2020 Owners Minutes

SATURDAY 14TH MARCH 2020 at 10.30AM

Present: Vice Commodore, Nigel Tullett, Rear Commodore, Nick Aubrey,
Class Captain, Tony Rothwell, Class Secretary, David Milburn, Sailing Secretary, Ian Bertram
Members (alphabetically) Colin Bentley, Richard Broughton, Gay Crossley, Les Gorton, Nick Heather, Miles Logie, Richard Thompson, Derek Wood.

1. Apologies for Absence: (Alphabetically) Keith Barrow, Roy Gambie, Bruce Johnson, Nigel Launder, Paul Monaghan, Graham Murray, Jim Schwerdt

2. Minutes of the previous meeting: The minutes from the Previous Annual 17ft Class Owners Meeting held Saturday 31st August 2019, were accepted as a true record of the meeting

Proposed: Nick Aubrey, Seconded Gay Crossley. Carried

3. Matters Arising from meeting held 31st August 2019: There were no matters arising from these minutes.

4. Class Captains Introduction: The Class Captain, Tony Rothwell gave a brief introduction to the meeting explaining that the proposals for today’s meeting were not radical changes but intended to maintain interest in the fleet and to make ownership of a Windermere 17 and owner participation in racing an even more enjoyable experience than before. He explained the season was off to a good start with 2 additional boats this season and welcomed Alex Scott who has recently purchased No.6 Water Witch, which allows Richard Broughton and Derek Jolly to bring No.26 Musetta back onto the water and out of the Museum. He also welcomed back Colin Bragg in No.4 Vanity which has been absent from the fleet for several years. He couldn’t recall the last season that Colin raced but he did remember being run into by Colin on the start line and bending my his mast on Tripple. He summarised some exciting proposals on the table which have been suggested by various owners which include changes to the scoring system, a league table of Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets and options to race some Sundays instead of Saturdays.

5. Proposals

The Low Scoring System: A proposal was discussed that the fleet moved to a Low Scoring System. The Class Secretary David Milburn gave a brief overview of the Low Score System as recommended by Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-2020 which he believed would make for more competitive fleet racing and potentially encourage more owners to race and allow a more even distribution of trophies when used with a discard system. The system was discussed however Gay Crossley, Les Gorton, Richard Thompson & Richard Broughton we’re strongly opposed to this idea preferring to remain with the current high score system. Miles Logie stated that he agrees that there should be consideration for change to keep interest in sailing within the fleet. He would like to see something different to encourage interest.

Averages: averages were discussed as the Sailing Secretary states that averages could be maintained for both a Low Score and High Score System.

Gold, Silver, Bronze Fleets: it was suggested that the Class introduce a Gold, Silver and Bronze league. The three leagues would be based on the 2019 results. Yachts would still compete overall as they do currently but they would be additional trophies at the end of the season for the winners of the Silver and Bronze leagues. The Class Captain, Tony Rothwell stated he had made enquiries with Rear Commodore Nick Aubrey and it appeared that there may be trophies available and not currently used which would be suitable for this proposal. The idea being at the end of each season the first and last yacht in each league would be promoted/demoted accordingly with the owners consent. It was mentioned that this idea would be extra to the scoring/Trophy system and that the classic Trophies would still be awarded to Classic yachts. This additional system would hopefully provided a little more competitive fun and enable more owners to win some trophies.

Handicap System: Nick Heather, at the request of the Class Secretary, had completed a considerable amount of work researching a handicap system and provided a summary of two systems, one on a one design handicap basis and another using the NHC handicap figures which are currently recorded on the RWYC database. In summary Nick reported that there were too many variables to make a handicap system viable on the lake for 17ft yachts. However he stated that it could be possible to have one or two pursuit races based on the NHC system. Nick Heather was thanked by the Class Captain for the considerable time and effort he had given to preparing this information for the meeting.

Voting for the above proposals discussed:

 Introduction of Handicap System – Unanimously voted against
 Introduction of Pursuit race based on NHC System – after further discussion it was unanimously voted to trial a pursuit race to be held on a Sunday.
 Introduction of some Sunday racing days – unanimously voted against with the exception of the pursuit race as above
 Low Points Score System – Gay Crossley proposed that the current High Score System remain. This was seconded by Les Gorton and carried.
 Averages – voted unanimously to maintain the current averages.
 Discards – after some discussion it was proposed by Richard Thompson that the fleet introduce a discard system, this was seconded by Nick Aubrey and carried.
 Introduction of League Tables: proposed by Les Gorton and seconded by Richard Thompson, voted unanimously.

6. Performance/Training sessions: The Class Secretary reported that Nick Heather had kindly agreed to run another rules session at the start of the season if the fleet required it. There was general consensus that this was a good idea and asked that it specifically included starting rules and tactics. The Class Secretary suggested that if there was sufficient interest he would organise an ‘on the water’ session involving some practice starts with a short windward leeward course with more experienced helms offering advice on the water whilst following in Ribs. This had been utilised by other clubs and proved very successful. After discussion it was agreed that a preferred option was to employ an experienced helm to film a counting race using the clubs ‘GoPro’ camera which could then be debriefed in the bar on the big screen. The Sailing Secretary agreed that this would be a good idea but warned the fleet that it was essential to ensure that the rib utilised for filming was helmed by someone with experience who would ensure that it was suitable placed for filming without causing any health and safety issues. Nigel Tullett said that as his yacht is not launched until a little later in the season he would be prepared to cover the filming.

7. A.O.B.

VE Day John Richardson reminded the fleet of the Clubs celebrations for VE Day which would be an open day and an opportunity by people to try out different dinghies and yachts so it would be good to have some volunteers with 17ft yachts prepared to take interested parties for a sail.

Race meetings and Start times: Gay Crossley suggested make the start time a little earlier on the two race days however after some discussion it as agreed to maintain the current pre race meetings to discuss which end of the lake to race in and to keep the start times as per current system.

Class Captain Tony Rothwell referred an issue on behalf of Graham Murray regards once the Race Officer had three 17s in view of the start line, he would start the race at the correct time even if light winds. Rear Commodore Nick Aubrey reassured the fleet that this issue was more for the attention of the FF fleet and that the race Officer would continue with current practice of delaying the start of the 17s race if the Race Officer could see that in light winds, 17s were struggling to make the start line.

Sailing Secretary Ian Bertram stated that the Race Officer could, at the end of a race, display the Q flag. This would instruct a safety boat to sail through the fleet recording the position of all yachts not currently finished within the time although this practice was generally used for Pursuit races.

Sub Group: Class Captain Tony Rothwell proposed that the fleet form a small sub group to finalise the number of discards and any issues surrounding Gold, Silver & Bronze Leagues and the Pursuit race. It was agreed that Gay Crossley, Nick Aubrey and Miles Logie, together with the Class Captain and Class Secretary form this group.

Extra Award/Trophy: Colin Bentley suggested that where there were 12 yachts or more on a start line then an additional trophy or prize be awarded to the 8th placed yacht as a little extra competitive fun. This was agreed by the fleet.

8. Date/Time of next meeting: the Class Captain Tony Rothwell reminded the members that the next Annual Owners Meeting was scheduled for Saturday 29th August 2020

There being no other business the meeting was closed at 12:09hrs.