BFA AGM Minutes 2017

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    Minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting
    Held at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club on Saturday September 23rd 2017

    The meeting commenced at 18:15

    John Heyes; Steve Sampson; Peter McCoy; Joe Stocker; Callum Dixon; Jon Tweedle; Mike DeCourcey; Howard Sellars; Will Patten; Fred van Arkel; Andy Denison; Richard Phillips; Tim Newton; Cameron Tweedle; Martin Hughes; Simon Percival, Sander Kooj: Peter Vinton; Julian Smith; Cy Grisley; Simon Green: Hector Simpson; James Skulczuk; Robert Deaves; Mark Petty- Major; Alex Atkins; James Cole; Richard Sharp; Jack Arnell; Peter Blick;

    Rory Barnes, Steve Hayles; Graeme McDonald; Ray New

    Minutes of the 2016 meeting:
    The minutes were agreed by the meeting; proposed by CY Grisley and Seconded by Tim Simpson

    Matters Arising:
    All matters arising were on the agenda.

    Election of Officers:
    The following officers
    i. Chairman – John Heyes
    ii. Secretary – Martin Hughes
    iii. Treasurer – Ray New
    iv. Membership Secretary – Steve Sampson standing down to be replaced by Richard Philips
    v. Masters Rep – Vacant
    vi. Registrations Secretary – Rory Barnes
    vii. Media Officer – Steve Hayles
    viii. Classic Rep – Peter Vinton

    Chairman’s Report:
    The Chairman thanked the team at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club for organising the 2017 National championships, and identified a number of notable achievements in 2017
    . 2017 has been another important year in the continued development of Finn sailing in the UK. Since the last AGM we have seen Giles Scott win his first Gold Medal for Team GB and maintain Britain’s dominance in the class at the Rio 2016 Games.
    • Giles was presented with an original artwork celebrating his achievement in Rio when he joined competitors at the Warsash open.

    • Our GAC Pindar U23 squad has made major strides forward under coach James Hadden and been well organised and looked after by Ray New. The lads have all been exemplary in their attitude and approach to the training and have been a pleasure to sail against on the UK circuit. Their continued improvement can only spur on the rest of us who can hopefully learn from their technique
    • Thanks to GAC PIndar who supplied not only kit but also sponsored a couple of the training camps and to the parents who funded much of they training and a particular thank you to Peter Dixon who drove the 6 boats to both Kiel and Hungary and back.
    • The lads mainly finished mid-fleet, a marked step up from their first year at the Silver cup and congratulations to Henry Wetherell of the British sailing team for a very creditable 4th and Hector Simpson in 9th position in the very tricky and light conditions of Lake Balaton.
    • The success of the U 23 squad has not gone unnoticed and we now have a waiting list of young sailors wishing to join.
    • PR and promotion of not just the U23 training but all our events is vital to the continued growth of the UK Finn class. It is important we publicise all activities year round. In this age of social media it is important that reports and results are published online and on social media as soon as the event has finished to maximise coverage.
    • Steve Sampson was thanked for the huge amount of work he has done as Membership Secretary and getting the Webcollect system up and running. Richard Phillips has kindly offered to step into the breech and I hope you will all give him your support in the elections to follow.
    • The Finn World Masters has again dominated the season. However, it did impact the UK season and limited the number of events we were able schedule in the middle of the season. It also saw a number of sailors move into the class just to race in Barbados but I hope we do manage to persuade them to stay and that there is more to Finn sailing than holidays in glamorous resorts.
    • We are aware of a sudden 100% hike in insurance premiums, mainly from the RYA’s preferred insurer Bishops Skinner. After discussions with the RYA, Bishops Skinner and other insurers we have managed to cap the increase to 30% this year and find an alternative company in GW Direct who are keen to work with then class and offer a deal to members for the coming year.
    • I would like to thank all Committee for the huge amount of work they put in behind the scenes to maintain our class at the forefront of both Olympic and UK sailing.
    • The Chairman proposed that the BFA should honour Giles Scott for his achievements in Rio by making him an Honorary member of the BFA – this was unanimously accepted by the meeting.


    • 2017 saw the highest total membership now at 152 members an increase of 9 on the previous year.
    • Sixty eight members have paid their 2017 subscriptions by Webcollect of which 53 members paid by the 1st of march. As most members have now registered on the system all their future subscription payments will be very much easier.
    • Members are reminded to pay their subscription at the turn of the year. It was accepted at the 2016 AGM that from 2017 onwards the BFA will require that all members with a PSN to pay their Annual Membership Subscription by the 1st of MARCH. And we are pleased that most members have adhered to this AGM vote.
    • The IFA no longer issue stickers, in future so the BFA will provide BFA members hip stickers to all paid up full members. If members have more than one active boat they can apply for additional stickers for their own use.
    • David Ludgate manages the PSN’s. PSN’s are only valid whilst the member pays membership subscriptions for the whole period of the PSN. Failure to pay membership subscriptions (with normal notice) will lapse the PSN entitlement and the number will be offered on the website for another paid up member. .
    • Please take your PSN numbers off sails if you sell them so that the purchaser cannot use your PSN number in future.

    Marketing and communications
    • The Chairman emphasised the importance of using the media as effectively as we can to promote Finn sailing. He requested that Clubs hosting events should ensure reports are written promptly and where possible supported with pictures, and made available for social media and Yachts and Yachting by the Tuesday morning following an event.
    • Jon Tweedle – raised appoint about the impracticability of members accessing and adding comments to the BFA Facebook site Action JH To investigate
    • The lack of use of the forum for discussion was also debated with a request that it is made more mobile phone friendly and is easier to access. Action JH To investigate

    Classic Fleet
    Peter Vinton reported
    • Disappointingly the Classic Finn activity has declined in the past few years due to its success in introducing sailors to the Finn who then upgrade to a more modern boat.
    • There are still several classic Finn sailors who sail with the CVRDA who are reluctant to sail at BFA events, citing the level of competition, windward leeward courses and sea venues as the reasons.
    • Can we reinvigorate a forum section for Classic Finns? The old classic Finn website used to get quite a lot of correspondence and since this hasn’t been available interest has.
    • Can we re-instate the Classic Finn nationals at a CVRDA event? We used to hold a separate Classic Finn Nationals and there’s been some differences of opinion as to whether this should be awarded at a BFA event or a CVRDA event. I’m happy with either but the consensus among classic sailors is that it’s more appropriate at a CVRDA event, the most popular being Roadford. The holding of this event did attract up to a dozen Finns in the past, and as many of these haven’t transferred to the BFA events I think it’s better to run it as a separate event.

    New boat registrations

    Rory Barnes reported through the Secretary
    • Anyone who purchases a boat, new or second-hand must inform Rory to register the boat with him.
    • Latest sail number is GBR780
    • 13 new boat registrations since the last AGM, of which 9 were new boats with 3 re-registrations from boats brought in from abroad and 1 Devoti that had never previously been registered.

    U23 Squad
    The Chairman reported Ray New manages the U23 squad following in conception at the 2015 BFA AGM. There are currently 6 sailors in the squad but several others who are pushing for a place.
    • James Hadden now coaches the squad. He has successfully established the fleet at home and internationally providing good links to funded RYA squad system
    • Funding remains the main problem. The BFA support has been good but more external funding is required, all the work in 2017 was self-funded.

    Treasurer’s report
    Martin Hughes reported on behalf of Ray New that
    • The BFA are in a financially strong position with prudent financial management in previous years enabling us to support U23 activities and grow the class.
    • Explained the increase in turnover was due to the BFA holding money for the Masters going to Barbados to pay entry fees and to hold payment for the containers.
    • A small increase in reserves is predicted at the end of 2017 due to prudent event management and increased numbers attending events.
    • PSN is second to membership in bringing in income – but affiliation fees to IFA and RYA along with insurance continue to be the main outgoings. The IFA have increased their affiliation fee and along with decrease in the value of the GB Pound this has hit us hard this year and will in the future.
    • The sale of boats and equipment on the BFA forum was not producing income at the rate of sales – too many members are not paying the fees due when they sell equipment.
    A copy of the accounts was provided at the meeting – there were no questions from the meeting.
    The accounts were accepted unanimously by the membership, and Ray was thanked for doing a great job again.

    Masters report
    The Chairman reported the UK Masters Championship was still awaited in October in Warsash and a healthy entry is expected.
    • WFM in Barbados 2017 was a windy but hot success for most but the entry was much reduced
    • Allen Burrell was best placed GBR boat.
    • Andy Denison continues as WFM president
    • 2018 WFM in El Balis in Spain is likely to attract a big entry – The accommodation is sparse near to the event site and camper van locations on the seafront will book up fast.
    • Ray New announced last year he would stand down as UK masters representative at the end of the 2016 but nobody has stood to replace him.

    The Secretary reported that
    • Rory Barnes, in his role as chairman of the IFA technical committee had resigned and Australian Paul Mackenzie had taken up the role at the IFA AGM.
    • The secretary reported he is concerned the IFA do not sufficiently involve the National Class Associations in making decisions and changes to the Finn Class rules – a case in point was the lack of information available to inform NCA about the technical content of the AGM at the Gold Cup. He urged all members to closely follow the IFA website especially as an EAGM is likely to take place at the Europeans in 2018

    Events in 2017
    • The Secretary provided copies of a draft 2018 calendar, The membership thanked Martin for his tireless work in pulling together a varied and interesting programme of event in the UK with minimal clashes for those sailors who were venturing abroad.
    • It was agreed that guidance notes for clubs hosting BFA events would be provided to ensure sufficient safety cover and critical data collection was done in a manner that reflected the international status of the Finn Class.

    Future Events
    • 2018 National Championships at Mengeham Rythe SC June 29 – July 01
    • 2019 – not decided but trying to get Royal Torbay YC – in Torquay
    • 2020 – Hayling Island Sailing club have asked us back

    • There had not been any written submissions for AOB – nothing was forthcoming from the membership at the meeting.

    • The meeting closed at 19:07

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