A(n) Board Meeting presented by WBA at Issaquah Brew House
Washington Biathlon Association
2013 Annual Membership Meeting
November 5, 2013
The 13th annual membership meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm by Vice President Jack Whisler. Also in attendance were Treasurer Bryn Black, Board Members Cory Hoeger, Mike Kamansky, Brian Palm, and Dave Shaw, Secretary Sibylle Wilbert, Website Administrator Greg Daly, and WBA Members Sabine Arnold, Cooper and Tom Jackson, Grete Porteous, Dan Richards, Jim Slyfield, Mark Turner, and Victor Woo (Elections Administrator). President Bob Vallor and Athletes’ Representative Sean Kato were not able to attend.
The medals for the summer season were presented. The foot races had 50 competitors in 12 categories with Bronze awarded to Mason Holborn (Y3), Sean Kato (MM1) and Jim Slyfield (MM3), Silver to Kyle Holborn (Y3), Cory Hoeger (MM1), Dave Anana (MM2), and Jack Whisler (MM3), and Gold to Cooper Jackson (Y3), Dan Richards (MM1), Mark Turner (MM2), Brian Palm (MM3), Bryn Black (MW2), and Sibylle Wilbert (MW3). The mountain bike races had 21 competitors in 3 categories with Bronze awarded to Josh Alms (M), Silver to Tom Davies (M), and Gold to Cooper Jackson (Y) and Dan Richards (M). Appendix 1 shows the 2013 Summer Season’s Point List.
The Treasurer reported that the WBA had available cash of $3,548.45 and no debt. The annual income was $17,477 from earned revenues, memberships, and other miscellaneous proceeds while expenses amounted to $15,327 due to capital equipment purchases, equipment maintenance and repair, insurance, trail passes, USBA membership dues, and other miscellaneous expenses. Larger expenses included the purchase of an additional club rifle ($1,339), Sondre Nordberg’s visit ($775; he never billed us for his flight), fifteen new biathlon mats ($3,507; donations for mats are still being accepted to help cover the expense), and insurance ($750).
WBA membership is at a record this year with a total of 78 members, of which 19 are life-time members. Renewals for WBA and USBA annual memberships are due at this time and members who submit their renewals by December 1 will be entered in a drawing for a free race weekend.
Some members had expressed interest in purchasing new WBA racing suits and vests. Examples will be available for a last try-on before the fit-kit will be returned to VOmax. Cory noted that, for him, a medium-size bottom paired with a large top gave the best fit.
The WBA has currently access to a number of race venues. Summer competitions can be held at the Seattle Police Athletic Association (SPAA) in Tukwila, the Black Diamond Gun Club, the Rattlesnake Mountain Shooting Facility in the Tri-Cities, at the biathlon range in Mazama, and the Mt. Spokane State Park in Spokane. Jim added that facilities at the Seattle Rifle and Pistol Association in Machias could be made available as well. Winter competitions can be conducted at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center (SPNC), at the biathlon range in Mazama, or at the Liberty Bell High School in Winthrop.
SPAA: There will be changes in personnel by the end of this year. Discussions about the use and location of a movable practice target have been postponed until the new staff will have taken office.
Black Diamond: Bob is drafting an application for an NRA grant to potentially put in a small-bore range. A gate would need to be installed and the target line, firing line, and range need improvements.
Tri-Cities: The user fees at the Rattlesnake Mountain Shooting Facility have gone up significantly. Adjacent ranges will be explored as possible alternatives. Other options include shooting facilities in Ephrata and Spokane.
SPNC: Significant changes have been made to the biathlon range at SPNC. Mike Power leveled a hill that previously confined the shooting area, creating a new site. It has a flat range entry and exit, a leveled full 50 meter range, a full penalty loop, easier access to the target line from the container, and is much easier to groom. As the firing line was moved and the “meadow loop” shortened, the race courses will have to be slightly re-drawn. Mark Turner is working on maps for the new range outlining proposed race course options. An image of the new SPNC range configuration is attached in Appendix 2.
The 2013/2014 winter season schedule was presented. Events at SPNC include a newcomer ski clinic on January 11 and biathlon clinic on January 12, and competitions on January 25&26, February 22&23, March 8&9, and/or March 15&16. A possible race date in the Methow Valley is February 8&9 at the Liberty Bell High School in Winthrop.
The Elections Administrator presented the results from this years Board elections. Open were the positions of President, Secretary, Board Positions 1 and 3, and Athletes Representative. Each position had one candidate (all incumbents). Twenty-six out of 79 eligible voters (33%) submitted valid ballots. Each of the candidates was reelected: Bob Vallor for President, Sibylle Wilbert for Secretary, Cory Hoeger and Mike Kamansky for Board Positions 1 and 3, and Sean Kato for Athletes Representative. The results are presented in Appendix 3. No comments were submitted with the ballots or brought up at the meeting.
The state of the WBA was reviewed:
It is still difficult to find ammunition for sale and available supplies are often markedly priced up. On behalf of the WBA, Bryn was granted a direct purchase agreement with Wolff. A shipment was expected to arrive in October but has not yet been delivered. Jim Slyfield is expecting a shipment of Aguila ammunition he is willing to share. All members are encouraged to look for options and share information.
At the beginning of the year, Bryn moved from keeping track of the finances manually to using QuickBooks software for bookkeeping.
Significant repairs were made to the trailer. While it was in the shop, a U-Haul was rented for transportation of equipment. The trailer is now fully functional again.
The WBA purchased 15 biathlon mats from Finland for a total of $3,507. The new mats arrived last month in time for the winter season. The mat fund is still accepting donations to help cover the expense.
To make conference calling easier, the WBA is now using a commercial service that provides a call-in number for all participants. The cost is 8 cents per minute, amounting to ~$150 per year.
The WBA now owns three 80 mm Alpen scopes complete with interchangeable covers and tripods.
The container at the SPNC range was brought down to the SPNC parking lot for patching up bullet holes (33) and welding on extra hooks. The damaged door will be replaced with a new one. Due to the redesign of the shooting range, the shed will be moved to a new location. To do so, a new supporting frame will be built at the range in the following weeks (see Appendix 2 for the new location of the shed). A measuring kit for laying out the range will also be assembled.
The WBA purchased its 10th Izhmash club rifle ($1,339 complete with accessories and ammunition). It currently has a full-size (7-4) stock. To increase the number of smaller-sized rifles, the WBA is looking to acquire a smaller (7-3) stock to replace the 7-4 stock. All four magazines from Rifle #1 went missing in May. As they still have not been found, Rifle #1 has been equipped with four spare magazines borrowed from other WBA rifles. To keep track of rifle accessories more easily, all extra parts (butt spacers, blinders, cuffs) have been removed from the rifle bags and will be handed out if needed.
The National Guard continues to work on developing a biathlon program for their members. New funding has become available and several Guards, including Col. Humphreys, Maj. Barrow, and Sgts. Howard and Ifie, have become actively involved, bringing new momentum to the program. On August 2, Sgt. Ifie, assisted by Bob, organized a biathlon clinic for 25 Guard members at the Pierce County Sheriff’s shooting range. The event was well received and participants expressed interest in pursuing biathlon further.
The WBA website was redesigned and updated thanks to Greg Daly and Mike Kamansky. Greg, Mike, and Brian Palm will share the responsibility of uploading entry forms, race results, and new information.
On June 15, Sondre Nordberg, a biathlon consultant and former top-level biathlete from Norway, came to Seattle and held a clinic on dry-firing techniques based on his book “Dry Fire Training for Biathlon”, which can be purchased online as an electronic copy. The clinic was excellent and the WBA is hoping to bring Sondre back for a follow-up visit next year. Sondre is currently working on a new book on mental training for biathletes.
WBA newcomer clinics are currently held at least once in winter and once in summer. The teaching material has been continuously updated and improved. Bryn and Jack made laminated cards that can be used at the range with an image of a perfect site picture and overview of the clinic agenda to harmonize the information provided to the students by each instructor.
The WBA holds several funds, including an Athletes Fund aimed at providing training and racing opportunities to high-performing biathletes and a Mat Fund to assist with the purchase of new biathlon mats suitable for winter weather.
For summer races, ground rules reminding racers of range procedures and etiquette were put in place and posted. Sign-out sheets for rifles borrowed during competitions are now being archived.
There was no old business to be discussed.
A few people are currently managing activities that do not occur at the range, such as loading and unloading equipment at SPAA or work parties. An appeal was made to the WBA members to step up their help with these activities.
On November 7, William D. Franks will be giving a lecture on his new book “Skiing in Russia and the Rise of Soviet Biathlon” at the UW Book Store. W. D. Franks is a local historian as well as a biathlete who competed in the United States Biathlon Team Selection Trials for the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York and the 1981 Biathlon World Championships in Lahti, Finland, the United States Biathlon Qualification Race Series for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, the United States Biathlon National Championships of 1979 and 1981, and the United States National Cross-Country Championships of 1985.
Jack adjourned the meeting at 7:47 pm.