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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

Summary of Town Hall Meeting at the Bacardi Cup
By Claude Bonanni, International Vice President Hemisphere 1
Mar 17, 2005, 00:20

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Town meeting at the Bacardi Cup, photo by Jan Walker
President Bill Allen hosted the first Town Hall meeting at the Bacardi Cup this past Thursday, 10 March 2005, with approximately 50 people in attendance. Other officers participating included International Vice President (Western Hemisphere) Claude Bonanni, First Continental Vice President (North America) Joe Zambella, and International Governing Committee Chairman Rick Burgess.

President Allen opened the meeting with a moment of silence for long time Biscayne Bay Star Fleet Member, Frank Zagarino, who passed away after a long illness immediately prior to the Bacardi Cup. Almost all Star sailors honored Frank by placing the letter "Z" just below the # 3 batten on their main sails. Frank won the Bacardi Cup in 1969.

President Allen stressed the informality of the meeting. The officers would listen and discuss any issues of interest. He acknowledged the past Class Presidents Dierk Thomsen, Jack Rickard and Bill Parks and also thanked Barbara Vosbury for her exceptional work as Regatta Manager.

President Allen pointed out that the Star has been selected as the Men's Keelboat for the 2008 Olympic games in China by an overwhelming vote of 33-3 at the recent ISAF meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. The "men's" designation has brought up the question of gender. Our Class rules and the Class officers firmly and unequivocally support the Star Class as an "OPEN" class. All events under Star Class control will remain open. The gender designation for regattas such as MOCR, Spa and Kiel Week will unfortunately be at the organizer's discretion.

Comments were made on the recent World Championship. Distinguished recognition goes to the organizers at Club NŠutico Olivos in Buenos Aires, Argentina for their outstanding efforts for a great championship. There was a welcome return to the international camaraderie found at many past Star Class Championships.

The Annual Meeting summary and results of 2005 for 2006 resolutions will be found in the next issue of Starlights. (Welcome back, Starlights!) A survey will be mailed out in the May Starlights asking Star Class members to answer questions regarding the Class and how its officers can make the Class better for its paying members.

It is with pride that President Allen announced that the 2005 Log will be mailed in about 4 weeks. This is a great improvement over this past year.

Bill also announced that Gull Lake Star Fleet member Tom VanderMolen has been appointed to be the Marketing Manager for the Class. Tom's ideas and enthusiasm will greatly help our fleet building initiative. Welcome aboard, Tom!

President Allen made a special presentation of the Harry Nye award. This award is presented to an individual to recognize his/her outstanding contributions and dedication to the Star Class. This year the IGC voted unanimously to award the Harry Nye Trophy to John F. Koopman. John has been the Star Class Chief Measurer since 1997, has additionally assisted with both regatta management and technical advice for our Class. He was measurer for the 2000 and 2004 Olympic games, and has also served as the Principal Race Officer at the last two Star Class World Championships. A standing ovation and heartfelt thanks to you, John!!

Some discussion was held regarding technical issues, specifically milled keels and weight distribution in the new boats. Cost issues and performance advantages were discussed by members and John Koopman. Both of these areas will be carefully looked at in the future. While the Star has always been a development class, the officers are concerned about any change that adds significant cost to the boat.

A question and answer section followed, highlighting many issues facing the Class today. Some members brought up the crew weight limit. The new proposals for a revised weight limit were soundly defeated in the annual meeting balloting. Several members suggested that crew weight control should be enforced at all of our events. Other members felt that anyone should be able to sail together at local events. There will no doubt be further discussion about this. The officers strongly feel that our current weight limit is fair, and should not be changed at least until after the 2008 Olympics.

In closing, past President Bill Parks thanked President Allen and suggested that everyone go to dinner. Thank you, Mr. Parks.

Respectfully submitted,

Claude Bonanni
International Secretary / International Vice President Hemisphere 1

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