The International Dragon Association held its Annual General Meeting on October 27, 2018 at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London. There were19 countries represented in person and a further 9 by proxy.
Chairman's Report - There is a new Dragon training camp being set up in Villamoura, PT - they will have 8 Dragons. There were 26 entries at the Prince Philip Cup in Australia, which was won by Gordon Ingate. The Cannes Winter Series had unusual weather with snow and big waves. While 50 boats registered, only 43 sailed in those conditions. The quality of race management continues to be important. It was mentioned that the Helsinki Gold Cup PRO did a great job of communications before and after racing with the result that the skippers meetings were exceptionally well attended. Report on the Regates Royales Cannes - this special event to celebrate the Dragon 90th anniversary is already oversubscribed - the IDA is looking at alternative venues to meet the demand. Fleet numbers are steady with the usual ups and downs. The IDA Executive has been looking at a new Grade 1 Circuit for 2019 (Cannes, Cascais, Kühlungsborn, Palma), culminating in an European Grade 1 Cup in Palma. Petticrows delivered 42 boats in 2018, and have 10 orders on hand for 2019, which is the best year for them, ever. Sponsorship - nothing positive to report so far - the IDA has made an agreement with a sponsorship agency (who accept payment on success rather upfront). Their initial feedback is that the Dragon Class has a good reputation but is not very visible - especially on social media, making it difficult to get sponsors. There were no major measurement issues this year.
Financial Report - The IDA ended the year with a surplus of £5,666. This includes donations of €2400 for the PRO at the Gold Cup. Ideally these donations would have been credited to the new entity, the IDA Events Association, which is now registered n Denmark, but does not have a bank account yet. Almost half the IDA income is from sail labels and the IDA has decided to increase the cost of sail labels by £5 for 2019 (the last increase was about 15 years ago).
Constitutional Change - The officers had proposed a change to the Constitution to set up an Owners Committee. This generated a long discussion which eventually resolved with the agreement that the IDA Executive would set up the committee but the structure would not be included in the IDA Constitution. There are still some differing ideas as to how the committee members should be chosen.
Technical Committee report -Activities centered around compliance with class rules, technical issues, and registration of new boats. Compliance at major events - the TC updated the measurement guidelines in the rules - they are now weighing a sample of boats at major events, and having on the water checks after crossing the finish line. Rules changes covered mast movement restrictions. Weight shortfalls at regattas are being rectified on the spot with corrector weights - they checked 20 boats at Balaton and Helsinki with no issues. Technical issues - mast foot bolts (some people were using quick release bolts to change the position of the mast during racing), bilge pumps (change to allow more pumps, must be automatic and pump only from the bilge). All proposed rules changes passed.
Proposals from the Russian Dragon Association - Proposal for vanity sail numbers - passed - to be administered by National Associations. Proposal to allow coach boats back on the race course - failed. Proposal for approaching World Sailing to change the definition of professional was a non starter and was withdrawn.
Proposal by the Officers to amend the Championship Regulations to allow for one of a number of ‘IDA Preferred Race Officers’ to be imposed on Organizing Authorities for Grade 1s and Championship events. This would become a condition of a NA agreeing to host a regatta - essentially keeping a white list of acceptable PROs - withdrawn after multiple side meetings on the subject.
Corinthian Cup seems to have no interest and is not happening again this coming year. Worlds in Australia are coming up shortly in January 2019 - at this point there are only 30 boats confirmed (from 9 countries, with 15 from Europe). Some concern about viability of Worlds outside of Europe. Dragon 90th anniversary - already have 120 boats on list which is the limit for Cannes - Monaco or St. Tropez being considered as alternates - timing likely to be the same i.e. the 2nd week October.
Stéehane Baseden is stepping down as Vice Chair, and the Membership elected Gerard Blanc, from France as his replacement. Kaspar Harsberg is also retiring and Anne Vaneste from Belgium was elected as his replacement. No venue for the next AGM was chosen, but the options are Paris, Hamburg or possibly Monaco, depending on where the 90th is held.
Finland has proposed that the IDA ban bow stickers (they come off) - no decision taken.
Anne Garrett is the National Secretary for the American Dragon Association and has been sailing and racing Dragons since the early 80s.
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