20 October 2016
Introduction from the Commodore
As you know Rob Levy and Ruedi Moser have reviewed our constitution. We started this review because the last election for the Post of Commodore was controversial and we must prevent a repeat of that, the next election will be in December 2017.
Please review the document below and return comments on behalf of your NCA by 31st October 2016. FI will then circulate the final version by 14th November 2016 , the aim being to have the changes voted on by the Council at the 2016 World Championship in South Africa.
Rob & Ruedi have kindly provided some notes explaining their thinking for some of these changes and they appear below.
I wish now to Publicly thank Rob and Ruedi for their work, this has not been an easy task and they have spent a lot of time on it.
Commodore Fireball International
Notes / Explanations of the thinking behind the proposals
It might help the review process if I explain why we have proposed some of the changes to the executive structure and to the composition of Council.
The proposal provides for expanding the number of Rear Commodores on the executive to 6. Europe will be represented by two Rear Commodores, with one responsible for Western Europe and one for Central Europe. This proposal reflects our belief that Europe needs more weight on the executive. We further believe that this approach will allow the Rear Commodores to focus more clearly, better represent the diverse needs of the sailors and the NCAs and improve communication. Europe remains the center of Fireball activity and the challenges and opportunities for coordination between the many active NCAs can be extensive.
To help rationalize the executive structure, we have proposed that the executive position reserved for the largest NCA be abolished. We believe that the executive should be composed of those elected and those appointed by the Commodore. This position did not fit into either category. The new Rear Commodore structure will ensure that the interests of every NCA are considered. The largest NCA will retain considerable influence on the election of their Rear Commodore and the Commodore. The previous structure providing a reserved seat on the executive does not promote a democratic administration of the class.
We have clarified how a NCA can lose its membership on Council. Given the recent electoral history, it was essential that the bylaws be clear on this point.
We have proposed that members of the executive do not have a vote on Council, guaranteeing that the ultimate responsibility for decisions lies with Council.
We have also stipulated that there can only be one NCA per MNA. This corresponds to the requirements from World Sailing (ISAF). It also makes sense. FI cannot be in the position of deciding and defining 'countries'. Currently, the Shetlands enjoy NCA status. This either provides GBR with more votes in Council than they would warrant if the Shetlands agree with GBR, or it dilutes the GBR vote when there is a disagreement. In either case, it is undemocratic. It also will place FI in an impossible position in the event that Scotland or Wales or Quebec or Western Australia or some jurisdiction submits an application for membership. We are aware that this change challenges what might be perceived as an acquired right for the Shetlands, and it is up to Council to decide how to proceed. There are a number of options. The new constitution could be applied immediately; Shetlands could be permitted to remain on Council with its current voting rights for a defined period of time; Shetlands could be grandfathered permanently; or Shetlands could remain on Council but its votes would be counted as part of the GBR submission. I would favour the fourth option, as the input at Council is important and does not take away rights or privileges from any other NCA.
I hope that this is helpful and I wish you good luck.
Comments on Changes
Comments on changes should be constructive and specific. No nasty or personal comments please.
They can be submitted directly to your NCA.
You can post them on the Fireball International Facebook Page.
You can post them on a Swiss generated forum.
FI will take all comments into consideration before finalising the constituion that will be submitted to council for voting.
1 Fireball International
Fireball International is a Federation of National Class Associations, Affiliated Members, Unaffiliated Members and Honorary Life Members.
The Class flag shall be square, with a red disc centered on a blue background. For Class racing, International Numeral Pendant 8 may be used.
The mission of Fireball International is to promote and facilitate Fireball racing and sailing worldwide by:
- Encouraging Fireball racing internationally;
- Promoting strong Fireball fleets throughout the world;
- Maintaining the one design nature of the Fireball class;
- Keeping the boat modern; and
- Promoting communication amongst Fireball fleets and sailors worldwide.
4 Language and Interpretation
The official language of Fireball International is English. The word "shall" is mandatory and the word "may" is permissive.
As used herein and in the Class Rules, the following shall mean:
a) "Affiliated Members": A person who is a member of a NCA.
b) "Class Rules": The rules governing all matters affecting performance, such as design, measurement of boats, spars, sails, and equipment.
c) "Council": The governing body of Fireball International.
d) "Executive": The Executive Committee of Fireball International.
e) "Flag Officers": The Commodore and Rear Commodores of Fireball International.
f) "Honorary Life Member": A person so appointed by the Council.
g) "International Fireball": The class of sailing dinghy known as the Fireball, as originally designed by Peter Milne.
h) "Licensed Builder": A builder holding a valid license from World Sailing for the production of International Fireballs.
i) "Measurement Certificate": The certificate issued in accordance with the Class Rules.
l) "Sail Number": The registration number allocated by Fireball International for a Fireball dinghy.
m) "Secretary": The person holding such office.
n) "Technical Committee": The committee responsible for the application, interpretation, and review of proposed modifications of the Class Rules.
o) "Treasurer": The person holding such office.
p) "Unaffiliated Members": A person, ineligible to be a member of a National Class Association, OLD: admitted to membership by Council. NEW: who has applied and been admitted to membership by Council. If there are more than five such memberships from a MNA in this category, a NCA may be organized and an application for admission be submitted to Council.
q) "Valid Measurement Certificate": The Measurement Certificate issued to the current owner, and for which the current year registration has been paid.
7.2 Council shall call for nominations for Flag Officers not less than eight months prior to the expiry of the current term of office. Nominations shall be closed four months prior to the expiry of the current term of office.
7.3 The Commodore shall be nominated by a NCA and seconded by another NCA. The Rear Commodores shall be nominated by a NCA in their region and seconded by another NCA.
7.4 In the absence of a nomination, the Council shall appoint the Flag Officer.
7.5 Council, as the case may be, shall elect or appoint the Flag Officers two months prior to the expiry of the current term of office.
7.6 Flag Officers shall be elected for a term of three years and may be re-elected.
7.7 In the event of a Flag Officer's position becoming vacant, Council shall appoint a replacement to serve for the balance of the term.
7.8 Council shall hold an Annual General Meeting during the World Championship, or in those years with no World Championship, during the European Championship, at a date and time to be notified by the Secretary to every NCA not less than thirty (30) days prior to the meeting. The Notice of the Meeting shall include the agenda.
7.9 Council shall hold Special General Meetings at the request of the Executive or at the request of a minimum of 4 NCAs at a date and time to be notified by the Secretary to every NCA not less than thirty (30) days prior to the meeting. The Notice of the Meeting shall include the agenda. Special General Meetings may be held via electronic means.
- 26 to 50 members: two votes;
- 51 to 100 members: three votes;
- 101 to 150 members: four votes;
- 151 to 250 members: five votes;
- 251 to 350 members: six votes;
- 351 to 500 members: seven votes;
- 501 to 650 members: eight votes;
- 651 to 850 members: nine votes; and
- 851 members or more: ten votes.
9 Voting Procedures
9.1 Proposals requiring a decision by Council may be submitted to the Secretary by a NCA or by a member of the Executive.
9.2 No proposal shall become a Resolution unless seconded.
9.3 Resolutions shall be circulated to Council and Unaffiliated Members within thirty (30) days of receipt by the Secretary.
9.5 The voting shall be by electronic media.
9.6 The results, listing all the NCAs and their votes, shall be circulated by the Secretary to Council within ten (10) days of the expiry of the voting period.
9.7 Changes to the Constitution shall occur upon Resolution of Council approved by sixty percent (60%) of total eligible votes, subject, if necessary, to the approval of World Sailing.
9.8 Changes to the Class Rules shall occur upon Resolution of Council approved by sixty percent (60%) of votes cast, subject, if necessary, to the approval of World Sailing.
9.9 All other decisions, subject to Section 12, shall require a simple majority of votes cast.
10 Subscription and Registration
10.1 The Council shall establish an annual subscription payable to Fireball International by the NCAs and Unaffiliated Members. The subscription for the NCAs shall be established on the basis of the number of their Affiliated Members, subject to such minimum subscription as the Council may from time to time determine.
10.2 Affiliated or Unaffiliated Membership shall be required of helms and crews in order to compete in Fireball International events.
10.3 Council shall establish a per boat annual registration fee payable to Fireball International by the NCAs and Unaffiliated Members
10.4 Annual registration shall be required in order to obtain a Valid Measurement Certificate. A Valid Measurement Certificate shall be required for a boat to compete in Fireball International events.
10.5 Annual subscriptions and registrations shall be payable thirty (30) days after they have been issued.
11.1 The affairs of Fireball International shall be managed by the Executive subject to the authority of Council.
11.3 Appointments for the positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Chairman of the Technical Committee, and other appointees shall be made by the Commodore and ratified by Council for a period to coincide with the elected term of office. Appointees may be reappointed.
11.4 The Commodore shall be responsible for coordinating all matters of an international nature, shall exercise a general oversight of the affairs of Fireball International and shall make a report at the Annual General Meeting. The Commodore shall preside at all General Meetings of the Federation and Council. In the absence of the Commodore, the Rear Commodores shall choose a Chairman from amongst themselves. In the absence of the Commodore or Rear Commodore at a meeting of the Federation, the members shall choose a Chairman from amongst themselves. The Commodore shall not hold office in a NCA.
11.6 The Secretary shall be responsible for the day to day correspondence of Fireball International, maintenance of its records, the conduct of ballots, notices and minutes of meetings and shall act on behalf of the Unaffiliated and Honorary Members of Fireball International. The Secretary shall be responsible for the issuance of Sail Numbers for the Class. The Secretary shall be responsible for liaison with World Sailing. The Secretary shall not hold office in a NCA.
11.7 The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial matters of the Federation. The Treasurer shall have charge of the funds of Fireball International and make such disbursements as the Executive shall direct, keep accurate financial records, and present an annual financial statement to Council, duly reviewed by an independent authority. The Treasurer shall not hold office in a NCA.
11.8 The Executive shall be responsible for World Championships and all international events for the Class.
11.9 The Executive shall be entitled to act in emergency without reference to World Sailing by issuing amendments and interpretations to the Class Rules provided that such amendments and interpretations shall be promptly notified to Council, World Sailing, NCAs and Licensed Builders.
Dissolution of Fireball International shall take place upon resolution of Council approved by sixty percent (60%) of total eligible votes. In the event of dissolution, the net assets of Fireball International shall be dispersed as directed by Council.