Tuesday, 09 June 2020 13:57

Minutes of the 2020 Annual Masters Meeting (online)

Annual Masters Meeting 2020

Held online from June 3-7 with electronic voting and responses.

Present: 56 Master sailors took part

 1. Introduction from the President
Andy Denison made a brief video presentation.

2. Approval of the 2019 Minutes 
The minutes of the 2019 Annual Masters Meeting were approved unanimously with two abstentions.

3. Matters Arising *
Q: In 2020 may be POSSIBLE to combine the Senior Finn Gold Cup and the Finn World Masters?
A: It was decided early on that this would not be a possibility.

4. Bids for 2022 
As there is only one bid, the 2022 Finn World Masters is awarded to Helsinki, Finland.

5. President's Report 
Welcome to the 2020 Annual Masters Meeting. It is unprecedented for us to have to do this online, but I hope you will all engage with this process and this week’s activities as we try to keep the Finn spirit going. We only have a few decisions to make, so please vote for them if you are eligible. In line with normal policy, only those who entered for the 2020 Finn World Masters, either before it was cancelled, or those who notified us later that they intended to enter, are eligible to vote.

I would like to start by thanking Jan Zetzema and his very enthusiastic team for the organisation of the 2020 Finn Word Masters. It is very hard to comprehend the disappointment it meant for them to have to cancel, but I can tell you that cancelling was almost as much work as organising it in the first place. Our thanks to all those, too many to mention, listed on the Masters website together with this report.

That cancellation left the Masters Committee with some tough decisions to make on your behalf. Our host for 2021, Puntala, requested that we postpone their event as they felt their financial situation would not be sufficiently recovered by 2021. Due to other commitments, the first year this was possible was 2024, so we made the decision to defer until then. Then, and only then, did we ask Finn Club Holland if they would like to try again? The result was an offer to hold it at Medemblik, which we have gladly accepted. Our thanks to Chris Frijdal and his team for making that happen.

For 2022 we only have one bid presented in time, from Helsinki, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the 1952 Olympics. The Committee have taken the decision to award the 2022 Finn World Masters to Helsinki ahead of the Annual Masters Meeting as there were no other bids.

We have two interested bids for 2023. The deadline for receiving any further bids is February 1, 2021.

It hasn’t been necessary for me to visit potential venues in 2019. Robert was in a position to visit and do the report for Finland. I did attend the European masters in Schwerin. It was disappointing to see that from 95 entries, only 70 paid up, with 25 not cancelling or turning up. This left the budget short for both the event and the masters account. We have no alternative but to seek the payment from the offenders as per our rule. The committee is firm on this.

Work is ongoing in updating the Event Manual and the documents to clarify the entry process and obligations of organisers and entrants.

In October I attended Bermuda World Sailing conference, representing the Finn Class and doing my best with the others to try and keep the Finn in the Olympics.

We had a look at Club 2 Class registration and equipment limitation services, which has been developed in conjunction with Richard Phillips. This is still on-going work. The random selection process is ready to be used at future events and my thanks to Ray New for overseeing this.

It’s been discussed to end registration on the Sunday at 11am. This allows the Random process to be collated in time for the event. It’s also been suggested to have the countries together in the boat park with the option for Legends to choose to be with their own countries or in the Legend park.

Because of Covid-19 cancellations, our budget forecast has taken a real hammering. We have got funds in place to see us through to next year, but we need to be careful with expenditure. I want to thank everybody who came to the rescue by way of a €30 donation or a forfeit in their entry fee for 2020. This did ‘save the day’, hugely supporting the organisers funds and assisting the cost to the Masters for the purchased prizes.

I hope we can gather in Gdynia later this year for the Finn European Masters. We will issue further updates when we get more clarity on whether an event will be possible.

6. Election of officers
No positions up for re-election in 2020

7a. Accounts Statement 
Also available on finnworldmaster.org together with Balance Sheet

7b. Questions and matters arising from the accounts *
Several comments were made that the accounts were incomplete. This was an oversight. The balance sheet and profit/loss for 2019 are now published with these minutes.

Q: Should the Masters become a membership-based association so that all Finn Masters can contribute to the FWM on an annual basis? This would provide a known income stream and avoid the roller coaster ride re attendance to FWM and Europeans and consequent uncertainty about the FWM contribution each year. 
A: Under review.

Q: Please explain what the IFA do for the Masters as I do not see how the money taken from every national association does anything other than support the Olympic sailors. 
A: IFA provides Finnfare to all Masters, an annual sticker, trains measurers, provides advice on running NCA and events, maintains a strong class association to maintain the value of Masters boats, provides media and websites, which are generally enjoyed by more Masters than Olympic sailors. The IFA also pays €2500 per year to the Masters account to cover operational expenses.

8. Change to Masters Rules
Proposal: In the future it may be desirable to combine the Senior Finn Europeans and the Finn European Masters. To do so would mean the removal of our 20 knot wind limit. The change is to insert the following wording in the Event Manual. 

"F1.1.11 If the Finn European Masters is combined with the Senior European Championships, or any other comparable Senior event, then Rule B.10.2 will not apply." 

Please bear in mind that voting against this change may mean it is not possible to hold a Finn European Masters in a particular year, if the only viable option remains to combine with another event.

This motion was approved with 50 in favour, 3 against and 3 abstentions.

9a. Report on Magazine 
The 2020 Finn Masters Magazine was a struggle in terms of finance. It is getting harder to attract advertising, which now is around half of what it was a few years back. We stripped back costs by making it smaller and sending out fewer copies. While the Masters account can probably sustain this cost, we are asking whether this is a good use of Masters funds. [We think it is.] As we found out this year, the problems associated with COVID -19 meant that our accounts took a huge hit, and it is unlikely we could do the same next year without further advertiser support. We need to decide whether to produce one next year, if that is possible. Please remember advertising is open to anyone, whether or not it is related to Finn sailing. So please consider whether your company would support next year's edition.

Question: Is the Magazine still useful and valued? Should the Masters produce a magazine in 2021?

40 in favour, 10 against, 6 abstentions

10. Future Venues 
FEM 2020 – Gdynia, POL
FWM 2021 –  Medemblik, NED
FEM 2021 – Tihany, HUN
FWM 2022 - Helsinki, FIN
FEM 2022 - Bids being accepted 
2023 – Bids being accepted for both FWM and FEM
2024 – Puntala, ITA

11. Feedback and comments *
Q: With respect to the magazine I found it a pity that both Finnfare and the Master magazine arrived at the same time.
A: Just bad scheduling due to a packed season. They were actually published about 2-3 week apart.

Q: Many classes only have a European Championship, when the worlds are outside Europe. Probably this is something to consider for the Finn Masters as well.
A: This would need to be discussed at an AMM, but as the World Masters has only ever been outside Europe twice, this would effectively kill the Europeans.

Q: What was the general feeling for the reasons why Denmark and Schwerin were down on numbers? 
A: Fears of bad weather and cost in Denmark. Few German sailors sailed in Schwerin.

Q: What are the plans to mitigate for Finland? 
A: We will bring Finland closer to the Mediterranean and provide free wind for everyone.

Q:  Is the Finland report available for viewing? 
A: It is on the website, and a shorter version was published in the last magazine.

Q: Maybe the Finn Masters magazine should only be available in PDF format. Saves printing and shipping expenses.
A: After two surveys this year, a large majority of members seem to prefer the printed version. However costs are kept under constant review.

The date of next AMM will be May 26, 2021, Medemblik, Holland

* There was a lot of feedback and comments. A representative selection of comments has been included here and some questions have been answered. A number of questions were not relevant to the AMM, being more pertinent to the IFA AGM. However the IFMC will review all questions and comments.

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