October 26, 1996

Annapolis Yacht Club


Geoff Stagg opened the meeting at 5:45 p.m., thanking everyone for attending the regatta. He discussed the agenda, saying that this meeting was also being used as a gauge of how well the Mumm 30 Class Rules were working. The 1997 Schedule was the first item on the agenda, and Geoff introduced Tom Harrington from the New York Yacht Club, who invited the Mumm 30 Class to the NYYC One-Design Regatta in Newport, RI. The Newport regatta would consist of four one-design classes, which would be run on two separate circles by the NYYC. Geoff suggested nominating this event as the Mumm 30 Nationals.

Interest was sufficient for Key West Race Week and the SORC to include them as part of the '97 Circuit. Discussion moved toward including a spring event in either Annapolis or possibly New Jersey. Barry Carroll brought up the fact that the American Yacht Club had shot themselves in the foot last year with poor organization for the Mumm 30 class, and that it would not be a good idea to go back. Tom Harrington apologized on behalf of the American Yacht Club and said that people should realize that since it was a multi-class event, the Mumm 30's (and 36s) didn't get the normally very good race management that AMYC usually provides.

Jim Michie said that the East Coast Championship (Heart Cup) event hosted in Atlantic City and organized by the Udell's at Custom Offshore was well-run and good sailing. The NYYC event in Newport would count as the fourth event, and either the Harbor Springs regatta in northern Michigan, or the Verve Cup in Chicago would count as the Great Lakes event. It was previously discussed that logistics might be difficult to include both the NYYC and Harbor Springs event as US Circuit regattas. Geoff suggested that three out of the five events count toward the Championship Circuit, after discussion amongst the owners about traveling expenses being high. Charlie Lawrence suggested that geographic areas be used to determine the US Circuit events to ensure that each region was represented, and that all the owners should be polled for a vote on the schedule. Geoff said that the schedule should be finalized at the Key West owner's meeting.

Mark Ploch was worried about conflicts of US Circuit events with regional one-design regattas, specifically last summer's NOOD, that was scheduled during the same time as the Verve Cup. Renee Mehl mentioned that Custom Offshore and Farr International had called to encourage East Coast owners who were not attending the Verve to sail at the NOOD, but owners had other commitments. Charlie Lawrence reminded Ploch that Verve had been on the schedule since January, because the Mumm 30 Class had agreed to piggyback the Mumm 36 Circuit for their first year.

The ability of owners to form regional circuits was brought up with the example of Chesapeake Bay fleet getting together to plan seven one-design starts in local races this summer, which was spearheaded by Lee Glenn. The owners have also met to plan next year's schedule of racing under the direction of newly elected Chesapeake Bay President Al Keiser. Renee mentioned that the Great Lakes owners held a meeting during the Verve Cup to discuss their regional circuit for next summer. Charlie Lawrence was elected President of the Lakes fleet. Barry Carroll offered to work with Custom Offshore to coordinate the New England/ Mid-Atlantic owner's scheduling meeting. Farr International will organize the five or six US Circuit events, but will not run regional regattas.

Stagg moved on to Eligibility Limitations, saying that "we have worked hard to limit professionals" and suggested getting rid of Group 3 competitors on the boats altogether. Bodo von der Wense said that he was confused on the issue of "owner/driver" and that it was his impression that only owners could drive their boats. Barry Carroll explained that the Rule was written to allow an amateur Group 1 driver and that the term "owner/driver" was a carry-over from the Mumm 36 class, and should be referred to as an "amateur" driver instead. Bodo suggested a compromise that the Group 1 driver must be a class member for three months. Geoff chimed in that it is already part of the Class that the Group 1 driver must be declared two weeks before the event in writing to Farr International, and that the driver must be an associate member of the Class Association. Bodo was concerned that some "hotshot amateur collegiate sailor" would come into the class and start beating all the owners who drove their boats. Jim Michie argued that the only way to become a better sailor is to sail against better people. Geoff said that we use the US Sailing definitions and rulings to determine amateur or professional status, and that we would continue to use that outside ruling to keep an objective perspective on a potentially touchy subject. Glenn Robbins closed the argument by saying that what the Class was doing can't be that bad if it's a year old with 33 boats at a championship event. A motion to "ditch" the Group 3 professionals from Mumm 30 One-Design racing was put forward and seconded. The group voted not to ban the Group 3 professionals, with one owner for the motion.

Sail limitations were brought to the table next, specifically for Charters and on resale boats. Stagg recommended that a new owner that buys a used boat be allowed to buy a new suit of sails. A motion was put forward, seconded and passed.

Jim Michie suggested keeping it simple for charterers; if a charterer buys new sails, he has to keep them - he can't give them to the boat owner. Sandy Malakis explored the other option, of keeping the charterer's sails as an owner, by playing devil's advocate. She asked that if she theoretically chartered her boat to a good (Group 1) tactician, she could then sail on the boat and get new sails. It was agreed that an owner should not get new sails simply by virtue of chartering their boat. Ed Collins summed it up by saying "if an owner wants to charter, he accepts the wear and tear on the sails".

Mark Ploch brought up the subject of changing the Sail Limitation rule that allows an owner to buy three specific new sails per year, namely one new main, one new jib and one new spinnaker. He argued that there is more wear on the jibs than the main and spinnakers, and that he would like to see the rule state that any three sails could be replaced annually. A motion was put forward to change the rule, and passed unanimously.

Jim Flanagan opened the door on changing the crew weight limits. Geoff reiterated that crew weight limits had been discussed at the first owner's meeting in Annapolis last year, and Bruce Farr had given detailed reasons why the weight limit was set at its present state. The meeting became a little rowdy with several owners stating that it was their boat and they could change it if they wanted to. Geoff offered Russell Bowler as a sacrificial lamb to explain the weight limit, but Russell quietly declined the offer. Dave Irish strongly suggested that any future rule changes should be addressed to all Mumm 30 owners for a proxy vote, and that written arguments for and against be presented so that owners could make an informed decision. Stagg concluded that the rule, as written, is working well, with only minor changes to date.

The meeting ended with discussion of the weather, and the probability of completing three races on Sunday in order for the regatta to qualify for the four race minimum required by the Notice of Race. A motion was made to start an hour earlier to take advantage of the Daylight Savings time change. Local sailors were pessimistic that the high pressure system sitting over Annapolis would allow any movement of air on Sunday. Owners agreed to start 1/2 hour earlier than provided for in the sailing instructions, but could not reach a unanimous decision to extend the cut-off time of 1300 hours - due to travel arrangements by the many out-of-town boats. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:45 p.m.