Message from President Martin Hill
It was my honour and privilege to take on the role of President of the Australian Association at the August AGM. The IECAA executive is conscious
of the challenges facing the Class; the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 as well as the situation with the Mould 11 boats and the Australian builder. Our great class has
survived many hurdles over the years and we are confident of finding a way through with your support and suggestions. I myself have been sailing Etchells for over 30 years
competing locally as well as overseas more recently. I have enjoyed very much the comradery of the class and its competitive nature. I am looking forward to both the Adelaide
Nationals and the Worlds in Cowes, as well as some racing on Sydney Harbour, as soon as COVID restrictions ease. I was pleased to meet all the Fleet Captains in a Zoom call
a couple of weeks ago, and know that all fleets are trying to keep things flexible to take account of COVID restrictions in their local area. Whether you are sailing at a club
level or in regattas, I hope you can all take part in some great sailing over the coming season as restrictions ease further in the new year (we hope).
In this newsletter you will find an update of the current actions around Mould 11 as well as other news. We will be sending
regular communications to members going forward. This is your class so please give us feedback as to how to make the class better for you and your crew. Take care of yourself
and see you out on the water – sooner rather than later I hope.
The IECAA Committee
Meet the members of the IECAA Committee, appointed at the 2 August AGM.
Our membership site is now open for the coming season. The reopening has
been delayed due to issues associated with a mandatory payment gateway upgrade. We encourage you to renew now while you think of it, as well as updating your details.
Your membership is important to the health of the Class, not just nationally but also drives the amount of representation we have at the International level.
Regattas coming up
The Gold Coast Fleet and Southport Yacht Club are excited to be hosting the
2021-2022 International Etchells
Queensland Championship from 9-10 October 2021.
The Adelaide Fleet and the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia (CYCSA) extend a warm invitation to North Haven for
the Nationals - scheduled for 8-13 January 2022.
Keep an eye on the online calendar as well.
Between 3 August and 11 August eligible voters (Active members of the IECAA, with one vote per boat) were asked to submit an "Agree"
or "Disagree" response to the statement "I support M11 boats being permitted to compete in the Australian Nationals and State Championships during the 2021/22 season."
A two/ thirds majority acceptance was required to indicate member support. 90% voted (130 out of 145 eligible voters), with 56.2 % voting "Agree" and 43.8 %
voting "Disagree". This meant the vote was not passed successfully.
It is the objective of the IECAA executive to encourage and maximise Etchells membership participation across all fleets including
sanctioned events (State and Nationals). Another proposal will be put to the membership to enable M11 boats to compete in these events, including the upcoming Nationals.
This is by way of an interim solution to make M11 boats welcomed by the majority of the membership.
An esteemed expert panel has been assembled by the IECA and IECAA; Tom Schnackenberg, Grant Simmer, Bruce Nelson, Len Imas, Shaun Ritson
and Casey Brown. This team is using their skills and resources to examine a number of solution options. Their preferred option will be circulated as a recommendation to
members for consideration as soon as it is available, before putting it to a membership vote. The target time for the recommendation is October, to enable sufficient
time for the steps required to implement it, including being put to the Australian members via confidential ballot and requiring a 2/3 majority to pass. The IGC and
World Sailing have been engaged to formalise permitting of M11 boats to sail in the Australian Nationals if these steps are successful.
We will keep members informed along the way.
The IECA sent out a newsletter last week with various updates. In case you missed it, here is
a link to the newsletter.