Minutes of the 2012 Annual Meeting
International Lightning Class Association
August 7, 2012 – Houston Yacht Club, Shoreacres, TX

Call to Order
The Annual Meeting was called to order by President Rob Ruhlman at 9:08 AM

Roll Call by Secretary John Faus.  In Attendance: Fleet 5, 9, 12, 34, 35, 36, 50, 69, 75, 109, 126, 135, 187, 196, 266, 318, 329, 335, 429, 435, 488, 501, 509, 510, 511, 514, 519 and 521.  With proxy ballots received or designated, quorum achieved.

Reading of the Minutes from the last meeting
Ian Edwards made a motion to dispense with reading of the minutes seconded by Bill Cabrall and unanimously approved.

Reports of Officers
President’s Report – Rob Ruhlman
President Ruhlman started off by thanking Ian & Lindy Edwards, Clarke Newman, the entire Texas District and the Houston Yacht Club for organizing a great North Americans. Those that stayed home are missing out, we have had great sailing and the hospitality has been incredible. Ruhlman continued and summarized the two rulings that were approved earlier this week during the Governing Board (GB) Meeting. First, the GB approved an amendment to the Document Governing All Sanctioned Lightning Class Championships specific to the Articles Governing All Lightning Class World Championships. This amendment is in response to our world-wide growth. It will allow for Counties with active Lightning activity such as Australia and Nigeria to officially qualify for the World Championships. The second amendment that passed was a temporary amendment to the Document Governing All Sanctioned Lightning Class Championships specific to the Articles Governing All Lightning Class World Championships. Specific to the 2013 Worlds in Italy, when allocating unused slots these slots may be granted to any Country even if it means that particular Country will make up more than 50% of the fleet. The Executive Committee feels that this temporary amendment based on the participation at previous World Championships and the economic conditions in some Countries will aid in a successful event in Italy.

In addition Ruhlman announced that the Lightning is included on the recommended Class Participation List for the next Pan American Games to be held in Toronto, 2016. The Lightning also has been chosen as the boat for the 2013 US Sailing Champion of Championships Regatta to be held on Lake Murray, SC. Over the next few months I am sure we will be needing assistance from our nearby Fleets to assist with this regatta. Thank you for your corporation in advance.

Treasurers Report – Victor Lobos
Treasurer Lobos gave an overview of the 2012 Financials year to date. North American dues continue to trend down from 2011 figures by about 26%. Europe is slightly up compared to 2011, again because of the strong Finnish Fleets and also a good showing at the Europeans that were held in Switzerland. South American dues are down, however these figures should increase over the next few months as the South American sailing season is just getting underway.  Fleet dues are down about 14%. Class merchandise is slightly below last year's numbers as are sail royalties. Royalties are a bit unpredictable and are somewhat cyclical in nature due to our World Championships being held every other year. Expenses are being closely watched and held to or under budget. To date we are reporting a net ordinary income of $8,505.56. Please remember to encourage your Fleet Members to renew their dues.  New strategies are being worked on to increase membership including the possibility of automatic membership renewals. Finally a balance sheet has been provided, as you can see the Class is in a healthy position.

Chief Measurer’s report – Bill Clausen
Chief Measurer Clausen began by thanking Clarke Newman and his entire volunteer measurement team for putting together a seamless measurement process here at the NA's. Newman and his team went as far as putting together a how to measurement booklet that will be able to be used in future regattas. He continued by thanking Ian Edwards for putting together the sail measurement and safety teams. The entire Houston group has done an excellent job! Clausen continued stating that most of the calls and emails he receives are from Wooden Boat owners. There is a lot of interest in our older boats! He concluded by restating that spinnaker numbers must be of contrasting color to the sail. Dark numbers on a dark blue spinnaker will not be permitted.

Secretary’s report – John Faus                                        
Secretary Faus began by reviewing current member numbers which echoed Lobos' treasurer’s report. Memberships are down about 25% in North America and steady in Europe (however Countries outside of Finland are slightly down). South American memberships are also down, but should see an increase by year end.
Secretary Faus continued by presenting an updated publication schedule. This schedule will be published on the website and will help the Class communicate with members. This schedule includes a new feature called Flash Blasts that will be e-mailed to members on the 1st and 15th of each month. Recent regatta results and announcements will be included in these Blasts. Content deadline for these monthly emails are 3 days before the 1st and 15th of each month. The printed Flashes are returning. The first issue will be printed in September (Sept 3rd content deadline) and then another issue in November (Nov 5th content deadline). The first printed issue will be mailed to all current members, skippers from the previous 2 years and anyone who has ever made a contribution to the Class. We hope to engage these Lightning enthusiasts in the Class once again. The 2013 Yearbook content deadline is December 17, 2012. The 2013 Yearbook covers events and activities from 2012. Please be sure someone in your Fleet is responsible for your Fleet Report!

Vice Presidents and Committee Reports

VP Worlds – David Starck was unable to attend the meeting but his comments from the GB meeting earlier this week were read. He started off by thanking the Class members for the great response we got from the 9 Countries that sent junior competitors to the Youth Worlds that took place in Finland the end of July. In total there were 18 out of a possible 20 competitors. Special recognition goes to Erik Hartman and the entire Finnish Lightning Class for organizing the regatta. It was a tremendous effort and they did a great job. Thank you also goes out to Darryl Waskow who traveled over to Finland and served as the Chief Judge. Starck mentioned that the next Youth Worlds in 2014 will be held at the Buffalo Canoe Club. Ian Jones has attended the past two Youth Worlds and is in the process of putting together a template for the Youth Worlds. This template will be used for the 2014 event and others in the future. The ILCA Fund contributed funds to 3 teams to help them with travel expenses. These teams would not have been able to compete without this type of support. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the ILCA Fund.

President Ruhlman continued to report on the 2013 Worlds in Italy. At this point things are going well. There is a lot of demand to qualify for the Worlds. The Class will be well represented at the Worlds and that includes a class representative on the race committee boat. Rob stated he and Abby will be visiting the area in October and will meet with the organizing committee. Shipping from North America will most likely take place immediately after the Southern Circuit from New Jersey with the possibility of a container or two from Houston or St Pete.

North American’s Report – Clarke Newman began by thanking Ian & Lindy Edwards and the entire team at the Houston Yacht Club for hosting a great regatta. He also thanked competitors for coming and credited Paul & Sabra Francis for an excellent job in organizing the regatta. 55 boats are registered and Sabra has found housing for over 70 competitors!

Josh Goldman reported that planning for the 2013 NA’s is really in great shape. The dates are a week later next year, August 14-17th for the Women’s, Juniors and Master’s at Nyack Boat Club in New York and August 17-23rd for the regular NA’s at Cedar Point Yacht in Connecticut. Club Dick Thackaberry has signed on as the PRO and the committee has already set up a great deal for lodging at the Doubletree for $89/night. There is also some housing available with club members if teams sign up early. The website for the regatta is up, www.2013nas.com.

President Ruhlman announced that the EC has met and has awarded the 2014 North American Championships to the Sheboygan Yacht Club/Sheboygan Sailing Center. Sheboygan representative Todd Wake stated that the Club, Sailing Center and local Fleet are very excited to host the regatta. The NA’s have been in Sheboygan in 1976 and again in 2005. The Sheboygan Sailing Center is an Olympic training facility and has all new docks, 4 hoists and many safety boats. The facility can host as many boats as possible. There are 2 new hotels right near the club and there is plenty to do for the entire family, water parks, etc. This regatta will be the US qualifier for the 2015 World Championships that will be held at the Buffalo Canoe Club. To check out the location ahead of time visit us at the Brotz Regatta this fall.

Southern Circuit - Terry Hamilton thanked everyone for participating in 2012 and announced that we will be visiting our regular three venues March 9-17, 2013. We will be holding a logo contest again for this year's regatta logo. There are a lot of fun ideas being developed in the planning process. One idea that is being considered is a celebration in conjunction with the Classes 75th Anniversary. This celebration will most likely take place on Saturday evening in St Pete and all of the past presidents will be invited.

Lightning Labs – Todd Wake reported that we held a few educational labs this year. We started with nightly round table discussions during the Southern Circuit. Nick Turney conducted a lab at Southern Yacht Club over Memorial Day Weekend. Here at the NA’s we have had a few talks, Jay Lutz on local conditions and separate crew and skipper round table discussions. These types of casual discussions are very easy to do at your own regattas. Find the team that did well that day and gather everyone around the beer cooler. There is a lot to learn from our fellow competitors. If anyone is interested in hosting a Lightning Lab please contact the incoming VP George Sipel. Secretary Faus thanked Todd for his work with the Lightning Labs.

Charters ratified or revoked and Unfinished Business
None at this time.

New Business

Southern Circuit Proposal
- As Chair of the Southern Circuit Review Committee (SCRC) Bill Faude reviewed the actions of the committee. The SCRC was tasked to investigate the Southern Circuit. They surveyed skippers, had good participation, analyzed the results and come to the conclusion that overall people desired less travel time, more sailing and less days off of work. In response to these findings the EC is proposing a one year trial of a condensed circuit in 2014 at two venues (Coral Reef YC and St. Petersburg YC) that will allow for more sailing (Sunday-Saturday) and a better perceived value. Rob Ruhlman made a motion to approve the 1 year trial proposal as presented and formally posted on the ILCA website, Clarke Newman seconded.  All approved, with 2 proxy votes opposed.  Motion carries.

NA Championship Resolution - Clarke Newman advised the group that the resolution passed in March 2012 regarding the Document Governing All Sanctioned Lightning Class Championships, Articles Which Apply to the North American Championship, specifically Article XIII-Racing Conditions, sections A - Divisions And Qualifying Series and B - Final Series Scoring will expire on March 31, 2013 and the original language shall, again, be in force. It is in the best interest of the ILCA, to evaluate this trial format and include this topic on the agenda for our March meeting. This was noted by Secretary Faus.

2012-2013 Slate of New Officers – Past President Steve Davis represented the Nominating Committee and presented the 2012-2013 slate of new officers as posted on the ILCA Website. There was a nomination from the floor to add Gustavo Tamayo to the slate in the vacant VP of Colombia position. A motion was made by Clarke Newman to accept the slate as presented including the nomination from the floor. Bill Cabrall seconded. All approved, with 1 proxy vote opposed.  Motion carries.

President-elect John Faus thanked President Rob Ruhlman for his dedication to the Class and efforts as Class President over the past two years.  Ruhlman stated that he is lucky for his lifetime involvement in the Class and thanks the class members for making this the best one-design class! President-elect Faus also took this time to announce that Bill Fastiggi will be transitioning into a new roll on the Governing Board as VP District Commodore Liaison. Justin Coplan is new to the GB and will take over Fastiggi’s former position as VP Special Projects – Boat Grant. It will be great to have two past recipients (Coplan & Brown) taking charge of this special program. Two Past Presidents will shift into new rolls, Steve Davis as VP of Area Championships and Rob Ruhlman as VP Advisory Committee. Mark Schneider joins the GB as VP of International Logistics and Tom Allen IV joins the board as VP of Technical aspects. George Sipel joins the GB as VP Special Projects – Lightning Labs and Josh Goldman comes on as VP NA Championships. A special thank goes out to Carol Ewing and Todd Johnson for their dedication to the Class and service on the GB. As they will be rolling off the GB they will still be very involved with the Class.

75th Anniversary Celebrations - Executive Secretary Laura Jeffers reported that 2013 marks the 75th Anniversary of the ILCA. In honor of this milestone the Class is planning multiple celebrations throughout the year. The first party will be kicked off by the Chileans at midnight on January 1st during their National Championship which concludes on New Year's Eve. Other parties will take place during the Southern Circuit in Florida, the Worlds in Italy, the North Americans in Connecticut and possibly during the South Americans. In addition special merchandise will be available in the Class Store. We are asking the membership for personal articles, photos and stories on what the Lightning and or the Class means to them. These will be published during the year in the printed Flashes or monthly Flash Blast Emails to help us celebrate 75 years of Lightning sailing. We are also looking for design ideas for the 75th Anniversary logo.

Bill Clausen made a motion to adjourn this meeting.  It was seconded by Bill Cabrall. President-elect Faus adjourned the meeting at 9:51am.