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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 be practical.

Suggestions were made to provide regular shuttles to move people from the housing areas/parking areas to the boats/tent/attractions.

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.

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