Minutes of the 2010 Midwinter General Meeting
March 18, 2010 - St Petersburg Yacht Club

Call to Order
President Brian Hayes called the meeting to order at 6:04pm.

Roll Call of the Fleets 
Secretary Rob Ruhlman called the roll.  Fleets in attendance:
5, 6, 12, 34, 36, 42, 54, 71, 74, 77, 69, 62, 75, 126, 154, 216, 228, 329, 488, 335, 510, 253, 435, 348, 109, 511, 99, 499
Proxies Held for 326, 35, 192, 189, 515, 129, 329, 405, 126, 5, 510, 74, 274, 3, 180, 303, 388, 435, 511, 509, 50
Quorum achieved.

Minutes of the Last Meeting
Bill Faude made a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes, the motion was seconded.  Motion approved with unanimous consent.

Reports of Officers

President Brian Hayes
President Hayes, welcomed those who are new participants of the Southern Circuit this year, it’s great to see new faces.  President Hayes expressed his thanks to the Executive Committee for their support and hard work.  He acknowledged the concern of our members for the people of Chile who were devastated by the recent earthquake.  They have had their lifestyles turned upside down.  He expects it will take 18 months-2 yrs for them to resume something like a “normal life”.  They have our full support and are in our thoughts and prayers all the time.  President Hayes announced that the 2013 Worlds will be hosted by Italy.  A topic of concern for the ILCA is our Youth World Championships, in order to hold on to this ISAF granted title of “World Championship” we need to have participation from many countries.  The cost for junior teams to travel is an impediment to more participation and our Vice President for Youth World Championships, John Atkins, has asked that we see what can be done to raise funds to help with transportation costs.  So, at the Saturday night banquet we will hold a 50/50 raffle to raise money for junior teams.  We are also looking into a donation of airline mileage to assist some teams.  Please come forward if you have any ideas to help with this need.
This morning the Governing Board granted a new fleet charter to Sydney, Australia, it will be Fleet 519 of the International Lightning Class Association.  The fleet founder is Ian Edwards who will be taking 4 brand new boats to Sydney this year.
President Hayes reported that he and ILCA Secretary Jan Davis have been working hourly on the website issues.  It has taken a huge amount of time over the last few months, and we believe that things are now stabilized and fully operational.  We are constantly working on streamlining the Class office and reducing the costs of operating the class.  The problems with the membership process has negatively impacted our 2010 membership drive, please let people know that our website is up and we need their memberships.  President Hayes is working on delegating responsibility to the rest of the Executive Committee in preparation for his retirement in August.

Treasurer John Faus
Treasurer John Faus stressed that Membership is key this year, please go home to your fleets and encourage membership to keep our operations functioning.  A topic that he feels the membership needs to start discussing and thinking about is the Yearbook expense.  How much value does having the yearbook give the Class and how much time and money do we want to spend producing annual yearbooks.  We may be forced into raising dues if we want to maintain the traditional yearbook.  The Class financial numbers are very tight.  Treasurer Faus reported that this morning the Governing Board approved of asking the ILCA fund for another $10,000 to promote lightning sailing overseas.  The International Fleet Development initiative has been a huge success in supporting our builders and reinvigorating fleets overseas with new boats.  Brad Wagnon made a motion to approve budget as presented, seconded by Dave Werley.  All present approved and the motion passed.

Secretary Robert Ruhlman
Secretary Robert Ruhlman reported that the Class membership numbers are down, as has been explained by Brian and John.  He noted that there are Fleets here that are unpaid.  He reported that this morning we ratified the charter, 519. Rob presented them with a Fleet Charter.  Thanks to the Edwards family!  We all look forward sailing in a Lightning World Championship in Sydney!

Chief Measurer Bill Clausen-
Chief Measurer Clausen reports that measurement at the 2009 North American Championships and 2009 World Championship went smoothly.  Both events had wonderful teams that were trained for measurement.  The process was quick and painless at both venues and he had no complaints from competitors.  On Jan 23 of this year the Class had a Measurement seminar at the Allen Boat Company shop where 6-7 more people received training in Lightning Hill and Spar Measurement.  The ILCA has purchased a new scale for use at events; it is a 2000 # load cell, like the one we borrowed in Vermont from the New England District.  It can operate both off batteries or main power. David Sprague has been representing the ILCA with ISAF for years and is an ISAF International Measurer; Chief Measurer Clausen expressed his thanks to David for his help with the Measurement weekend in Buffalo. 

Vice President’s and Committee Reports
President Hayes reported on behalf of Vice President for US Pan Am Trials James Taylor, James has had a tough job getting the US trials qualification process through US SAILING.  US SAILING is involved with litigation that impacts our Pan Am Trials, and we must wait for the resolution of their case before we can receive their approval for our trials process.  He expects that the dates and events will be published soon.  Aroldo De Rienzo called attention to the fact that 26 countries came to Mexico last month and participated in a regatta Puerto Vallarta, the same venue that will host the Pan American Games.  The event was a huge success.  He also reported that there will be no Pre Pan Am regatta in Mexico. 

VP Youth Worlds John Atkins
President Hayes covered his report above.

VP North American Championships
President Hayes reported that Todd Johnson could not attend the Southern Circuit this year.  Allan Terhune spoke on behalf of the 2010 North American Championship which will be hosted by Toms River Yacht Club in New Jersey.  The WJM will be hosted by Metedeconk River Yacht Club.  The clubs are ready to go, the NA website is live.  Social events are planned on the boardwalk; the Committee has been working hard preparing for this North American Championship.  The qualification ratio will be Ratio 1:4.  Toms River is a 5 minute drive to the beach.  The baseball team will be in town for the week.  You can expect a fairly reliable sea breeze, sailing is typically 12-18kts at that time of year.  We sail mid week so motor boat wakes will not be the problem they were during the ACCs last summer.  Jody Lutz is the head of the WJM organizing committee.  He has been hard at work recruiting Women’s and Juniors’ teams for the event. 
The 2011 NAs will the at North Cape.  More details in August.

VP Southern Circuit Laura Jeffers
Laura Jeffers reported that our numbers for the overall Southern Circuit are down a bit in 2010.  Thank you to those who have helped with the educational opportunities.  David Starck, Skip Dieball in Miami.  Today Greg Fisher and Brian put on a class room Lightning Lab, Allan and Nick were out on the water coaching afterward.  The Lightning Labs have been outstanding this Circuit, it’s great to get a little coaching help along the way.  Laura expressed her thanks to Amy Linton, for her help with the Southern Circuit Blog, 1400 hits to the Scuttlebutt blog so far.  It helps to have other voices on the blog, Laura encouraged everyone to contribute.  On behalf of the ILCA Laura thanked Dieball Sailing for the bow numbers used on the boats for this event.. 

VP Boat Grant Program
Debbie Probst reports that the committee has scaled back the program for 2010 and given out 3 grants.  Chicago, Michigan, & Annapolis teams will receive boats.  The committee has upgraded the equipment and looks forward to having more time to assist each of the grant teams.  Debbie expressed her gratitude to both the Allan Boat Co and Nickels Boat Works for their generous donation of boats for the 2010 program.  As Treasurer John Faus stated, we need the ongoing donations from ILCA members for the Boat Grant Program to continue.  This program has been a huge success in attracting young sailors to the Lightning and has brought a lot of publicity and attention to the Lightning Class.

VP Canada  
Valerie Holly announced that the Canadian Open Championship will take place in Montreal, Canada, the weekend of July 3-4, during the Montreal Jazz Festival.  There will be lots of great activities for all to enjoy.  The hosts will find you lodging if you come and participate.
Class Secretary Jan Davis expressed her gratitude to the Class members who so faithfully donate to the ILCA funds each year.  It is our financial strength that allows the Class volunteers to be so effective in growing the Lightning Class, she reported that we are unique among One-Design Classes in what we are able to do, because of the generous annual support of our members.  Randy Shore agreed noting that other Classes would like to have programs like the boat grant program but are unable to bring together both the financial and volunteer resources for such an undertaking. 

Unfinished Business

Items for vote:

ILCA By Laws
a) Mandatory
i) Ground tackle shall be a fluke-type anchor weighing not less than 1.8 kg (4lbs) with 15.24m (50 feet) of line attached. The line shall be 3/8 inches (9.525mm) in diameter. It shall be made of Nylon or Dacron. Exotic materials or polypropylene are not acceptable. This line is to be a safety line to serve as towing as well as anchoring line. Variation may be made only by specific written permission from the Chief Measurer when local conditions dictate.
President Hayes thanked Chief Measurer Bill Clausen for the work he has done on this proposal.  Upon passing it will be submitted to ISAF for their review and approval.  May 1 it will be in effect.  After a brief discussion Bill Faude moved that the vote be called for.  Secretary Ruhlman called for a show of hands, all in favor except Fleet 71, 74.  Proposal passed.

New Business

Proposed Changes to the ILCA Constitution:

Article XIV Meetings:  This proposal deals with when the Annual Meeting and elections are held.  The proposal has been publicized in Flashes and on website. 
Ian Edwards spoke as a member of the Governing Board, he explained that the constitution requires that that election of officers happen before Sept 1.  The intent of the proposal is to have the official meeting of the Class take place at the World Championships.  Ian feels that additional work needs to be undertaken on this proposal to refine the details this proposal before it is ready for a vote at the Annual General Meeting.  He fully supports the intent behind the proposal but proposes it be tabled at this time; he and others will work out the details of the wording and re-present it in August after further refinement.  The election of officers is a problem.  The Governing Board and Executive Committee support having the voting at the Worlds, the concerns are about the constitution requiring the vote happen before Sept 1.  He will have a revised proposal ready for vote in August.  Ian Edwards made a motion to table this item for a rewrite.  Seconded by Brad Wagnon.  Kip Hamblet expressed his support for the official meeting to take place at the World Championship, he feels it is important to do this, the concept is worthy.  Bill Faude, moved to close discussion.  A verbal vote was taken, representatives of the fleets only, all yes.  No votes, none.

For countries other than the U.S.A., a Vice President should be designated by the Active Members of each country and in addition, Europe and Latin America shall designate a Vice President for Europe and a Vice President for Latin America to represent that country and area in international affairs and to promote organized Lightning Class activity. Continental Vice Presidents can also be country Vice Presidents.
President Hayes opened the item for discussion.  Ian Edwards, recommends it be rewritten also.  This proposal may need further refinement.  Vice Presidents can be appointed now by the President.  This item needs to be voted on at the Worlds were non North American members can participate in the discussion.  After a thorough discussion we can contemplate making changes to the Constitution of the ILCA.  Ian suggested that perhaps it would be wise to have a trial appointment of these Vice Presidential positions and the final work could be undertaken at the World Championship Regatta in Buzio, Brazil.  President Hayes spoke noting that we take any changes to our constitution very seriously.  He asks the Nominating Committee to appoint those positions this year.  We’ll see if this is helpful to the European and South American areas of the ILCA.  The Executive Committee is cautious about changing the Constitution.  Ian Edwards moved that this proposal be tabled, seconded by Jim Davis.  Motion to close discussion by Bill Faude.  A verbal vote was taken, representatives of the fleets only, all yes.  No votes, none.

New Business

President Brian Hayes reported that the International Fleet Development Initiative Committee will make another request to funds from the ILCA Fund Board.  He also reports that the ILCA has made an ISAF submission, regarding election of officers at ISAF, at this time we do not know if it will be on the agenda for their next meeting.  
Allan Terhune, it is upsetting that we have reduced the number of races at this regatta.  He feels the competitors would rather have more races.  President Hayes stated that historically, the Winter Championship was 5 races then it changed to 6 races, to his recollection it was only once 7 races.  President Hayes asked for a poll of participants.  Via show of hands most would prefer 7 races.  The group wants more sailing.  Others spoke out, that they want as many races as possible.  Perhaps we could leave it open ended, so the race committee would then have discretion as to how many races would be held based on conditions.  Karen Parks reported that other events hosted by the St Pete Yacht Club leave the number open, as many races as possible.  Laura Jeffers reminded the group to consider the Masters.  This limitation to the number of races is unique to Lightnings.  President Hayes stated that he thinks 4 races in one day is too much. 
Randy Shore asked for the floor.  As a 3 generation member of the ILCA, he really values the annual Yearbook, the yearbooks record the history of the Class, this is a unique thing about the Lightning Class.  This Class has a lot of history, over 70 years, looking at those pictures, is a piece of our history to share amongst us.  John Faus said we all agree, the problem is the amount of money it costs to produce each year and finding volunteers.  We may need to look at a different form of producing a yearbook, look at the number who purchased a printed yearbook last year.  Getting the volunteers is a huge problem.  Bill Cabrall stated that writing an article this winter for the yearbook was something that he found rewarding.  Class Secretary Jan Davis encouraged anyone who would like to come forward to volunteer, please do.
Bill Faude moved that the meeting be adjourned.  Seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 7:08pm