AGM 2011

Minutes of MPBA Fast Electric Section AGM

Saturday 23rd July

1. Meeting opened at 7:20pm

2. Members present:

Allan Shillito, Torran Hayward, Bill Hickman, Mark Shipman, Simon Mitchell, Paul Heaton, David Harvey, Chris Osman, Ian Williams, George Roberts, Ian Phillips, Paul Upton-Taylor, Rob Physick, Martin Harvey, John Foster, Peter Barrow

Apologies for absence from Chris Ransome.

3. Minutes of 2010 AGM

The minutes of the 2010 AGM were passed around. Allan Shillito asked if the minutes could be put on the ASTEC forum. It was pointed out that the minutes had been on the FES website for nearly a year and anyone logging on to the site to register for the Nationals had the opportunity to read them via the link. There being no changes the minutes were put forward for acceptance. Proposed by David Harvey, seconded by Simon Mitchell.

4. Chairman’s Report

There were a large number of entrants this year with entrants using both 2S and 3S batteries so people must be happy with the battery regulations. We need to put together a proposal later in the meeting to put to NAVIGA to make sure that the rules remain as they are. Safety is becoming an issue with the faster speeds being achieved and we need to ensure that the proposal covered the safety issue without having to change the battery rules. We have been lucky with the weather. We have tried to get details of the 2012 Worlds from Walter Geens, but it is not yet known when they will be or where. Thanks were given for the Bridlington team for putting the event together and for the SWAMBC lads for looking after the Eco classes.

5. Treasurers Report

A balance sheet as such is not available but the money in the MPBA FES central fund stands at £1515.22. There were entry fees for the National of £822, but there were still more to come from the team event (which would depend on the number of boats left to race). Expenses were £300 for the hire of the lake, a refund of £24 for members that had been entered incorrectly, entry fees to the Worlds to the Harvey lads of £40, donation of £20 from section to deceased member of Bridlington, trophies for the event to a cost of £357.45, £130 for replacement trophies (reimbursed to MPBA), office costs of £40.03, £60 for attendance at NEC meetings, £30 for the battery stickers. Total expenses of £1001.48. There will be £583 in the bank after two presented cheques have cleared. Allan Shillito asked if we would be up on last year’s balance, and we will be. It had cost about £657 to run the Nationals. The sum of £1515 includes the annual grant of £354. Extra trophies had to be purchased due to there having been three that were lost, but this had been sorted and the section reimbursed. There was income of £75 from the SAWS event.

Statement of accounts acceptance proposed by Allan Shillito, and seconded by David Harvey. Passed unanimously.

6. Secretary’s Report

Paul Upton-Taylor found a possible new venue for the SAWS event, weed having been a problem at previous venues, and the last venue not allowing cars to be taken to the water’s edge in the future, which made it somewhat inconvenient. The new lake was an ex-quarry with a big wall along one side and very deep water. There was no easy bank side access and the solution was that the owner would build a floating pontoon and would ferry us out by boat. The venue was also a long way down in Cornwall, which would have meant at least one overnight stay for most people. Also with the cost of fuel being what it is at the moment it was felt that these issues made the venue unsuitable for what we wanted.

Other issues to come up in the year related to insurance. The insurance company wanted a list of all of the MPBA events during the year along with a risk assessment for each event. Peter Revill suggested that competitions could be run under section rules, which should include a risk assessment within those rules. The outcome was that the insurance company would accept the MPBA rule Section D No.30 as the risk assessment criteria. On the basis that the insurance company said that they wanted a list of all MPBA organised events the question was put to the MPBA if the insurance covered general fun running and practice. The insurance company confirmed that members were covered for all classes of boats for all uses anywhere provided that permission had been granted for this.

Part of the MPBA risk assessment is to do with the protection of eyes from transmitter aerials. The issue had been raised at the MPBA AGM when one of the sections said that their members felt that having a ball on the end of the aerial obscured their view. After a lot of discussion at the meeting it was decided to ask the insurance company for their view on the issue. They came back saying that they were not bothered what was on the end of the aerial as long as it complied with the MPBA risk assessment criteria for the protection of eyes which states that there should be adequate protection. Peter Barrow pointed out that as the radio manufacturers made their product to the various CE certifications then they should be covered anyway. The outcome was that each person decides what they deem to be adequate protection.

A further query had been on whether we were covered for running in Russia and China. The insurance company have quoted that we are covered for anywhere in the World.

The insurance company have also agreed to allow three taster sessions for potential new members under full insurance protection.

Acceptance proposed by Allan Shillito, seconded by David Harvey.

7. SAWS Officer

A good day was had and seven new records were set. A lot of records still unbroken were set using NiMh cells. It was a shame that the lake at Leicester could not be used again as it was a nice lake with not a sign of weed. Despite having a number of people on our side, the local park ranger had sway over the council and did not even allow invalid carriages down to the lake. It was felt necessary to be able to take the cars to the lakeside due to the requirement to have charging batteries there, the walking distance being several hundred yards from the car park. The SAWS event was therefore back to Burton-on-Trent. Peter Dimberline had been on the phone to say that the Burton lake was currently free of weed, but he would keep us updated on the situation.

8. International Officer

We don’t know when they will be or where they will be for 2012.

9. Election of Officers

The standing committee were asked if they were prepared to stand again. There were no dissentions. The meeting was asked if anyone wanted to stand for a position. There were no takers.

The chairman stated that he would only stand for one more year as he would then have stood for three years which he felt was enough. One of the problems with being on the committee was that there was not much chance to race as there is always difficulty in getting competitors to do jobs during the event. This issue was to be brought up later in the evening.

Acceptance of standing committee proposed by Bill Hickman, seconded by Simon Mitchell.

10. A.O.B.

Chairman asked if we need a safety officer. The general feeling was that one was not necessary. It was felt that as the Nationals meeting was always held at the same place and the Bridlington club covered all of the safety issues that there was no need to have a safety officer. A vote was taken as to whether a safety officer was required and the vote was ‘No’.

The question of whether the AGM should be held on the Friday night. There were 16 people out of 50 attending this current AGM. A discussion then took place as to how many members would be able to make a meeting on a Friday night. Some members had to work Fridays so would find it difficult to make a meeting before 7:30pm, others might have to travel a long way and be unable to make a meeting until very late. Another consideration was the limited space available. Bill Hickman put forward a proposal that the AGM be held on the Friday night at 7:30pm, seconded by Paul Upton-Taylor. The proposal was accepted.

The next proposal put forward by the committee was for the adoption of a 6-minute run time for Mini Eco Expert as run by NAVIGA. Paul Upton-Taylor proposed that the run time be kept at 5 minutes. Pete Barrow explained that the event was a national event and was a qualifying event for the NAVIGA World Championships the following year. As such we should be running to the NAVIGA rules. Allan Shillito pointed out that we were not using the NAVIGA triangle for Eco Expert so were not therefore complying to NAVIGA rules anyway. Simon Mitchell pointed out that every class that we run that is a NAVIGA class is run to NAVIGA rules. Allan Shillito accepted that the shape of the course has to be made to fit the water on which the event is being held. Martin Harvey pointed out that the argument was really around the class name. Previously the class had been called Mini Eco and the rules were set locally. If we adopted the name of Mini Eco Expert as it is called by NAVIGA then we should adopt their rules. It was pointed out by several members that previous discussions on class rules had always said that we run to NAVIGA rules. Bill Hickman pointed out that their boats could run for 6 minutes anyway so it should not be a problem. A formal proposal was put forward by Simon Mitchell and seconded by Bill Hickman. The proposal was then voted in.

Pete Barrow stated that Mini Mono and Mini Hydro would one day become a NAVIGA class. At the moment for Mono 1/Hydro 1 or Mono 2/Hydro 2 it is possible to swap motors and batteries between classes, so should we not be able to do the same for the mini classes by having the Mini Eco Expert battery rules adopted for Mini Mono and Mini Hydro. A discussion then took place around the relative merits of 2S/3S batteries and having only either 2S or 3S. A proposal was put forward by Bill Hickman and seconded by Simon Mitchell that we adopt the NAVIGA Mini Eco Expert battery configurations for Mini Mono and Mini Hydro. The proposal was passed.

Pete Barrow pointed out that we have had a high number of entrants this year that has necessitated an 8:00am start and a 7:00pm finish. Should the event therefore be made into a three-day event. Bill Hickman stated that they (the SWAMBC members) would rather finish later on a Sunday than have a three-day event. Ian Phillips also stated that this issue had been raised with the Bridlington committee and that they were not happy about this idea. In light of this general rejection a discussion then took place around splitting the rounds so that some classes do two rounds on the Saturday and one on the Sunday, and the rest of the classes do the reverse. The feeling of the meeting was that this Saturday had gone well and that the elimination of the two-minute technical had helped to keep the meeting running to time. Simon Mitchell also pointed out that the suggestion made earlier that competitors coming off their heat should be given jobs to do for the next heat would also help to speed up the running. Should it happen that the event started to run late then some of the heats from the Saturday could be pushed back to the Sunday. Allan Shillito pointed out that NAVIGA rules state that there should be three clocks running in case of failure. It was hoped that the use of a piece of software that was going to be obtained would eliminate this issue. It was therefore decided to leave things as they are.

Peter Barrow asked if everyone was happy with running the M course for Eco Expert and the meeting agreed that this was satisfactory.

The issue of the entry fees was then raised. The question as to whether we had made a profit over the year was raised and the answer was that whilst there had been a profit this year it was not as much as previous years. Bill Hickman stated that as long as we were making a profit then there should be no worries. Allan Shillito asked why we should be making more money. Martin Harvey suggested that what needs to be done is to set a minimum amount that needs to be held between the central fund and the section held funds. Bill Hickman pointed out that the money held in the central fund was more than enough to run the section for two years and that should be sufficient. Martin Harvey pointed out that the ultimate aim was to get enough money to buy a transponder system. There was some dissention from the members about this. Peter Barrow pointed out that one of the things we have a problem with is the timing. He stated that we are the only section that races that does not have a transponder system. Simon Mitchell asked what stops us from borrowing a system from one of the other sections. Peter said that they would not loan us the equipment. Ian Phillips made the point that raising the entry fee by £1 would only bring in another £140. Ian stated that it would need to be raised to £10 to make it worthwhile and then it would stop people from entering. Allan Shillito pointed out that the entry fee was not the real cost of entering the event, the real cost being getting to the event. Peter Barrow thought that if we could get £2000 in the central fund then maybe the MPBA would loan us the rest of the money required and we could repay it out of our annual grant. A general discussion around the merits of a £10 entry fee then took place with a number of members stating that if the entry fee went up to £10 then they would run fewer classes. After further discussion it was decided that a different way of raising money needed to be found. Peter Barrow asked if we therefore need to have someone responsible for fund raising. This person could then maybe approach trade entities for the donation of items for raffle prizes. Ian Phillips said he thought that one section had got a load from the MPBA to buy their system. It was pointed out that there was more to it than that, and Peter Barrow provided the background around the loan. A lengthy discussion then took place around the various merits of fund raising and running raffles. Allan Shillito pointed out that we also need to consider the upkeep of a transponder system, who was going to look after it and make sure that it worked when needed. Simon Mitchell proposed that we hold a raffle to raise money towards a transponder system and this was seconded by Bill Hickman. The motion was passed unanimously.

The issue of job allocation was discussed. Simon Mitchell suggested that after each race the competitor does a duty in the next race. The problem was raised about when a competitor was actually racing in the last group of one class and then the first group of the next class. Ian Phillips suggested that when he could consider this when it came to allocating heats and race numbers. Inexperienced entrants could be allocated the easier tasks. Allan Shillito proposed and Bill Hickman seconded that duties be allocated on this basis. The motion was accepted. The question of a penalty for not doing this allocated job was then raised. It was generally felt that some sort of penalty should be awarded and a discussion then took place as to what this penalty should be. A one lap deduction from their last race was suggested as was having their last race disqualified. Allan Shillito suggested that if they did not present themselves to the officer of the day for a job allocation that they have their last race disqualified. Should there be a major problem with a competitor having a badly damaged boat, which needed a lot of attention, then the Officer Of the Day could exempt this competitor from doing a duty. Proposed by Bill Hickman and seconded by David Harvey. Motion passed.

Peter Barrow put forward a suggestion that all throttle controls be fitted with a return spring. Some members felt that this was not feasible. Peter then explained his reasoning behind his suggestion, highlighting an incident that took place at a NADS meeting. A discussion then took place around the safety issues and practicalities of implementing such a ruling. Peter pointed out that the incident had come to the notice of the local council and that they wanted to know what measures had been put in place to prevent such an incident happening again. Whilst the incident was not directly a section issue it was indirectly a section issue as the local council were aware that the local club were members of the MPBA. Peter stated that it should be seen that we had raised the issue and discussed it and made recommendations. The outcome of the discussions was that it should be written that ‘it is strongly recommended that a strap should be utilised to stop a transmitter from being able to be dropped on the floor thus rendering the throttle unable to be zeroed’.

Chris Ransome had proposed that overseas competitors be by invitation only. Simon Mitchell pointed out that we were looking to get money for a transponder system and yet we were proposing to limit entrants. Also that the overseas visitors had been doing some very good times. The point was made that we would not want someone coming over that we knew nothing about their racing ability. It would be possible to enquire from the country organisation who they would suggest be invited to enter. David Harvey pointed out that the proposal had been made due to the antics of one particular entrant who had behaved in a manner which it was felt was inappropriate and which could have had a knock on affect to the local club. Bill Hickman thought that it was more appropriate to ban such a person rather than have entry by invitation. It was felt generally that it was better to have a condition of entry that the person was expected to behave in a sensible fashion and not to do anything that would bring the Bridlington club or the MPBA into disrepute, such condition to be entered on invitations. Bill Hickman proposed that it be left up to the committee to decide if an entrant should be banned from attending irrespective of where they were from. The proposal was seconded by David Harvey. Proposal accepted unanimously.

Peter Barrow raised the issue of the future NAVIGA classes and battery configurations. NAVIGA feel that there are too many classes at present, and also that there is a safety issue with the speeds that are currently being attained. It was Peter’s feeling that we could end up with just one Mono class and one Hydro class. What we need to do is to come up with a proposal that keeps the classes as they are but make them safer whilst maintaining the equipment currently being used. Any proposal has to be in by September. A problem is that if the next World Championships is in say Russia then someone is going to have to go there to present the proposal, otherwise the eastern block will stitch up the western block. Simon Mitchell stated that he thought that it was safety rather than speed that needs to be looked at. Simon felt that the current classes were good and that there was some exciting racing. Peter said that it was for this reason that we need to put a proposal forward that keeps the boats going fast but keeps the Germans happy. Watt limiters had been suggested by Walter Geens but 7 out of 9 countries have said no to this idea. Another idea from Walter was to limit the capacity of the cells but with honest higher C ratings. Paul Heaton suggested that we propose to leave things as they are until such times as there is a way to limit cell capacity or find a cheap and reliable watt meter. Peter explained that it was not feasible to limit cells on capacity, as there was no guarantee that the capacity quoted was the actual capacity. Peter said that for these reasons we need to put in a proposal, and that any such changes should remain unchanged for four years and not two years as is the current policy, unless there is a safety issue. The proposal should therefore be along the lines that a basic proposal should be put together with a clause that states that any proposal should ensure that the batteries last longer and that the rules remain for four years minimum. If nobody goes to the next Worlds to compete then the possibility of sending someone funded by the MPBA and/or section should be looked at.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9:05pm.