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Roger Stollery

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  1. The MYA Council’s New Constitution proposal I write to comment on this proposal, as secretary to Guildford Model Yacht Club (GMYC) with the experience of having served on MYA Council for 29 years. GMYC’s initial email to Council on 19th December requested more time to consider the New Constitution and whilst it was acknowledged, a response is awaited. In the intervening period the New Constitution documents have been briefly studied by Guildford members and we find that the documents are unfinished and not ready for use for many different reasons, which are briefly listed below. More detail is in the attached letter from GMYC, which has already been sent to the Secretary to Council. 1) NO EXPLANATION - the New Constitution was received without any introductory explanation of Council's ideas. 2) OMISSIONS - there are several omissions including a very important omission from the objectives, omissions from officer posts etc. 3) ERRORS - the document contains a lot of mistakes. 4) INCONSISTENCY - there is a lack of consistency throughout the documents in not using the defined terms, using incorrect document titles, etc. 5) FAILURE TO NUMBER SUB-CLAUSES - throughout the documents bullet points have been used and so it is impossible to refer to a specific sub-clause. 6) CONFUSING DEFINITIONS - the new definitions for an affiliated club, now ‘member’ and affiliated member now ‘affiliate’ are confusing. 7) SUBSCRIPTIONS - Council will no longer submit a motion to AGM for membership ratification, except to raise subscriptions. There has always been membership input and the opportunity to lower as well as to raise. REFERENCE TO NOWHERE – Clause 2.2 in Appendix 3 implies reference to Appendix 8 where the link leads to “Error 404 – Page not found.” 9) 5 YEAR TERM FOR PRESIDENT - no explanation is given. There is no one more well-respected to represent our sport both inside and outside the MYA than Derek Priestley, so why the restriction? 10) WRONGLY DESCRIBED TITLES - The list of important documents to be maintained by the MYA on the last page 7, Article 18, contains 7 incorrect document titles. In the MYA 11th December email to all clubs this statement was made “There will be an EGM for members to vote for the new constitution on 25th January 2020….” We would point out that this also allows members to vote against. It also asked for observations by 8 January “so that any necessary adjustments can be made prior to the EGM.” It should be pointed out that in the current Constitution there is no mechanism for making any changes to the motion, so the vote must be either for or against the document as it stands. We have suggested to Council that to avoid a vote against this document, that the EGM is cancelled, so that the saved time could be spent reviewing the document for presentation to the membership in good time for the 2020 AGM. 2020-01-06 GMYC comment on New Constitution 3.pdf Roger Stollery, with the support of Guildford Model Yacht Club members.
  2. Mike Kemp's posting at the end of last month opened up some important issues in the debate about the level of membership subscriptions, which has been well covered subsequently. Although money is involved it is about following the Constitution, which in 11.1 intends that 'all classes' of membership 'shall' be proposed in a motion by Council. This has not been followed properly and by putting a motion it allows the amendment under this clause. Much more importantly is the question of communication between MYA Council and members, which is at an all-time low and prompts existing members to doubt whether they want to join the MYA for another year, because individually members receive so little. The previous website used to highlight in pink those who haven't rejoined and these numbered more than twice the affiliated members, so Council must do more to keep members on board; maybe by reducing the affiliation subscription to £10! The MYA desperately need to have a newsletter for members to enjoy and keep them informed, although it may not be a hard copy coming through our letterboxes. I always admired Mike's effort in producing really good and informative articles in Model Boats Magazine, which continued for many years. He has done his bit and we should not be expecting him to be the hub for a new MYA acquaint/newsletter. However, we need someone to do this so that members can feel that they are getting something for their money and that they are involved in the MYA's activities. Incidentally, the editor of that magazine desperately needs information on model yachting and has published a 5 page article on 'sail setting' in the latest winter edition, which is still on the bookshelves. It would have been good if Council had listed the Acquaint Editor on their recent officer nomination form, because Constitution still has this role as an Executive Officer. The current Council is in great need of help as many of the few remaining officers are covering several roles and are having to work harder than they should. Council is also short of skills that other officers could be providing, and volunteers should not be afraid to offer their services to Council not only to share the workload, but also to help guide it with more diverse views. However, Council must accept volunteers when they are put themselves forward.Council are also lacking help from district councillors, as currently there is not a full set at Council meetings. Volunteer and you will find it immensely interesting and rewarding and you will be helping to make sport prosper. In putting forward the amendment by the 5 clubs there was no criticism of the hard work being undertaken by officers, but more about the lack of information about Council plans and the excessive amount of money being built up without any member benefit. If you reduce the cost of being an MYA member, then there is a good chance that there will be more members as a result. More members is what the MYA needs and perhaps a new dream figure that Mike mentioned, which Peter Maskell had in the late 1980s; 2000 members in the year 2000. Perhaps now the target should be 2020 in 2020!
  3. Dear Chris, You asked a very good question about the procedure and timing. In an earlier posting you asked another related question, "You are also stating that this will be voted on by the owners, as there is no owners association for the class, wouldn't this rule change have to be approved by the MYA AGM?" There is a Class Association for the class, because the MYA acts as this class' association just as it does for the IOM and all the other classes. This is clearly stated in the MYA Constitution. The need for responding to IOMICA to allow individual registered owners voting, also set up the ability to do the same with the other classes. The club returns each year give the database information for collecting the names and addresses of owners of all our classes. This is what the IOM NCA class secretary has to do each year in response to IOMICA's AGM motions. In the case of the other classes, it is the class captains which take on this role of communicating with all the owners. In the case of the 36" a great deal of time and effort was spent by the class captain, Peter Moore, the 36" registrar, the MYA treasurer and others to get a comprehensive list of email addresses for all 130 or so, owners. As each owner was emailed individually with the technical report for the proposal, every effort has been made to keep people informed just as if there was a 'formal class association'. It won't need to go to the MYA AGM. This individual communication with owners will continue into the voting process and so at the end of that there is no reason why the rules shouldn't come into force straightaway. When that will be will depend on the class captain, who will no doubt bare in mind that the radio 36" National Championship is on 11 March at Bournville of which you are both a member. You are right that the most important thing is to get people enthusiastic about racing this class and now that Peter is able to contact class members easily there is no reason why the enthusiasm generated by this discussion cannot be encouraged to grow. Cheers, Roger
  4. Chris, I have just read our view on the proposed change of material and would agree that if you already had a set of five rigs for your 36" you wouldn't want to, nor would it be necessary to consider changing anything, but your tallest rig or maybe second tallest rig. There is already a difference between the 1980s aluminium tube rigs on boats like TAXACHUN and the latest aluminium rigs using the lightweight IOM specification aluminium. The later aluminium spars are much lighter than the thicker walled aluminium tube, but despite that there is not that much difference in performance, with TAXACHUN still able to finish second in the 2016 radio nationals beating lots of boats with much lighter rigs. As the IOM spec and a basic carbon are of similar weight there is unlikely to be any difference in rig weight that would affect performance materially. So they should not be a big concern about existing 36"s becoming outdated by the change. They don't get outdated very easily!. I would take issue with Chris on the question of cost because he has not taken note of the fact that the IOM spec lightweight aluminium is of a similar cost to the basic carbon spars from Carbon Profiles as noted in the Tech Team's paper. Not only is the basic cost per metre similar but the cost of postage and packing for metre long lengths of carbon is much less than the cost for a 2 m length of IOM spec aluminium. Cost should not be a factor in this decision. As a builder of rigs, I would prefer to use carbon because one can make a stepped tapered mast with a flexible top more easily than having to use just one size of aluminium. These days you cannot get aluminium in the sizes and weights that are suitable for making our model masts and so the IOM spec is about the only option. Chris also mentioned wing masts or wing sails and from my own experience these are not good in light airs and I would not be thinking of designing anything that was taller than the length of the boat just to try out ideas that have been seen in the Americas and other fast machines in the full-size world. This class has huge potential for experimentation and so should we not look to the future with a class that already allows total freedom in area? More views on this subject would be very welcome as we only have seven days up to the deadline of 1 February for comments on the future of this great little boat. Cheers, Roger
  5. The text above only gives half the information, because the Tech Team's document contains a table giving the pros and cons of the possible change. The whole of the Tech Team's document is available on the website, starting at the 'News' section. It is best to read both parts of the document before posting on this forum. Cheers, Roger
  6. Dear Dave, I am glad that you have opened up the thread for the review of the 36" class rules. Although it is entitled 'Radio 36', the rules will apply to the free sailing 36"s also. Like the other rules that cover both versions of the class/sport, the rules are written as radio rules with a class rules supplement for free sailing. I can understand your frustration because of the time that this review has taken, but as MYA Technical Officer I have been incredibly busy on more immediate demands on my time. I'm delighted to say that the Tech Team have now completed their review document and this will be sent by email to all 36" owners by the Class Captain, Peter Moore, for a two-week discussion on this forum. After that the Tech Team will use the comments to guide the wording of the rule changes. The class captain will then send out a ballot for owners to vote on the rule changes. The review document is comprehensive, giving information about spar material stiffness, related costs and a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each material so that owners can make up their mind about the future of the class. The competition from RTR boring classes with no design input, enhances the 36" class because of the great freedom to experiment and to develop rig ideas, which has always mademodel yachting such a fascinating sport. Removing restrictions can only help to give this class a really sustainable and exciting future, with designers and builders leading a resurgence of this great little fun boat. Cheers, Roger
  7. The following are a few of my personal views on these new proposals. There are a lot more items in this new draft that I have not covered. There is still time for those interested to comment both on the forum and/or directly to myself at stollery17@sky.com , because the MYA has negotiated an extended deadline from IRSA up until the end of the year, 31st December. Your comments and opinions will be very welcome. Measured area marked on sails I cannot see the point of this, especially on small sails, which are obviously smaller than the measured rig. Surely, a measurer/equipment inspector would prefer to use a tape measure and check the foot/luff perpendicular measurements of each sail and compare this with the certificate. This would be a simple comparison, takes little time and will give a good indication that the small sail is within the B dimension. In many ways the removal of the boom limit mark is a retrograde step, because that was easy to check. Minimum mainsail luff lengths at events A very important consideration when making new rules for the future is always to understand where you have come from. I have been designing and building A boats for over 50 years and in that time there have been great changes. In the 1960’s the wooden boats were heavy displacement and were not very exciting performers off the wind. During that following decade there was a revolution, with lighter GRP boats, bulb keels and displacement penalties making the concept viable by using smaller sail areas. With the extra marginal planing ability A boats became greater fun to sail as well as being easier to handle. The minimum mainsail luff length restriction is pointless. Making a class rule to affect the race officer’s decision about whether to sail won’t make any difference to the difficult decision about whether to abandon an event or not. The IOM ranking event at West Kirby has been mentioned in this context, but the race officer, Chris Harris’s view was that this consideration was 'immaterial' because the problem was unsafe launching, with competitors falling over on the wobbly pontoons and the safety of the rescue boat crew etc. In vane racing, where spinnakers are used all the time off the wind the race officer’s decision to abandon will have absolutely nothing to do with the mainsail luff length, but more to do with whether the boats can be caught at the leeward end without excessive danger to the competitors, who would be jumping in to prevent damage to the boats on the concrete. Good in light airs maybe, but the lighter boat struggles at the top end of its biggest rig and to windward as the wind increases against more powerful boats, who then have the advantage. Allowing the freedom to choose the right rig to suit the conditions is essential for development to continue naturally without the imposition of pointless restrictions, as well as, of course, to allow a great deal of fun racing in strong winds. Some of the small rigs that I have designed for my A boat designs are in the order of 1220 mm, which is a lot lower than the suggested limit. Whilst my designs were revolutionary lightweight when they came out, they are now considered on the heavy side. Nowadays there are many more exciting lightweight designs and so there will be a need for even smaller rigs. Apart from being not a good idea for future development of the class, this rule is pointless not only because of safety factors being the prime consideration for abandoning an event, but because luff length does not control the size of the sail. Multiple certificates I have no knowledge or experience of this deliberate ignoring of the rules. I cannot see why perpetrators cannot be brought to heal and the habit stamped out. IRSA should be taking a firm stand against DNMs, their clubs, official measurers and registrars where this rule breaking is happening and they should not be trying to promote it. Drugtaking is difficult to police, but that does not mean we should legalise it! The RRS starts with basic principle rules, “Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce.” Rules in this sense include class rules along with all the other rules that affect the racing, so IRSA have all the ammunition they need to tackle the offending parties. I don’t think that this rule would be good for the class, adding fuel to the criticism of those outside the class that it is expensive. It is true that it is expensive, but it would be better if all the total investment in the class was put to more boats and therefore more competitors, rather than fewer over-equipped boats with fewer people taking part. This proposed rule will encourage more rigs, whereas if you stick to the idea of a single certificate we limit the number of rigs and increase the chances of people wanting to invest in and sail an A boat. Having multiple certificates will be an administrative nightmare, with more work for measurers, registrars, race committees and the MYA web entry facilitator. All of these people give their time working for nothing and they should not be asked to do any more work than is necessary. As the A boat is difficult and time-consuming to measure I can see that having to measure a boat twice in different scenarios would be a really hard job and even more time-consuming per certificate than our current rule. Roger Stollery 2015-12-19
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