administrator and Media Coordinator 
Adam Affleck - representing CAN - online 
Jan Schmidt - IM24CA Tech Committee Member Europe - online, representing GER, SLO with proxies 
Gian Luca Perego - representing ITA with proxy 
Steven Boho - representing US - online

The meeting started with introducing new IM24CA officers and new National Class Administrators: Ken Abbott – Australia, Adam Affleck – Canada, Peter Møller Jakobsen – Denmark, Gisle Bø – Norway, David Pinner – United Kingdom and Travis Weisleder – United States. The introduction was followed by the Chairman’s report from Jens Wathne being in this role for 2+1 years by now. To give an overview of the local activities a class report of United States was introduced by Jens and discussion was held on topics highlighted in their report. Adam Affleck was expressing his concern how to attract full members and get the owners back sailing on Melges 24. Federico Michetti from Melges Europe was also curious how to get this ‘Melges 24 family’-feeling back. It was discussed to run a survey among the members and sailors in early 2018 to get the feedback and ideas.

Financial report 2017 and budget proposal for 2018 was presented by Treasurer Tomi Hakola (online). Discussion was held what can be done about to stop the trend of decline in the numbers: membership, sails etc.  Duncan Stamper initiated the need to create a group of people to reform the membership. Discussion will continue later. The report presented was interim as of October 31. The concerns on the budget were discussed – incomes and expenditures. Federico Michetti mentioned, that commercial side is very important and how to create some income.  The budget presented is proposal and very conservative. It was proposed to accept is as it is. 

Tomi Hakola also was introducing a Marketing and Communications report listing all the media channels what the class uses to be on track according how the world and media is changing. The class has recorded some remarkable statistic numbers during the year being active in a large level of social media and creating footage and coverage as much as possible. Now the new website has become crucial as it’s almost impossible to present videos, photos, social media channels or upload html-files. The process is finally underway.  It was suggested to send out guidelines how National Classes can send the content to IM24CA to be uploaded on IM24CA website or social media. VIDEO and LIVE VIDEO is the content we need the most.

Peter Göckel, Chairman of the Technical Committee was introducing what was discussed at the Tech Comm meeting previous day. Jan Schmidt was reporting on behalf of Europe and Builder’s report from Melges Performance Sailboats was introduced.  Federico mentioned that Southern Spar will shut down their production and Melges is working on the solution, but it might affect the Melges 24 class as well. As there are lots of used boats somewhere available, the refurbishment of the boats was discussed - how to we encourage people to bring the boats to be refitted in Melges? Federico will ask MPS to invite owners to do that via FB, newsletters etc. Pimp My Ride campaign was a great idea before Miami Worlds and it was found as a good idea to do that also in Europe, for example approaching the Europeans 2018 in Riva.

As Peter Göckel has decided to retire since 2018, he was thanked for his 10 years time service in Tech Comm and Exec Comm of IM24CA. 

Peter Göckel and Jens Wathne

Regards the elections there wasn’t any nominations for the post of the Vice Chair Asia/Pacific, new position created at 2015 EGM, new constitution), the post will be vacant until the next elections.

Post of Treasurer was up for election (Tomi Hakola elected 2008, 3 year term, re-elected 2011, Gina Borsa CAN nominated 2013 and lost, term extended 1 year 2014, term extended 1 year 2015, term extended 1 year 2016). The only nominee was Laura Grondin, USA - (click on the link for CV) nominated by Canadian class. Laura was participating the meeting online and had a chance to introduce herself. ‘My objective would be to serve the members in the best possible way,’ she said in her introduction. Steve was asking from Laura how she has been supporting M24 class and she was introducing MudRatz project for youth sailors. Voting was carried out and she was elected as the next IM24CA Treasurer. Tomi was thanked for his long time devotion serving as the Treasurer of the class since 2008. 

Submissions – Proposed Rule Changes
USA 1 - Topic: Class Rule F7 - Running Rigging
Steven Boho was presenting this proposal was pointing out the reason for that proposal. There might be a problem of the swivels instead, as this appears also on M20, Federico Michetti said. Gottifredi Maffioli parts will be tested as they are from newer materials. The problem of Running Rigging will be first tested by couple of pro teams in strong winds. It was agreed unanimously.

The following proposals were discussed together. 
USA 2 - Topic: Class Rule C 2.2. - Weights - No Weight Rule 
USA 3 - Topic: C 2.2. Weights - Owner driver weight rule option
Steven Boho was introducing both proposals. A long discussion was held and it was strongly suggested by CAN and USMCA to deal with the weight rule issue either this or that way. Miles Quinton said that we have heard the point of views of US and CAN, but want to hear also European opinions. He was concerned that to lose weight rule would be fundamental change in the class and we need to canvas it more largely to the membership before doing this. We need to be open to everything but we can’t do crucial changes without investigating all the consequences. It was suggested to ask from the European members their view on that, before to decide as the class needs to adapt with the situation where we are. The class can’t wait with this for a very long time.

Federico was explaining and comparing the weight rule of other classes they are following. ‘I’m totally in favour to ask from every single member their opinion about such important class rule changes,’ he said.

Voting on proposal USA 2 – Topic Weight Rule – pro/against: 22 for change the rule/35 for keeping the rule.
Voting on proposal USA 3 – Topic Owner driver weight rule option: 5 for change the rule/62 for keeping the rule

CAN - Topic: Permanent bow numbers
Duncan Stamper was representing the proposal and description of the system prepared by himself and Krak Arntson. The Permanent Bow Number System was reviewed. It was agreed that there will be downloadable design files available in the class rules and the numbers can be printed by local print houses guaranteeing the material and printing quality. Cost of the Bow Number will be on the owner of the boat. According to the CAN experience the cost of numbers following described requirements, was less than 100USD.
A vote was called and it was voted in favour of rule change - 43 for YES/15 for NO.

Proposed changes to Class Constitution    
CAN - Housekeeping edits to Class Constitution. Duncan Stamper was presenting the housekeeping edits and they were voted to change unanimously. Motion from the floor from the Chairman: Constitution 12.4. l – About the Proxies for AGM, never happens that they will be submitted 3 weeks before. It was proposed to be changed ‘to be submitted before the start of the meeting’. It was unanimously voted in favour of the change.

CAN - Introduction of Roberts Rules of Order to class Constitution. Duncan Stamper was presenting the idea of need for such reference document. In case IM24CA Constitution is not governing the case, it can be referred to the Roberts Rules following that. The idea was supported to have a reference document, although RR is not so familiar in Europe.
A vote was called and there were 47 votes for YES and 11 votes for NO.

Future events, current situation 
2019 Worlds  
There was a discussion about the Worlds 2019 in Travemünde, GER. Two major things: 1) We have asked to give us standalone event, but we were still offered to be part of the Travemünde Week; 2) Class wants to have the location where everybody wants to go. The motion was submitted to add a second location to the possible venues:  Cagliari, ITA. Federico Michetti presented Melges Europe’s idea and support to the event as they have a “golden bridge” today to Cagliari organising there several events and was highlighting very good connections with the local municipalities and ferry companies for the logistics. Containers can be shipped directly to the Cagliari, 5 flights from Milan daily – easy to reach. The place will get a huge boost in coming years as also AC’s Luna Rossa team’s headquarter will be in Cagliari. October would be the best time, not crowded and there are fewer regattas. But at the end of August would be great as well. 2nd or 3rd week of September, having ITA champs before. It was voted to change the location of the Worlds 2019 to Cagliari: 28 for YES/11 for NO. Jan Schmidt representing Germany said he was not aware of the fact that the Worlds in Travemünde were not proposed to be as the stand alone event. Germany will fight for the next events.

2018 Worlds – Victoria, CAN - 
Duncan Stamper gave an overview about the process – report can be read here. 60 is the target for entries – all registered team on entry list are already paid participants to avoid a drop in entry numbers approaching the Worlds. Options for transportation were discussed and Duncan said that team Mikey guys are offering some solutions, but obviously the continent is huge. IM24CA Championship Coordinator John Able was confirming how wonderful place Victoria is and how swimmingly the organization of the Worlds has been going there.  

2018 Europeans – Riva del Garda, ITA 
Piret gave an overview about the process confirming that Riva del Garda and Fraglia Vela Riva is familiar for Melges 24 class and the experience of the club supported by Italian Melges 24 class will guarantee a successful event. Website building is underway, teams have started to book their accommodations and the test event one month before in Torbole is a great chance to test the waters of Garda Lake. On the same weekend, when there will be registration for the Europeans, another test event will be arranged for the final test. To meet the interest of US teams, Bill Goldsberry has offered his know-how and knowledge how to ship the boats to Riva and there might be also other contacts who can help with the logistics from US etc. Class will help to publish and promote these options.  

Future Events, proposals & decisions 
2019 North AmericansUSA/Fairhope - intention to bid ; USA/New Orleans - Intention to bid 
The decision would be made within USMCA later this year.  

2020 WorldsUSA/Charleston - Intention to bid - Letter of Intention 
Steven Boho said that Charleston is the frontrunner of US and awesome proposal was submitted by US Melges 24 Regatta Management and Randy Draftz. Steve and John were confirming the start of the process shortly, but everything looks good about this plan. Jens was commenting his experience racing at the CRW and ensuring it’s an awesome place and great leadership by Randy.  USMCA is confident having Randy Draftz running CRW for 20 years, the Worlds will be a success. John Able had also high confidence in Randy and his ability to create a wonderful event. The rights to organize the Worlds 2020 were dedicated to Charleston.  

2020 EuropeansITA intention to bid –  SLO letter of interest ; SLO submission 
Portoroz and Slovenia has been proving its high level of organisation and hospitality for several times being the first event of the European Sailing Series for four times already. There’s no doubt about their abilities to host a high standard event there, just proposed dates are concerning as too close to the Worlds in Charleston. Portoroz will be asked to propose another time for the event and the final decision will be made in 2018 AGM with more information available.

2021 Worlds ITA intention to bid 
The proposals will be discussed in 2018 AGM with more information and bids available.  

Any Other Business 
Proposed IM24CA Regatta Regulations and Championship Rules were presented and reviewed - Championship Rules ; Event Management regulations 
Jens was introducing what was done by the group led by Arto Kiiski (FIN), John Able (CAN), Benedek Fluck (HUN), Mike Turner (CAN), Randy Draftz (US) and was thanking them for their job and commitment. John was commenting the job done by the group and how the process was carried. Amended documents were approved by the AGM and AGM members were content that the future amendments to the ‘living document’ can be made by the Executive Committee.

Some follow-ups:  

* E-mail address lists from the NCA’s are expected to be sent to Piret for the future communications.
* Membership survey
* Membership reform - the work group will be created to create ideas and start the process
* Commercial group – the work group will be created to work on ideas how to make the class more attractive and to use the commercial chances what class has.

The timing and venue of 2018 AGM was discussed. The timing will be one week later as Nov 9&10, 2018. Venue options: suggested by Antonio Cardona Espin in Palma de Mallorca, ESP & suggested by Jens in Bergen, NOR. Will be decided at the latest in August 2018.

More and detailed information available in the Minutes of the AGM.