J/80 USA Class Association Town Hall Meeting, Key West Race
Week (Wednesday, January 22, 2003), Craig White presiding, meeting
minutes submitted by David Balfour
Key West Race Week Topics
The Truman Annex mooring facilities were not
satisfactory for the majority of those staying at the Annex.
The distance from the sea wall down to the boats was extreme,
and the boats were vulnerable to significant wave action.
JBoats will attempt to block a group of slips for Key West
2004 in the vicinity of the Conch Republic. Many skippers
felt that the additional visibility offered by docking in
the main harbor would increase the visibility of the Class.
One concern voiced was that of convenient parking for access
to the boats.
Owners were positive regarding sailing on the
Division 3 race course with the Melges and J/105s. However,
the Race Committee must be willing to set new marks for each
fleet depending upon the changing wind conditions.
Bow stickers for this year’s event were
too long, making it difficult to apply. While it is recognized
that the Sponsor dictates this kind of thing, it needs to
Suggestions were made to provide regular shuttles
to move people from the housing areas/parking areas to the
USA Class Association Topics
Craig White recognized our outgoing officers
– Steve Hammerman (President), Paul Carelli (Vice President),
and Vicki Jo Neiner (Secretary), and thanked them for their
commitment to the Class. Our new officers include Craig White
(President), David Jannetti (Vice President), Scott Spurlin
(Secretary), and Karl DeHam (Treasurer and Official Measurer).
Special recognition was given to Karl for continuing to serve
the Class and for driving to Key West to measure boats.
The 2003 NAs will be held in conjunction with
the Galveston NOOD, September 19, 20, and 21. Either Houston
Yacht Club or Lakewood Yacht Club will host the event. We
will have our own dedicated race course and PRC, as has been
the case in the past. Our annual USA Class Association Meeting
will take place at the NAs. Fleet Captains are encouraged
to submit proposals for hosting the 2004 or 2005 NAs at quickly
as possible. The Executive Board wants to get a year ahead
so we can all make our plans for attending.
The 2003 Worlds will be held at the Fort Worth
Boat Club, October 11-17. Look for the NOR sometime in February.
Fort Worth owners are willing to make arrangements to transport
people’s boats from Houston to Fort Worth following
the NAs to allow folks to easily participate in both events.
Contact Craig White to make these arrangements.
The current officers are committed to the growth
of the Class. To that end, Scott Spurlin is trying to update
the Class membership roles. All Fleet Captains or individual
owners are encouraged to contact Scott to update your membership
for 2003. Fleet Captains should contact Scott at their first
opportunity with their updated rosters.
A new Class Web Site is under design and is
viewed as an important tool to building and maintaining the
Class membership. It is intended to create excitement for
both existing members and new members alike. It is anticipated
that the Class membership database will be included in the
new Web Site, making it easy for people to update their membership,
change addresses, etc as necessary, and identify Fleet Captains
so folks will know who to contact in their local sailing area.
Security issues will be addressed. Scott Spurlin is taking
the lead on the Web Site overhaul, with the help of David
Jannetti. They are trying to take the best ideas from other
class sites, but are interested in hearing your ideas on what
you want to see as part of the Site.
Owners were interested in understanding how
we can change the current rules governing the Class. Because
we are recognized by ISAF as an International Class, any changes
must first be approved by the International Technical Committee
consisting of Lennart Janson (Sweden), Didier LeMoal (France),
Karl Deham (USA), and Jeff Johnstone. That group can then
recommend changes to the ISAF Keelboat Committee. As an International
One-Design Class, the emphasis will be on retaining as pure
a One-Design configuration as practical. That said, the process
for proposing a change might look something like this: An
owner forwards a proposal to their Fleet Captain or a Class
Representative; the proposal is posted to the Web Site to
solicit a "quick poll" (this concept is used with
the J/105 Class) to gain consensus for the proposal; if the
consensus is to go forward with the proposal, Karl DeHam will
take the proposal to the International Class Representatives;
if the International Class Representatives approve of the
proposal, they will take it to the ISAF. The results at each
step of the process would be posted to the Web Site so people
could keep up with the progress, and understand the basis
of any decision. Rule changes must be submitted to the ISAF
by the end of August, so any proposed changes for this year
need to be submitted to your Fleet captain or Class Representative
ASAP. The USA Constitution and the International Constitution
will need to reflect the process so changes will need to be
made in these two documents.
Two specific changes were discussed at the meeting,
specifically 1) the addition of blocks to the clew of the
jib to facilitate a 2:1 purchase, and 2) the addition of a
cleat in conjunction with a ratchet block for sheeting the
jib. Each of these changes had previously been ruled on by
the International Technical Committee as not being allowed,
but there was interest in gaining acceptance for these changes.
A quick straw poll of owners at Key West (in attendance at
this meeting) showed that they were split on the use of blocks,
and were for the use of a cleat. It is recommended that any
owner(s) interested in formally pursuing these changes, follow
the process described above.
Karl continues to look for volunteers to become
Class Measurers (in addition to himself). If you are interested,
please contact him.
You can obtain contact information for
each of the new officers off the Class Web Site.