Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
of the National Firefly Association
at Pwllheli Sailing Club
on Monday 27th August 2012
1. Apologies for Absence
Lawrence Cooper, Richard Root, Alannah Witherby, Marion Armstrong, Patrick Clarke, Rupert Wheelan, Jonquil Brookes,
2. Acceptance of 2011 AGM Minutes
The minutes were proposed by Jamie Marsden and seconded by Jamie McEwen.
3. Matters Arising
None (or dealt with in other business).
4. Sailing Secretary’s Report – Dan Vincent
Dan reported that this was his first year in the job. He had found trouble fitting in all the events people wanted. Attendance was varied and in some cases waning but clubs were still keen. Itchenor was well supported (by new people). That club has a long history with the class and are keen to be part of the calendar going forward.
The Inland champs will be at Bough Beach this year, Rutland next year and possibly Chew Valley the year after.
The Nationals will be in Torquay in 2013, Weymouth in 2014, Restronguet in 2015 and Tenby in 2016. There is a possibility of going to Mount’s Bay in 2017.
In terms of the rules, there was support for altering the rules of the Single Handed Race to reflect the current race and increasing the age of the Geriatic Trophy to over 50.
There was a discussion about encouraging students to the events and nationals. There was support for a proposal to change the free entry to award it to the university sending in the best letter (as opposed to the closest university – it was pointed out that with many Nationals in Wales and the South West, this would always mean the same university benefiting). There was also general support for including universities in the Club prize, and ensuring that teams could win “BUSA points”. [Matters arising]
This discussion also included supporting and encouraging school fleets, perhaps with school prizes at opens and further free places at Nationals for the best letter from a school fleet. [Matter arising]
There was a reminder that the U16/U18 and U21 Trophies are also normally awarded at the Inlands.
5. Membership Secretary’s Report – Richard Root
Membership has been steady. The overall small decrease reflects that the long standing direct debits from non active members have been chased down and stopped accordingly.
His formal proposal for “personal” rather than “boat” membership was supported, and it was suggested that a formal vote could take place at an EGM (perhaps at Inlands). [Matter Arising]
There was also a proposal regarding family membership, but the meeting decided it would be best to decide the two in one go at the same EGM. [Matter Arising]
An attempt at holding the EGM was abandoned due to insufficient members present and agreed to postpone until formal AGM 2013.
6. Technical Secretary’s Report – Guy Davison
No report but a general discussion about the two technical proposals and a warning about the electronic compasses becoming too clever (and an expensive “must have” accessory)
Unanimous votes for proposal 6 (b).
Also a discussion regarding the proposal for floor strengthening followed by a vote on proposal 6(a). Passed by 27 votes for, 3 abstentions, none against.
(Class rules now need to be updated – Matter Arising)
Finally, there was a discussion about jib hanks, and whether they can be taken off a jib. It was suggested this is also brought to any EGM. Matter Arising
7. Treasurer’s Report – Jonathan Bickford
The accounts were produced and copies passed round. There was a discussion about trying to ensure we could still get the best deal for schools and universities, and whether this needs to be renegotiated with Hydes. In terms of boats there were two private sale last year. The deck mould needs replacing next year and will cost the Association about £3,000.
The accounts were proposed by Jamie McEwen, and seconded by Dave Chisholm.
Neil Banks confirmed he has audited the accounts with agood improvement in record keeping.
Neil Banks was then re-appointed as auditor proposed by Jim Bramley and seconded by Tony Thresher.
9. Chairmen’s Report – Caroline Edwards and Steven Greaves
This year there have been some different ideas about running the class, with more people to share the load. Progress has been made with Rondar about selling firefly boats in the US. There has been a discussion about the builder’s fee with the RYA – which they have confirmed is the same amount for all classes. The RYA have been asked what we get for this money and they have acknowledged they could do more. There has been a meeting of all national classes and a discussion about extra value they can add, but some current ideas include putting all measurement certificates online and introducing preferential rates at the dinghy exhibition. There has been some progress about the TR3.6 and whether they should be tackled legally – it is thought that Royal St George might buy some. Matter Arising There has been some good publicity of the class, and thanks were given to Chris Guy. Real effort was put into the Sailboat Exhibition.
In terms of the state of the class, the class now has the names of all schools, universities and clubs with firefly fleets, so more effort can be put into contact them directly Matter Arising
It was also suggested that more money is put into publicising the class, but for that new income is needed, an example being the new GJW sponsorship.
In terms of next steps there was a discussion about:
· the open circuit (which it was felt should stay broadly the same);
· the Vines Trophy (which is was agreed should have a discard and should be better publicised)
· Team Racing – people were keen to see more events on the calendar combined with fleet racing, perhaps in borrowed boats at West Kirby and Bough Beach?
· Travel costs – which it was felt have had an impact [NOTE: apparently other classes have felt this effect much more significantly this year]
· Measurement Certificates – people felt that these should be enforced, perhaps at the same time as any RYA online system. Most were in favour of a 2 year process towards a hard rule.
· Uni places at Nationals – most in favour of a “best” letter competition
· Tenby 70th Anniversary Champs – any ideas?
10. Election of Committee
The committee was re-elected with the following changes:
Chairman – Steven Greaves stepping down as joint Chairman (with a vote of thanks)
Assistant Chair – Ben Lumby Proposed by Richard Thompson, seconded by Steven Greaves
Hon Sec – Lucy Boreham Proposed by Chris Guy, Seconded by Rachel Crebbin
Alex Davey stepping down (with a vote of thanks)
Publicity – Chris Guy
National reports – Andy Cornah
Social Secretary – Jenn Lamb Proposed by Lucy Boreham
Seconded by Jamie McEwen
Bulletin – Rachel Crebbin and Rupert Wheelan
BUSA/Schools – Andy Cornah
Clubs – Richard Thompson
Northern Area – Jamie Marsden
Website – Lorna Dixon
There was also a big vote of thanks to Jim Bramley for all his hard work in organising the Nationals (again).
11. Any Other Business
Some considerable concern was expressed about the team racing hulls being produced by Rondar with the view that they were poorly made and expensive- £35k for a fleet all in, and £29k for hulls only. The team racing boat spec is called “the Sevenoaks spec”.
Apparently Rondar are looking at producing the US boats by a different technique, which they may introduce in the UK for the team racing boats.
There was some discussion about looking for another GRP boat builder, who might be prepared to support the price of a new mould. Matter Arising
Finally, there was a vote of thanks to all the committee for the last year, and an appeal for volunteers going forward.