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An ISAF "International" windsurfing class
& founder member of the International Windsurfing Association

Organisation/Agenda & Minutes/1997 AGM

MINUTES OF THE  ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

at the FREMANTLE SAILING CLUB, 14th DECEMBER 1997

PRESENT:

Michael Levine, chairman, Luke Rogiers, Wolfgang Dittmann, Andrea Hoepner, Steven Schrier and representatives from 14 Nations.

APOLOGIES

for absence were received from Bruno de Wannemaeker.

MINUTES OF THE LAST AGM

held in Nordeney in 1996 were approved.

Matters arising from the minutes:

The President suggested that Representatives might like to consider suitable new names for the association and forward them to the Secretary. Ceri Williams (UK) asked for a discussion of the 1997 World Championships and the chairman agreed to have a debate after the Honorary Secretary made his report. With a view to the strong feelings felt about the organisation of the Perth World Championships, the chairman decided to move the election to the end of the agenda so that Council members could vote on the record of the present Executive.

PRESIDENT'S AND HON. SECRETARY'S REPORT:

Steven Schrier read the report that he had presented to the ISAF in November. The following subjects were touched on: New ISAF Funboard Racing Rules with PWA Right of Way rules incorporated. The increase in new board registrations over the previous 12 months reflecting the ease in which manufacturers could produce new designs with the current hand laid up techniques from relatively cheap moulds. The introduction of rules to encourage production wave board competition. The increasing use of the Internet for communication compared with Fax and Phone. The move by ISAF to Southampton bringing them close to IFCA's HQ and the co-operative spirit which the ISAF Secretary and his new staff had, made our relations far easier than in the past. The PWA and IFCA continued working closely to promote Funboard style racing and our shared rules. The European championships held in Leba, Poland were a great success for both organisers and racers. 16 Nations took part.

Financial report:

The accounts showed projected drop in assets of some DM10,000 in 1997 compared with a break even situation in 1996. This is basically due to the lack of an IFCA sponsor in 1997. Having committed ourselves to putting $5000 into the 1998 Tarifa event, IFCA must increase its income and the only way is by increasing the subscriptions. The proposal to charge national subs based attendance at European, Wave and Speed events will have the desired effect. We also need more money so that a fee can be paid to the person who takes over Steven's secretarial duties which at present are done on an honorary basis.The net asset balance at the end of 1996 was DM.68592.23 The accounts were approved.

The problems of finding sponsorship was then discussed. The Greek representative stressed the strength of the PWA, IFCA and the ISAF working for Funboarders. In his country, Funboarders were ignored by their national authority. The chairman stated that IFCA is open to any ideas concerning joint working with the PWA.

1997 ISAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS:

The Secretary pointed out that we had been working on this event for two and a half years. It was nearly two years before the contract was signed by the W.Australian government who guaranteed the event. We had made it clear that we thought such a joint class event would be very hard to organise properly. The ISAF had persuaded us that a joint event was in the best interests of windsurfing. Unfortunately, this had proved not to be the case. The Executive were as disappointed as the competitors. With only one IFCA World Championship a year, the event represented a great deal of work. To have it ruined by the Australian organisers was a disaster. On the plus side, the problems had brought ISAF and the International Class Officials closer together.

The Representatives then aired their grievances. Bel Stanley (UK) listed lack of rescue boats which almost resulted in Allison Claydon being sucked into the propellers of the large Jury Boat that was rescuing her. Erratic Starting sequences which confused everyone. Lack of official briefing as covered in the rulebook. No shade on the beach, no (usually) free light lunches, Sponsors beer charged at $6 at opening ceremony, phone cards handed out with not a penny of credit on them, having to go to the outside course day after day instead of alternating with IMCO who were on the inside course. Lack of radio communications. Also mentioned were official travel agents' increased accommodation and travel prices.

The chairman explained that we had sent the organisers our 9 page document detailing how we usually organise events. We also sent our rule book which covers all racing aspects. The Secretary said we had been promised the event would be backed with $500,000. What monies  that were spent, seemed to have gone on promotion and shore facilities. When the event started, it was obvious that expenditure was capped leaving nothing for boats and race equipment. The race team appeared to be amateurs working for nothing, alongside Eventcorp's (organisers) staff earning full wages. A question was asked about Sol's $80,000 contribution. It was explained that Eventcorp simply reduced the amount of government money spent by $80,000 so it made no difference to the money available for the event. The lack of knowledge of the race team was mentioned. ISAF's Paul Bastard was training the team as the event progressed. But he had to spend the first three days on the IMCO course. Problems were caused because the Race Committee had changed our sailing instructions as detailed in the ISAF Funboard Racing Rules. The chairman stated that the executive had done everything to convince the race committee that our conventions should be followed, but they were unable or unwilling to comply. The Executive apologised for failing to protect the competitors. The Polish representative said the meeting did not want to blame the Executive, but, in 21 years of windsurfing, he had never known a worse regatta. How do we prevent this happening again? The contract was discussed. It was not the standard IFCA contract but one prepared by the W.Australian government. The Secretary stated  that he had not wanted to sign it because it was not a definitive document, just full of 'reasonable endeavours' and 'good faith'. But the other parties persuaded us to sign for the good of windsurfing.

Too many organisations were involved in each decision. IFCA,IMCO,IBSA, IWCA, ISAF and EventCorp. The Croatian representative wanted IFCA only to run events where they had been successfully run before. UK asked why were ceremonies either well before or well after event. Andrea Hoepner asked the meeting to stop commenting on the event, and instead concentrate on how to ensure future events went well. The consensus was that IFCA must have control over an event with observers/race officers as well as the usual officials ashore.

1998 AND ONWARDS PROGRAM:

The program was discussed and the fact that we still were looking for a venue for the European Championships. Demark is scheduled to run the World Championships in 2000 but not at Ronbjerg.

MEASUREMENT RULES:

A vote was taken on the rules as agreed with ISAF and all were unanimously approved.

CONSTITUTION RULES:

A proposal to introduce Postal Voting was approved with two abstentions. A proposal to amend rule 10.2 to include an additional National subscription fee of DM50 for IFCA events other than the world championships was approved unanimously.

ISAF/PWA RACING RULES:

Luc Rogiers said the 1997 rules needed amending and correcting. We are negotiating with ISAF to make the changes. Luc pointed out that we get little feedback from associations, but we need their views. The new rulebook will be ready for April. There was some debate about wind maximums for course racing. It was pointed out that being forced to change disciplines in the middle of the day could be a problem if the race team is not ready to do it.  The question of 'course/slalom' events versus 'racing only' was decided in favour of continuing with our two discipline scoring..9 votes for to one vote against.

EQUIPMENT LIMITATION RULES:

Since this was proposed, the PWA has dropped the rule. The meeting had no further interest in the proposal.

PWA/IBSA/IMCO/ISAF MATTERS:

The Secretary reported that fairly regular meetings take place at ISAF and at the PWA office. The IBSA request that IFCA supports a one board class was mentioned.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

Olympics. The Secretary stated that only Denmark had shown some  interest in the Funboard Class applying for Olympic status. He felt ISAF and the IOC did not want a Class that could not race each day at stated times. They would also not approve our equipment rules. As the Olympic Contract hands over complete control of the Class to ISAF, he could not recommend spending time debating the issue. Michael Levine pointed out that the PWA had made a proposal at the 1996 ISAF conference for 'windsurfing' to be a discipline in future Olympics rather than IMCO racing. 

IFCA's name was discussed further. The majority favoured a change but no name was put forward. More discussion with the PWA (who opposed the WWA name) was required.

ELECTION:

Wolfgang Dittmann announced his retirement. A vote of thanks was applauded for Wolfgang's 10 years on the committee including two years as the first IFCA President. Mike Levine, Luc Rogiers, and Steven Schrier indicated their wish to stand for re-election. Although not present, so did Bruno de Wannemaeker. The Executive proposed Ole Klemmensen, chief organiser of the Danish Boardsailing Organisation.

In addition, the old Executive stated their wish to co-opt Andrea Hoepner and Christopher Rappe onto the Executive as Sailors Representatives. There being no further proposals, the Executive was elected unanimously.

The meeting closed at 9.05.  

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