Nite News 11/8/06

2006 Annual Meeting Report
By Don Sanford (#384), INCA Vice-Commodore

January 14, 2006

Call to Order: The Annual meeting of the International Nite Class Association (INCA) was called to order by Commodore Mark Wilfert at 7:05 pm, shortly after dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. 29 Nite members of the Association were present. Grant Frautschi, Rick Wilfert, Terry Erwin, Rick Kotovic, Lou Lonneke, Tom Sweitzer, Mark Prange, Tom Wilfert, Mark Wilfert, Craig Adams, Tom Nordlie, Don Sanford, Don Ermer, Matt Schmidt, Norb Baldus, Ed Eckert, Mike Bloom, Chuck Kotovic, Brett Larson, John Looms, Dick Gorta, Jim Nies, Peter Slocum, Mike Burns, Brian Heimsch, John Ritter, Rick Pappas, Carl Rozmarek.

Minutes: The minutes of the 2005 annual meeting were read with no corrections. Motion to approve by Don Ermer, second by Tim Sweitzer. Motion carried.

Commodore’s Report: Commodore Wilfert reminded the membership that the current officers are in the middle of a two-year term. The current officers are:

Commodore: Mark Wilfert
Vice Commodore: Don Sanford
Secretary-Treasurer: Fred Miller
Technical Committee Chair: Craig Adams

Mark reported that he’s been working to develop more publicity and information-sharing for the class. A fall newsletter was published this year, the first since 1995. Fred miller did an update to the class website.

Treasurer’s Report: The current balance as of 1/12/06 is $1,369.71. Membership is running between 40 and 70 members right now. Many renewed through the website or from the form in the fall newsletter.

Technical Committee: Craig Adams reported that the Staymaster modification for the forestay was suggested for trial in 2004. In 2005, it was approved for trial on a hand vote at the annual meeting.

Old Business:
To make it the Staymaster an official option for the class, it will need to be approved by a secret ballot vote at this year’s annual meeting. Craig Adams motioned for a vote. Peter Slocum seconded/ Ballots were cast and the proposal was approved. Craig was asked to provide specs, i.e. model number, dimensions, etc., for this option. He said that information would be posted on the website shortly.

New Business:
Mark reported that he and Don will be working on some revisions to the Class constitution and by-laws. They were drafted in 1975 and need some updating. Craig Adams volunteered to look at the proposed revisions. The revisions will be discussed and voted on during the 2007 annual meeting.

Class Promotion: Don Sanford discussed the need for more information sharing on our website. Technical discussions, tips, techniques and other kinds of similar stuff will be a huge help for sailors just getting into or thinking about getting into our class. We need to do everything possible to let potential members know that it’s easy and fun to sail a Nite and that experienced skippers are more than willing to share their experience and ideas with those just starting out.

Spar discussion: Don Sanford kicked off this interesting discussion by relating the story of the destruction of his very sweet spar a couple of years ago and the long road to getting another spar to be almost as sweet. Fortunately, he reported, he had plenty of advise from other experienced Niters and Bill Mattison’s shop, power planer and mast-shaping expertise. Even with that, given the vagaries of our recent ice conditions, it’s been two or three seasons and it’s still not perfect. Now, he said, imagine that you weren’t in the epicenter of Nite sailing and broke your stick. It might be the end of your competitive sailing or Nite sailing altogether. Perhaps it’s time to look at ways the class could make things easier for newcomers or those needing to have a new mast by going to a standardized carbon spar. That kicked off a long and spirited discussion.

Points raised were as follows:

· We need to keep the class as one-design.

· No new boats were built last year. A new boat from S & R is $8,800.

· Peter Slocum recommends that the class experiment with a carbon mast. The price of the spar should not exceed $3,000.

· Ed Eckert said that the optimum design for a carbon spar would make the class even more one design than it is now.

· Mike Bloom reported that good wood is hard to find now. They frequently drive to Madison from the twin cities to pick up wood.

· Terry Erwin said that carbon masts, at least in the DN class, break often.

· Lou Lonneke stated emphatically that the introduction of carbon spars in the DN class has leveled the playing field. The fleet tends to be much closer together now than before and he knows that is because of the carbon spars.

· Rick Kotovic recommended that we choose just one vendor and one section for our carbon spars which is the way that most one design classes operate.

Tom Sweitzer motioned that the class should contact several carbon spar builders. Give them specs and a set of numbers. Second by Rick Kotovic. We’d already had so much discussion that there was none. Motion passed on a voice vote. Peter Slocum will get information together and send it out for bid and pricing. Rick Kotovic volunteered to be his assistant on this project.

Wind conditions: Craig Adams asked, “What’s enough wind to start a race? What would be an appropriate minimum?” For those reading this a year after the meeting, we attempted to start a race in very light conditions on Saturday afternoon. The fleet was hugely scattered, one-third of the boats were pushing, one third bailed out and the other third found a breeze and sailed most of the course though no one finished in the time limit. After much discussion, we reached consensus that a class rule was not needed though the sailing instructions needed to clearly address this point. To that end, we agreed that the following language (or something like it) would be added. “The class acknowledges that the Race Committee and Chief Judge are understandably often under pressure to get sufficient races sailed during a regatta. This can lead to sailing a race in less than ideal conditions, particularly in the case of light air. The Race Committee can send three skippers of his or her choosing onto the course for a test lap. The result of this test lap can be used by the Race Committee for determining whether or not a race will be sailed or a postponement or cancellation announced.”

Starting times on the last day of he annual championship regatta: Tom Sweitzer began a discussion of the starting times on the last day of a regatta. Competitors, the race committee and head judge need some direction as to when a race could be started on the last day of a regatta. Tom motioned, “If three races have been completed during a regatta, then no race shall be started after 1300 on the final day of the regatta.” Second by Lou Lonneke. Motion passed.

Adjournment: Even with all of this spirited discussion, interesting reports and other anecdoetes, a motion was made for adjournment at 8:05 p.m. by Craig Adams. Second by Tom Sweitzer. Motion carried and meeting adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Don Sanford