2012 AGM Notes – Friday, September 21st, 2012

  • Meeting called to order at 9:15am by American Section VP JB Turney
  • President’s Report:

    JB Turney read the below President’s Report in Drew Buttner’s absence:

After 4 years trying to steer this ship, it is time that I give up the helm. I have tried my best over the two terms I served as president to both maintain the high level of excellence that this class is known for, and to make the class more beneficial to younger and less experienced teams. I’d like to think that I have done some good things, but all I can say for certain is that I have been honest and dedicated during my time. However, my ability to be dedicated has been challenged recently. I do not feel that I can give the required effort to this position any longer. It is time for some new excitement and some fresh ideas. I know that the next president will continue the tradition that so many before me had established.

Our class continues to maintain both its strong reputation and its list of age old problems. I am proud to say that I did not screw up the first (at least I hope that is the case!), but disappointed that I could not solve any of the second.

We have a great boat and a group of people that race at the highest level while at the same time have fun and enjoy the sport. Our class will continue to prosper as folks grow out of 470s, age out of skiffs, or need to challenge themselves in the sport. The 505 offers things that no other class does, and this will hopefully ensure our survival as the sport transitions over the next 20 years.

I feel that our biggest threat within the sport is the multi-hull explosion. The growth of the F-18 class is worth notice. But to be honest, the 505 is cheaper, easier to travel with, and able to sail in more conditions, while at the same time delivering challenging racing and the thrill that is high performance sailing. These are qualities that we need to promote and make sure are known throughout the community.

However, our biggest challenge continues to be the cost and availability of used boats. I can no longer count the number of great people that have gotten a taste of the boat and wanted more, but couldn’t find a suitable used boat to get them going. Either there aren’t any boats available as current owners can’t afford to sell, or potential buyers don’t know about those boats that are for sale, or the available used boats are too expensive or too out of date. This is not an easy problem to solve. I feel bad that I am part of the problem.

My first challenge for the class for the next two years is to implement a GREAT used boat portal. This needs to be front and center on the Tank Talk page. It needs to be up to date and monitored. It needs to have the information that buyers want.

My second challenge for the class is to find a way to help those members that support their local fleets but rarely travel to events. These individuals are just as important to our success and often are some of the most interesting and fun friends that we have. However it is often tough for them to understand the new “cool” changes that are developed at the top of the class and they often spend way too much time and money trying to implement. I think that the creation of a strong set of tutorials that targets those at the fleet level would go a long way toward keeping our friends on the water and not in the garage. We have a substantial amount of class funds that we might want to consider using for this purpose.

I am sorry that I could not be with everyone in San Francisco this week. Know that it pains me to sit in my office knowing that my friends are racing at the best venue in the world. I trust that everyone is having a great time and I look forward to seeing everyone in the near future.

Thank you,

Drew Buttner

  • Secretary/Treasurer’s Report:

    JB Turney reported on behalf of Macy Nelson that the American Section’s finances remain in good shape and that we have approximately $20,000 in funds after paying our international dues

  • Regional Reports:
  • Region II (Southeast) Report provided by Henry Amthor:
    • There’s been a little bit of growth in Florida and Ethan/Lin in St. Petersburg with Fleet 15 and Augie in Miami continuing to promote the class locally
    • Good progressions to the schedule with events moving from Florida to North Carolina to Virginia in the spring
    • SSA Fleet 40 remains a local fleet focused on club racing
    • West River Fleet 19 has shrunk, but remains active
  • Region I (Northeast) Report provided by Ted Ferrarone:
    • Numbers at AYC and Larchmont (Fleet 9) are down a little bit, but some good, young guys have gotten into the class
    • Ted emphasized that it’s really important to have a good schedule with sufficient space between the events
  • Region VI (Northwest) Report provided by Paul von Grey:
    • The Northwest has generally seen a large decrease in sailing across all classes
    • 505 activity in Seattle’s Fleet 23 has shrunk from 10 active boats to 2 active boats
    • Paul noted that’s important to keep up communication at the local level
  • Region III (Great Lakes) Report provided by Stephen Long:
    • In Chicago, the local Laser and V15 fleets remain strong and Stephen believes if there is to be any 505 growth, it will come from sailors moving out of these classes
  • Region V (Southwest) Report provided by Aaron Ross:
    • 2012 has been a good year on the West Coast aided by a very well thought out schedule that leaves time between events
    • Season started with good PCC’s early in the year in San Diego
      • San Diego fleet remains locally focused, but some active local sailing
    • Some growth in the class as new boats have come into the fleet and existing members carefully turn their boats over to new owners who want to be active in the class
  • Election of American Section President
    • Having served two terms, Drew Buttner would was not seeking re-election
    • JB Turney called for nomination for President
      • Ted Conrads was nominated and a vote was called which passed unanimously
  • Election of American Section Information Officer
    • Mike Renda is not seeking re-election as the Information Officer
    • JB Turney asked for nominations for Information Officer
      • Craig Thompson (in absentia) was the only nomination
    • The vote passed and Craig Thompson was named as the Information Officer for the American Section
  • 2013 North American Championship
    • Update was provided by JB Turney in Jeff Boyd’s absence:
    • There will be a $2,000 travel grant for West Coast teams
    • Preliminary details are for the event to be held from August 7th-11th at Kingston Yacht Club in Ontario, Canada.
    • Measurement will be held on Wednesday, August 7th
    • Racing will be held Thursday, August 8th-Sunday, August 11th
    • The racing area will be right off of the KYC break wall in Lake Ontario
    • Ross Cameron has been retained as the Race Committee Chairman
  • 2014 North American Championship
    • JB Turney opened the meeting to proposal for a venue for the 2014 NA’s
    • Doug Hagan voiced a proposal for holding the event on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, possibly on Kaneohe Bay out of Kaneohe Yacht Club
      • Doug cannot act as chairman for the event so another chairman will have to be found
    • Concern was voiced over the cost and attendance for this proposal
      • It was suggested that there be a “drop-dead” date ahead of the event where teams would have to place a non-refundable deposit on their entry and there would need to be 20 registered teams by the date to move ahead with the event
      • Could corporate sponsorship help defray the cost of the event?
      • Likely timeframe is June-August to capture best trade winds
      • Mike Holt said that the event could easily be held at Santa Cruz Yacht Club if there are not enough boats interested in Oahu
  • New Business:
  • Worlds Travel Grant
    • JB Turney read the below proposal for the Worlds Travel Grant submitted by Macy Nelson:

Any US Sailing funding for a world championship grant for the American Section of the 5o5 class shall be divided equally between the two highest finishing American boats at the North American Championship closest in time, and prior to, the world championship. The American Section shall allocate the grant money in accordance with the following principles:

  1. Any recipient of the grant must attend the world championship before receiving the grant.
  2. If only one member of a qualifying team goes to the world championship, that member gets his team’s entire share of the grant.
  3. If members of a qualifying team sail separate boats at the next worlds, the team members shall equally share their combined portion of the grant.
  4. The American Section understands that US Sailing has expressed an objection to awarding the grant to a Category __ [pro] sailor. The American Section disagrees with the rationale of this position. A few professional sailors compete in the 5o5 class and we want to encourage their participation. Therefore, the American Section will work with US Sailing to modify its position regarding professional sailors. If US Sailing declines to modify its position, the American Section shall seek permission from US Sailing to give the grant to the professional sailor’s amateur teammate in accordance with the following principle: If one member of a qualifying team is a Category __ [amateur] and the other is a Category __ [pro] sailor, the Category __ [amateur] member receives his team’s entire share of the grant.

Example: At the 2012 NA’s, Ryan C. sails with Stuart P and wins. Tyler M. sails with Geoff E. and is second. Howie sails with Rob W. and is third. Mike H. sails with Carl S. and is fourth. Ryan and Stuart cannot go to Barbados. Tyler and Geoff will go to Barbados. Tyler gets the entire first grant because Geoff is a Category __ [pro] sailor. Howard and Rob W. will go to Barbados in separate boats. They split the second grant. Mike H. and Carl S. will sail together in Barbados and receive no grant.

-Macy Nelson

    • A vote was called on submitting Macy’s proposal to US Sailing and passed unanimously
  • Upcoming World Championships update provided by International Class President Pip Pearson
    • 2013 Barbados
    • 2014 Germany (Kiel)
    • 2015 South Africa
    • 2016 Possibly UK – proposals to be submitted at Barbados Worlds
    • 2017 TBD – proposals to be submitted at Barbados Worlds
      • Pip mentioned that by 2016 it will have been seven years since the last US Worlds at St. Francis and the group may be ready to come back to the US
      • Those present agreed it is the East Coast’s turn to host the Worlds though West Coast venues would be happy to have it
  • North American Travel grants:
    • Everyone supports continuing the travel grants for the North American Championship
      • Given that numbers can fluctuate from year to year, a majority believed that the class officers should act with discretion when determining and distributing the grants
  • Moving class membership online
    • What is the cost to the AS of the membership mailing done by Macy?
    • Will we lose members by going online?
      • If the marginal cost of the mailing is less than the fee of one member that we might lose, then the majority opinion was to not do it?
      • Should we have both methods?
  • What does the membership get out of the dues?
    • Paul von Grey mentioned that the class used to pay and distribute stickers
    • What would it cost to get a PR person to produce press releases at our major events? PCC’s, ECC’s and NA’s
    • Ted Conrads suggested that the AS could support clinics on each coast early in the season
      • The clinics would focus on improving fleet wide skills and on introducing new, targeted sailors to the class
      • The regional coordinators have been asked to come up with initial plans and proposed budgets for these clinics
  • The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 am