Minutes of the 2012 Midwinter General Meeting
International Lightning Class Association
March 15, 2012 – St Petersburg Yacht Club

Call to Order
President Rob Ruhlman called the meeting to order at 6:09 PM.

Roll Call of the Fleets
Secretary John Faus called the roll.  Fleets in attendance:  1, 5, 6, 12, 34, 35, 36, 42, 43, 54, 62, 69, 71, 75, 77, 109, 126, 145, 173, 187, 228, 253, 303, 329, 335, 348, 429, 435, 488, 514, 516, 519, 521
Proxies Held for: 9, 11, 23, 31, 35, 36, 54, 85, 90, 110, 126, 129, 164, 166, 179, 189, 192, 198, 215, 216, 226, 252, 257, 262, 273, 274, 301, 302, 314, 326, 332, 338, 371, 372, 388, 442, 491, 493, 506, 509, 512, 522; Quorum Achieved. 

Minutes from the Last Meeting
Todd Wake made a motion to dispense with reading of the minutes. The motion was seconded by Ryan Ruhlman, and unanimously approved.

Reports of Officers
President’s Report – Rob Ruhlman
President Ruhlman began by thanking our Southern Circuit Co-Chairs, Terry Hamilton and Jo Ann Fisher for organizing these wonderful events. 

Ruhlman continued by summarizing the status of the amendments that were proposed earlier in the day during the Governing Board meeting. The proposal to amend the Document Governing All Sanctioned Lightning Class Championships, Article XI, specific to the North American Championships was passed. The Class now has the option to receive separate bids for the Womens, Master’s and Junior NA Championships and the regular North American Championships. 

A resolution proposed by the Texas District regarding the qualifying series was also passed. This is a temporary resolution that will take effect April 1st and will be in effect for the NA’s in Houston. The major point is if there are 69 or less competitors, there will not be a qualifying series, all sailors will sail in one fleet and the regatta will become a 10 race series. Finally, the proposed re-wording of our recognized Areas was tabled for further development and will be up for vote again at the next meeting in August.  

Ruhlman continued and announced that John Faus was stepping down from the ILCA Fund Committee. Per the ILCA Fund Provision Ruhlman appointed Steve Davis as a new member of that committee. The North American’s Ratio has been set to 1:1 for the NA’s in Houston.  

Treasurers Report – Victor Lobos/John Faus
Treasurer Lobos and Secretary Faus gave an overview of the 2011 Year End Financials. North and South American dues were down from 2010 figures. Europe was up over 100% from 2010 and that is a result of the Finnish Lightning Association and their re-focus on the Class with hosting the Youth Worlds this year. Flashes Advertising was down. Class merchandise and sail royalties were up for the year. Expenses for the most part were all held lower then 2010. Communication Expenses, Regatta Expenses and the Yearbook (two books printed in 2011) line items all saw a slight increase from 2010. Income was down, but we kept expenses down as well and ended up with a Net Income of $5,979.07. Faus reported that he attended the US Sailing Symposium and that the Class is financially stable compared to other Classes. Currently for 2012 we are about 20% down compared to last year’s numbers. Please remember to encourage your Fleet Members to renew their dues.  The 2012 Budget was presented and it includes the return of paper Flashes. A motion was made by Brian Hayes to approve the 2012 Budget as presented, Bill Clausen seconded, and all approved.

Chief Measurer’s report – Bill Clausen
Chief Measurer Clausen thanked Mark Schneider for having the scale re-calibrated. In hoping to stream line the measurement process at certain regattas he is recommending the use of a 1 page measurement control sheet. Clausen is also asking competitors and sail makers to abide by Class Rules and to make sure the numbers on a spinnaker are of a contrasting color to the spinnaker color. 

Secretary’s report – John Faus
Secretary Faus announced that a new Brazilian Fleet, # 524 was ratified earlier today at the Governing Board meeting. The Guará Fleet is scheduled to host the Brazilian National Championship in September 2012.  

Vice Presidents and Committee Reports

Boat Grant – Allen Terhune reported that two teams have been selected for 2012. The first is James Simmons from southern New England area and he will sail out of the Niantic area. Chris Vann will be Team Simmons mentor.  The second team is headed by Taylor Braun from Susquehanna Yacht Club in Pennsylvania and Carol Park will be mentoring that team. The applications were strong this year, but we are looking for more applications to come in.  The committee is looking for donations, sails, covers and as always cash to help pay regatta expenses. We would like to thank Debbie Probst for her past two years on this committee. Please continue to spread the word about this program. 

VP Worlds - David Starck reported that we are in good shape with the organizers for the Youth Worlds in Finland this summer. It is looking like we will have 8-10 Countries participate. It is important to have good representation at this event and Darryl Waskow will be attending as Chief Judge. He has been assisting as the ILCA lesion representative. 

Starck continued to report on the 2013 Worlds in Italy. It is looking like we will have good representation from the US Sailors. The Houston NA’s are the US qualifier. We are looking into various shipping options and the boats should be back before the 2013 NA’s in Cedar Point.  The Buffalo Canoe Club is looking forward to hosting the 2014 Youth Worlds and 2015 World Championships. The 2015 Worlds will most likely take place the end of June, beginning of July. 

North American Championships Clarke Newman began by encouraging the membership to attend. There will be no long tows out to the race course; racing is scheduled to begin each day around 12:30pm. That will leave the mornings to conduct clinics or prepare on your boat. There is plenty of launching facilities and it is a very family friendly area. There are lots of housing options, please check the regatta website.

Josh Goldman reported on the 2013 NA’s that will be held the third week of August at Cedar Point Yacht Club. The committee is shooting for 100 boats. There will be housing available and is a lot to do in the area, minor league base ball, etc. The CT/RI District is really looking forward to hosting the event. 

Southern Circuit Terry Hamilton began by stating we had 46 boats in Savannah, 40 in Miami and here in St Pete. 28 boats are sailing in all three events. We would like to thank our circuit sponsors North Sails, Annapolis Performance Sailing, Gianni Cuccio and JCD Custom Race Parts, Dave Dellenbaugh’s Speed & Smarts, Dieball Sailing and US Sailing. We would also like to thank the Savannah Yacht Club, the Coral Reef Yacht Club and the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for hosting our events. Finally thank you all for coming and participating in our games and activities. 

Southern Circuit Review Committee – Bill Faude, chair of the Southern Circuit Review Committee, stated that back in July of 2011 President Ruhlman requested that a committee be formed to review Southern Circuit (SC) to increase its perceived value and subsequent participation. The committee began by surveying the ILCA Membership and held interviews with current and potential host clubs.  Conclusions from the survey included that by adjusting the current format will result in more participation and defend against defection. Two venues would be most preferred and would possibly equate to less expense. A schedule adjustment is also warranted which could also possibly equate to more racing per day per dollar spent. Our relationship with all current clubs is very strong and they are willing to continue hosting us with or without changes to the current schedule. Faude noted that the full unedited survey results will be posted on the ILCA Website. 

The Committee recommends implementing a revised schedule for 2013, one that will reduce the duration to 9 days from current 11 (5 business days, 2 weekends). It also recommends revising the current format by moving to two venues. The committee suggests too continue to attend all current venues within the first two years and to institute a dependable rotation. It proposes to begin to include Pensacola YC as a new venue in 2015 and to continue to identify other potential venues. Furthermore to schedule a 2 venue circuit that includes at least one of the current 3 venues for the foreseeable future. Faude thanked the committee members, Jody Starck, Bill Cabrall, Ryan Ruhlman, Mark Schneider, Jo Ann Fisher, Terry Hamilton and Secretary Jeffers. He opened the floor to questions. Discussion ensued. President Ruhlman stated that no changes were being considered for 2013. The Executive Committee will take the committee’s recommendation under advisement and will gather further comments upon the publishing of these findings. Please share any additional comments with your District Commodore or any member of the Executive Committee. If any changes are going to be proposed, we would like to address this issue at the August 2012 meetings.

Lightning Labs Todd Wake reported that we had great results from last year. He thanked Nick Turney for his support of the program and noted that he is becoming very sought after. Labs are available for this year. Please contact Todd to make arrangements.

Secretary Jeffers announced that additional written reports were printed on the back side of the agendas that were handed out. They are noted below:
Classic Boats Report - Robert Astrove, VP Classic Boats
Last year we expanded our schedule from one to three events for Wooden Lightning’s and our turnouts were disappointing.  We are regrouping and working harder on participation this year. We are already engaged in planning and promoting an event put on by Wooden Boat Magazine in Rock Hall, Maryland in May.   We will have our annual Wooden Lightning Get Together in Syracuse the first weekend in August, and this year we are going to try to get a Woody fleet together for the Philadelphia Cup at the end of September.  I’m sure we will again have multiple woody’s participating at Delta Lake’s (Central NY) regatta in August.  And we are in the early stages of seeing if we can get some activity started in the Mid West this year or next.

On the organizational front, we have been working with Laura and have recently updated and combined our various email lists, now with over 700 emails of people who currently own, owned, or have expressed interest in a classic Lightning. The Classic Lightning Fleet and its regatta participation is a small part of the equation.   I can tell you I’ve never had so many people contact me who are looking at boats to buy; three initial contacts this week alone.   Activity on our internet discussion board has also accelerated indicating there is a healthy level of restoration activity underway.

Unfinished Business
Secretary Faus reviewed the proposed revision to the Constitution, Article XVIII - Amendments as posted on the ILCA website and mailed to members. The main purpose of these revisions is to condense the amount of notice for all proposed amendments before a scheduled meeting.  With current technology, communication is more immediate to our members and therefore 60 days is no longer needed to get notification out to the membership. By shorting the timeframe it will help us conduct business with only two official meetings per year. It is proposed that 30 days is sufficient and that these revisions take effect immediately. Clarke Newman made a motion to approve the amendment as presented and published. Bill Clausen seconded, motion approved. 

New Business

With the approval of the Executive Committee, Secretary Jeffers announced that the front portion of the Yearbook will begin to be scaled back to allow for a more timely release of the yearbook in the first quarter of each year. These feature type articles/interest stories will now be featured in the Flashes Newsletter. Flashes will move to three full issues, one in the second, third and fourth quarters. Flash Blasts will be e-mailed weekly or as updates accumulate. The 3 yearly issues of Flashes will be available in print and distributed to those that would like to purchase this additional option. Otherwise it will continue to be e-mailed to all members at no cost. This new format will allow Flashes to become more of a feature type publication and regular regatta results can be found on the ILCA website. 

Reaching - Mark Schneider stated that he enjoyed the reaching legs that we experienced earlier in the week in Savannah. Reaching is fun and we should consider bringing it back. Bill Cabrall noted that we should think about this as an option to attract youth/young adults to our Class. 

Todd Wake made a motion to adjourn this meeting at 7:16 pm.  It was seconded, and all were in favor.