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Brad Gibson

Class Rule revision for 2016

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We have received notice from IRSA on proposed changes and updates to the International Marblehead class rule.


More details and links to relevant documents can be found on the UK Class website at https://marbleheadsailing.wordpress.com/


Skippers are encouraged to discuss any of the proposed changes within this forum's transparent environment on this thread.


The class belongs to you, the owners. If you have any concerns now is the opportunity to raise them.

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"Minimum mainsail luff height of 990mm on lowest rig":

My ignorance here but is this the height of the band above the deck? or the length of the main between the head and the tack?

as the smallest sail is not a measured rig (only has to sit inside the dimensions of it's group) where is the mast band on C3 or smallest B3?

What is the REAL intention here? And might there be a better way of achieving it?? minimum sail area limit? max wind speed limit? Is this really a problem today in the Marblehead fleet??


"Definition on sail foot roach restrictions":

I'd like to see the details but seems reasonable objective..


"Measured area to be marked on largest sails in a group":

WHY ??? where is the problem with it only being on the certificate?


"Sail cross width recorded dimensions clarification"

I'd like to see the details, I know I've asked about this recently and just been confused..


"Allowance of multiple ‘active’ certificates for one registered hull"

Hmmm, now there's a thought.. many possibilities with this, like multiple sets of measured rigs? same hull registered in multiple countries??

But also a convertible yacht between radio and free sailing with different rigs allowing spinnaker usage on FS? Might be a good way to encourage FS Marbleheads??

Is there any background to this request???

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Just read the rules on radiosailing.org.

What about the banning of on board Cameras? I get that we don't want a skipper to get an advantage from seeing exactly when he/she has rounded a mark etc but what about the publicity missed by streaming a final A fleet live with all boats carrying a camera and being able to sail with your favored yacht?? How much could we learn and improve by watching how Skipper X won that last race?? We should be looking ahead to the future for the sport..


"Minimum mainsail luff height of 990mm on lowest rig":

as I suspected this is about trying to be fairer when it blows hard, but I feel it still misses the point. what happens when it does blow too hard? the race officer has no powers to stop the race other than ask the fleet, someone will still be using his 990mm rig better than others so will still want to race on. so whilst a step in the right direction I don't think it resolves this issue.. I don't want to enforce the purchase of a wind meter and having to monitor it on every race committee, but as these functions are found as free apps for most mobile phones these days it is possible to measure wind speed with reasonable accuracy very cheaply..


"Definition on sail foot roach restrictions":

Adding a triangular alternative to the current straight foot or curved foot options. The sail has to fit within a triangle as I read it this will not allow a irregular curve which I think is the most likely desired option to fit snugly onto a curved boom so I'm not sure what the benefit of adding this option is.


"Measured area to be marked on largest sails in a group":

still WHY ?? would this really give me confidence that someone isn't cheating? I have to trust my competitors in so many areas that I take it as read. if I have an issue then I can protest them. I don't understand how this is going to change anything.. change for change sake. I don't want to see more things scribbled on my nice clean sails thanks.


"Sail cross width recorded dimensions clarification"

Really? why record a theoretical maximum if your sail is measured to be below it?? Surely the certificate should show the measurements of the sail?? and the sail as used be allowed to be within a tolerance of that measurement which allows for older sails to be still be in rating if stretched by a minute fraction. What drove this change request??


"Allowance of multiple ‘active’ certificates for one registered hull"

I get this one and it seems sensible to me, especially if policing it is currently not practical and it's not a big issue to allow it..

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I think it important to discuss the listed proposals and what they may actually mean for existing owners and how they may be affected. It is also important to look at how they or may not help the class in going forward.


Measured area marked on sails

It is proposed that by doing this it will make it easier to police that skippers are using the permitted areas that are allowed as per the rules. This could be an easy way at the pond side to cross reference any sail/s being used against a certificate without reaching for the tape measure. Adopting this rule would remind skippers when replacing rigs or sails of their obligations that they should update their certificate to correspond with the rigs/sails they intend to use. I have witnessed many examples of rigs and sails being used at events that do not correspond to certificates. This may put the onus back on the skipper to comply.


Upside - As above

Downside – A small permanent marking in the corner of your sails with the total area is recorded next to the measurers stamp/signature.

Does this affect current owners? – only those that are out of class and are using rigs that do not match your certificate. You will need to either have a measurer check your rig for compliance and submit a new measurement update or alter your existing rig/sails to comply with those on your current certificate.


With a minimum of fuss skippers would need to have a certified measurer cross check existing 3 measured rigs that correlate to their certificate and mark the areas on the sails. A 5 minute job at best.

Opinion – I see no problem with this proposal


Foot roach restriction

The existing rule allows for the foot area of either the mainsail or jib to be no greater than an arc bridged from the tack point and the clew point of maximum 25mm depth. Essentially you can have anything from a straight line, suitable for a cheap straight boom, to a large foot curve suitable for a more costly fabricated curved boom or aluminium version of. Where this rule is outdated is in that it does not allow for any variation of the curve to allow for cheaply made booms from straight tube with an angle (generally from the jib pivot forward) that suit flat deck boats.

The rule states that any foot curve can not vary more than 3mm in tolerance over that curve, effectively stopping the foot of a sail being cut to accurately follow the profile of an angled boom, even though this would be well inside of any allowable maximum foot round sail area.


Upside – Will allow a cheap effective way of fabricating booms from low cost carbon tubing that can be used on common place flat deck boats where the front edge will not hit on the side deck when the sail is eased for running and a sail that can be fitted to them without the significant loss of area over a more expensive profiled boom.

Downside – The only downside could be if the proposed rule allowed new sails to exploit a sail area gain. With using the triangulation method any loophole has been closed that I can see.

Does this affect current owners? – No. What you have currently is perfectly legal. Any new sails will be no larger in area and in reality smaller than what you currently are using, but allowed to fit a simply made boom better.

Opinion – A clean up to allow for modern methods with ease of fabrication with no performance gain. I see no problem with this proposal


Certificate values of cross widths

When a sail is manufactured and measured we rely on the accuracy of both the sailmaker and the measurer. Now as good as these individuals are, there will often be minor discrepancies in how the task is performed. The rules do not allow for such discrepancies or an area of tolerance such as in the way the IOM class does with a +/- figure. This is all well and good when a current sail is measured new for a boat and its areas recorded on the certificate. Where the problem arises is when a replacement sail is made to these certificated measurements and through discrepancy of either manufacturer or measurement process, the new sail does not fit a certificate, but is perfectly within the measured calculation based on that certificate. i.e a sail is measured with a girth point under that allowable dictated by the measured foot width calculation. A new sail is made with girths accurately made to the calculation but because of previous error, a new certificate must be allocated giving extra work to the registrar.

As the sail measurement spreadsheet gives allowable areas within the foot length calculation, I see recording the largest possible allowable dimension on the certificate offers both the owner and sailmaker error room to fit within the max permitted area without relying on a millimetre perfect sail and a measurer that agrees to that every millimetre. Wiggle room if you like.


Upside – Easier to replace sails for both owner, sailmaker and measurer to check with less workload on the registrar.

Downside – None I can see. Sails will be within permitted allowable areas

Does this affect current owners? – No, but should make your life easier when the time comes to replace a sail and have it measured.

Opinion – Speaking as a sailmaker this makes life a lot easier. We had a case of a recent pocket luff mainsail made to the allowable maximum area but measured well under its allowable size by a club measurer. This sizing has now been recorded on the skippers certificate but due to it being somewhat inaccurate, leaves the skipper now open to problems should that sail be accurately measured at an event and found to be outside of his recorded measurements, yet well within the class rules. Another problem then arises if a replacement sail is sought at a later date. Do we make the sail undersize to suit his wrongly measured sail size or full size and he have to hope it is measured accurately? The proposed rule I believe effectively deals with the case, with no disadvantage to anyone.


Minimum mainsail luff length at Events

It is proposed for events that a minimum mainsail luff length permitted be 990mm.

In my time racing a Marblehead (since 2000) I have used for a total of 3 races a rig with a mainsail luff of 1000mm (Nationals 2012 Fleetwood). In fact up until 2006 and the Fleetwood Worlds I had never owned more than 4 rigs and quite easily raced my boats in Australia in open water conditions up until where it was unsafe for any rescue boat crew to safely operate and conduct racing. It was only on the recommendation of Martin Roberts that I brought lower suits to Fleetwood in 06 at which I had a compliment of 6 rigs for the anticipated conditions.

I believe any restriction would assist in standardising allowable wind strengths in which racing can be safely conducted. More importantly, it will make the job of the PRO and his race team easier to determine what is then a fair race for all that equates equally at both ends of the wind spectrum and not just favour a very small few who have a ‘gale sail’ in the bottom of the box that comes out once every 10-20 years.


Upside – Easier for race teams to determine what is ‘a fair race’ for all with standardised rig height and make judgement based on safety. Eradicates the temptation to spend on having yet another small rig in the box knowing someone always has one smaller and is able to continue. Where does it stop?

Downside – A small number of skippers may have sails under this size that may no longer be used in events.

Does this affect current owners? – If you have a smallest rig with a mainsail luff length less than 990mm then it would not longer be permitted for use at events. If you are having a small suit made this would be the lowest you can go.

Opinion - As we restrict mast height and luff length for the lightest A rigs so as to award a level performance envelope at that end of the wind range, I believe it is balanced to be restricted at the other end of the wind range. Our class is a restricted open design class with ample flexibility and opportunity to design across a wide spectrum. Closing this window at both ends does not diminish this but in fact levels the playing field beyond the ease of pressure on race management.

To add that the Paradox we bought for Victoria at 20 years old has a 950mm luff rig that has remained unused over its full life adds perspective on just how often such a rig is used by the average skipper. Do we need these in our box and the added expense just in case?

It could be argued that to reduce the number of measured rigs would be a more cost effective way forward and this may initially be true. But I feel without a bottom end cap on rig size, we only widen any performance variances within the class, not narrow them which more often than not leads to a cost increase. With a bottom end height restriction this opens the opportunity to possible future rig number reductions in a sound design envelope where longevity of design scope is enhanced not widened.


Multiple certificates

It is reported that within some DMs that skippers have been using the practice of registering a new boat or rigs with multiple certificates being issued to the one hull. Essentially this would allow a skipper to turn up at any event with a quiver of rigs and choose whatever they wish for an event given the prevailing conditions. A little devious, crafty, call it what you will but the skipper gets around the requirement of only using his most recent certificate as they are all stamped with the same date…. A loophole you could say but is this fair and what we need?

I believe the thought here is to either look at a way to police this practice effectively which would possibly require a large amount of administrative work and require skippers to be far more vigilant/organised in their preparation for events or, recognise that the practice is minimal and allow it, as opposed to shutting this door and another opening up whereby a skipper hell bent on pushing limits arms themselves with multiple hulls and corresponding rigs.. What to do?


Upside - The practice of multiple certificates allows skippers a more rig options and the opportunity to better use those for specific condition events widening the performance base of their investment.

Downside – A risk of increase in cost through a larger number of rigs being allowed over multiple certificates with the real chance of widening margins between haves and have nots.

Does this affect current owners? As to the legality of your boat, no. It may well allow you to add new rigs with extra certificates.

Opinion - I think an argument can be made on many sides on this one but what should be always in our thoughts is cost to compete on a more even level at events. Any rule changes need to carefully consider cost impact and the above problem raises a cost risk on either side.


Do we open the doors to multiple rigs and the added expense?

I just don’t feel comfortable on this without more knowledge of the problem.


Do we leave it as is and risk multiple boats and that added expense?

I don’t know of this happening but not to say the loophole won’t be visited by someone if another is closed.


Just how prevalent is the problem?

I’m not sure.


If we know the DM’s participating in this practice which I would think is essentially against the spirit of our class rules could IRSA or other DMs not press the issue with them through censure or whatever means to correct the practice?


If we go back to enforcing the rule where certificates for major events are to be forwarded to organisers prior to an event (1 month, 2 weeks?) so as to take out any perceived weather window advantage of the crafty skipper do we eradicate the problem?

Will the lazy skipper who prepares at the last minute be put out here or is this unworkable?


I think I would like to see all avenues explored on this topic or have IRSA outline its full reasoning on this to us. I am not for or against this until I can be convinced that this is the best option if indeed this is a real problem that needs addressing, without risk of what we currently have.



As always the above are my opinion on these matters. As many of us as owners may not see topics such as these in the same way it is imperative that any such matters be dealt with in a most democratic process whereby the MYA supports the wishes of their owners as a whole with any decision making in a transparent process.

If you are a registered class owner or member of our tech team it would be good to have open discussion on this here


For disclosure I am not only a commercial supplier but a passionate M class skipper.


Brad Gibson

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Interesting as always Brad.

What about the banning of on board Cameras from every IRSA class? My opinion is that the camera is not the problem, just the viewing of the resultant image. As an example, if a skipper fits their yacht with a camera pointing to port on a port handed course and they can see when passed a buoy so turn exactly where they desire benefiting over a skipper without the ability to see such an image from their yacht. clearly such an advantage is not fair or benefiting the racing if it was common place then surly everyone would fit one leading only to increased costs. Surely this is not the fault of the camera but the ability to view it by a racing skipper within the control area.

Wind the years forward a little where tiny water proof cameras are cheap enough for a sponsor to supply them for every competitor at a worlds and stream the resulting images over the web live to those not attending the event or onto screen 'behind' the racing skippers; all offering a new dimension in our sport. Maybe a little far fetched but who'd bet against it? ...The current proposal to ban on board cameras seems like A sledgehammer to crack a nut. Explore options to stop racing skippers from benefiting from the resultant images.


Minimum mainsail luff length at Events.

I still fail to see how this would play out in real terms? what would a race officer be able to do tomorrow (with this in place) versus today? how would the race be stopped?

As I said earlier this maybe a desired direction, but is limiting the size of the main luff the right answer?

What if I had a very light ballasted yacht then I might be in my 990mm rig a long time before others, should the race officer stop the racing when one competitor can't race due to rig size rules (arguably not his fault)?? Conversely what if one competitor had a heavily ballasted yacht then he will want to race on enjoying his advantage, is that fair ?? I fear the judgement would be made by the majority and hence hinder people from exploring these design limits.

If each event's sailing instructions were to set the max wind strength raced in it could be varied for each event taking into account local club's ability to withstand gales, the competitors in the race i.e. at a junior championship or a veterans championship maybe a safety call would be made at a lower wind strength.

Also could I 'reef' my 990mm main and effectively carry the legal sail but have less effective area?? Bypassing the desired objective.

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Minimum Luff

I have only been to 2 events where the sailing has been abandoned, both were when the conditions were too rough for the safety boat and race team to continue, not the limit of the boats. Minimun luff length would have made no difference, the skippers who went out were either trying to prove something or werent bothered about their kit. Cant remember the rule; but its the skippers responsibility as to whether they race or not at any time, why change this if the race team are happy that it is safe enough for them and the rescue team.

If it's intention is to bring the boats closer together then you start to get issues with open classes which are then artificially altered to overcome someone's different take on the rules. Is it not one of the main features of the class that someone can have a combination of fins, bulbs and rigs that works in different conditions and suits their style or boat?


Measured area

Foot Roach

Certificate Values


These seem to be sensible amendments to make measurement and governance easier.


Multiple Certificates


This must only practically relate to A rigs and the use of swing and conventional sail plans for them. Why not just have the option of 2 A rig measurements on the certificate giving the choice to sail with Swing or Conventional rigs dependant on the conditions, the skipper then declares which one at measurement/registration to an event. B rig then becomes the control rig which others have to "sit inside"

I understand the cost implications of having more rigs but this is already going on so why not just make it legal and reduce the need to police it.


Just my thoughts based on limited time in the class.

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Re the camera issue, is it really that big of a deal Rob?

The realistic possibility of anyone seeing on board footage useful as a real time race feed whilst being a nice thought, is totally unrealistic. A team of tv technicians working a live feed from the control van. Im sorry I dont see it in a time where even exciting boats such as Moths and AC class cats struggle to generate the funds to do such. There is nothing stopping producers of tape film using on board shots cut into promotion or round up tape if useful from shots taken outside of racing.

Never say never but probably not a priority at this time, but what the proposed rule would stop is some smart tech guy using the equipment to advantage and adding cost until more is known, researched and presented.


Minimum luff

It is always available and reasonable for a PRO to cancel, postpone or abandon a heat, race or event on safety grounds or other such concerns. In my above post I mentioned the design envelope at both ends of the wind range. It is mentioned that an ultralight boat is disadvantaged if he can not use as lower rig as he likes. I would counter that with asking why the heavier yacht is not allowed to use a larger rig than the light boat for equality in light air using the same logic? Boat design and setup is always a mix of best compromise. If you go one dimensionally condition specific at one end of the design curve you must expect a downside elsewhere. In this case a minimum luff caps the lower end of that curve to match the top end of the curve. The entire envelope is still massive for any designer but capping would serve to make an envelope stable not wider with minimum fuss, knowing how very rarely these rigs are ever used as racing is near impossible with them at all but the most enclosed venues where rescue craft are not required.


Darin, I believe the races abandoned over the year were IOM races where no such problem of rig difference occurs. A decision was easily taken by the race team to abandon. Now I would put it that if 4 boats out of the 50+ boats had rigs 150mm shorter said they could handle the conditions, yet others clearly struggled or smashed themselves up doing so, would this be a fair race for all? Can you imagine the heat put on the PRO by the 4 to continue? And if racing did continue how would 40+ skippers looking on Monday to order another rig they may use once in a blue moon make their sport cheaper?

Where does it end?


The poor guy with the overly heavy ballasted yacht that excels in strong winds has to endure the guy with the ultralight boat lapping him in light winds, so is it not correct when the roles are reversed?

It would be interesting to hear from skippers just how often they have used a rig below 990mm in mainsail luff in International classes.


Cheers

Brad

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The following are my personal views on these new proposals and the issues that Brad has commented on. There are a lot more minor items in this new draft but not as important as the new issues that may directly affect owners. There is still time for those interested to comment both on the forum and/or directly to myself at stollery17@sky.com , because the MYA has negotiated an extended deadline from IRSA up until the end of the year, 31st December. Your comments and opinions will be very welcome.


Measured area marked on sails

I cannot see the point of this, especially on small sails, which are obviously smaller than the measured rig. Surely, a measurer/equipment inspector would prefer to use a tape measure and check the foot/luff perpendicular measurements of each sail and compare this with the certificate. This would be a simple comparison, takes little time and will give a good indication that the small sail is within the B dimension for that group.


With this proposal to mark group certificated area on all sails, which must be in square millimetres, as this is the area noted on the certificate, are you really going to add 2 six-figure numbers together to check the maximum area of the biggest sails of that group which are not on the boat at that time? Then there is the problem of these figures fading over time and becoming unreadable. This rule proposal doesn't make any sense and isn’t necessary.


Foot roach restriction

I like the idea of this alternative roach restriction using a gauge as it does allow for the roach to be asymmetric, which would be of benefit to match cranked booms and other boom geometries etc.


If I was a sailmaker I would want to use a template like that used on the leech roach, but it is difficult to give a single radius that covers the variation in boom length. The use of the 900 mm radius used for the leech would be handy, but it only works to give a 25 mm roach depth on long booms and for average low rig groups it will only give about 20 mm and much less of course to short headsail foot dimensions.


I have 2 criticisms of the gauge and the first is that perhaps the triangle form could have curved sides. If the 900 mm radius was used for this it could then be made to work to give the 25 mm roach depth by the suitable adjustment of gauge for all boom lengths. The resulting roach area wouldn't be any bigger than the 'foot inregularity method' and would give the flexibility desired by the diagram. The 2nd point is that on the diagram I.9 the gauge could be (and has been by one respondent) confused with the jib boom. Making a gauge with curved sides along with some better descriptions would help in this respect as most booms are made from straight components and so wouldn’t be confused with the suggested curved gauge.


Certificate values of cross widths

I agree with this and recommended it to official measurers, because it gets over the problems of any errors/inaccuracies made when the sail is checked measured or has to be replaced, because you don't want to build in the initial errors.

The only time when this might be confusing to a sailmaker making a replacement sail is on the A rig jib, where sometimes with the crazy shape of the roach that is permitted, the top cross width might need to be reduced to make the jib fit and pass the mast. It would be up to the owner to specifically request this from his sailmaker.


Minimum mainsail luff lengths at events

A very important consideration when making new rules for the future is always to understand where you have come from. I have been designing and building Marbleheads for over 50 years and in that time there have been great changes. In the 1960’s wooden boats were heavy displacement, had shallow ‘slab’ keels, low aspect rigs and they were not very exciting performers off the wind.


During that decade there was a revolution, with lighter GRP boats, bulb keels and tall rigs. Fortunately at the end of that decade the rule makers did not impose any new limits to stop the boats getting lighter and very much faster, except to set the current rig height limit. With the extra marginal planing ability Marbleheads became great fun to sail. The freedom built into the class rules within the basic restrictions of length and sail area, allowed boats to develop naturally into the marvellous sailing boats that we now race.


The 2002 change of the rules to the ISAF standard format made them more dictatorial, more closed rules than restricted rules. Now the IRSA technical chairman is proposing to add further limits, which is not good news for future development, particularly for designers searching for that impossible compromise between lightweight and power.


The minimum mainsail luff length restriction is pointless. Making a class rule to affect the race officer’s decision about whether to sail won’t make any difference to the difficult decision about whether to abandon an event or not. The IOM ranking event at West Kirby has been mentioned in this context, but the race officer, Chris Harris’s view was that this consideration was 'immaterial' because the problem was unsafe launching, with competitors falling over on the wobbly pontoons and the safety of the rescue boat crew etc.


I get the greatest pleasure of sailing my Marblehead when it is going fast and so I have always been racing at the lighter end of the displacement range and this development has pushed the weight down by half from those early days. What is being imposed is a restriction on light boats being able to sail in strong winds, which is a great shame because this is when the sailing is most exciting.


Good in light airs maybe, but the lighter boat struggles at the top end of A rig and to windward as the wind increases against more powerful boats who then have the advantage. Allowing the freedom to choose the right rig to suit the conditions is essential for development to continue naturally without the imposition of pointless restrictions, as well as, of course, to allow a great deal of fun racing in strong winds.


The greatest treat for me was watching my CRAZY TUBE going to windward at Fleetwood, planing down the face of a long wave, through the next wave and still planing onto the next. This was with a tiny narrow A2 rig only 787 mm high designed after I couldn't sail properly offwind in the 1992 ranking event at Millbrook, Plymouth. After that event I redesigned my small rigs to make sure that embarrassing situation couldn’t happen again. However because of the conditions likely to be experienced at stonefaced reservoirs like Keighley, West Kirby and Datchet this size rig is probably unnecessary because of the safety factors that will stop the racing as already mentioned.


However the next size up C3, which is used once or twice a year maybe is required and the 965mm luff length that has been in all my rig designs since the mid-80s is now to be considered non-compliant which is extremely disappointing not just for me but for all those skippers who have boats/rigs to my design. As they have been use this year at the Chelmsford ranking events and in the M&S district championship they are needed and IRSA’s committees should take this into consideration and be inclusive if they are going to pursue this approach.


Apart from being not a good idea for future development of the class, this rule is pointless not only because of safety factors being the prime consideration for abandoning an event, but because luff length does not control the size of the sail.


Multiple certificates

Like Brad, I have no knowledge or experience of this deliberate ignoring of the rules. I cannot see why perpetrators cannot be brought to heal and the habit stamped out. IRSA should be taking a firm stand against DNMs, their clubs, official measurers and registrars where this rule breaking is happening and they should not be trying to promote it. Drugtaking is difficult to police, but that does not mean we should legalise it!


The RRS starts with basic principle rules, “Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce.” Rules in this sense include class rules along with all the other rules that affect the racing, so IRSA have all the ammunition they need to tackle the offending parties.


I don’t think that this rule would be good for the class, adding fuel to the criticism of those outside the class that it is expensive. It is true that it is expensive, but it would be better if all the total investment in the class was put to more boats and so more competitors, rather than fewer over-equipped boats with fewer people taking part. This proposed rule will encourage more rigs whereas if we limited the number of rigs we increase the chances of people wanting to invest in and sail a Marblehead. IRSA have missed an opportunity to go down that line.


Having multiple certificates will be an administrative nightmare, with more work for measurers, registrars, race committees and the MYA web entry facilitator. All of these people give their time working for nothing and they should not be asked to do any more work than is necessary.


When the racing is in progress, who is going to keep track of the rigs that are being used? If you have multiple certificates you might be tempted to use one of those ‘other rigs’ that is of a size that just fits the conditions.


Already in this class you have a range of alternative setups with different fins, bulbs and the potential for 9 different rigs, so is it really necessary to give more alternatives by the use of a 2nd certificate?

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A very brief comment on the rule changes as a Marblehead sailor from many years ago and now sailing but not as yet racing an M, why the limitation on luff length, if we have a class that is aimed at technology lead boats which the M always was why are we limiting if you want all boats to be like IOM's with restrictions on everything then just sail an IOM, if someone came up and said I was unfairly racing in my six because I had a lower aspect rig than them I am afraid my answer would be tough, lets get sensible and have the formula one of model yachting a true formula one not a poor imitation


Mike Ewart

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Great that we can now have our MYA Tech team represented in the discussion. Welcome Roger.


Reading through your thoughts I am a little alarmed with the following mentioned:

The 2002 change of the rules to the ISAF standard format made them more dictatorial, more closed rules than restricted rules. Now the IRSA technical chairman is proposing to add further limits, which is not good news for future development, particularly for designers searching for that impossible compromise between lightweight and power.


Are we to believe that all IRSA proposals on the table are from the thoughts of one man working alone to do what he feels is best? Surely not?

A look over on the IRSA website we find a full page with the listed members of their Technical Sub Committee http://www.radiosailing.org/about/tc-committee/sub-committees. Are we saying that none of the listed members of that committee have had any input into the proposed changes? Alarming if true and I would suggest not, but the claim insinuates something less than above board may be at play here which is cause for concern. Is it right to assume that we would have preferred a little more transparency on these proposals and their formulation?


Now with this in mind with regards to transparency we take the proposals we have now have on the table, whether we like them or not, and are being asked to send our thoughts on to our Technical Officer. As a class owner and MYA member I find that as we are not being encouraged to vote in an open transparent way this to be no better than what we accuse IRSA of and could be seen as hypocritical.

It is quite obvious to myself and the large number of people I speak to regularly not only in the UK but around the world through my business that there are widely differing views on a number of the proposals presented. Not all will ever be content or pleased but so long as whatever comes about is the the direct wishes of the owners and membership and not those with a personal agenda or issues past we can ask for no more.


Please, can you point me to where we can vote on these proposals and come out from behind the closed doors!


Mike, If we were truly the F1 class, we would have far fewer rules than we have currently, boats would be more expensive or extinct. The reality is that we have a restricted design class. In my opinion capping the lowest rig is the only way any future discussion on reducing rig numbers (read cost) can ever work sensibly. Now whether that figure is 990mm or 800mm or whatever, there should be a cap. As mentioned previous through my experience I have used a rig of 1000 mm height for all of 3 heats within the space of 16 years. I only know of one design/er that uses smaller, there may be others but I would suggest that if within 9 available rig configurations at present you can not manage to produce a storm set within a 990mm luff height proposal to be competitive then you are well out of the competitive envelope. Condition specific boats have downfalls as mentioned before, a fact of life.


The class is in a state of resurgence, not only in the UK but worldwide. Whilst the designer in us would love a blank sheet of paper with fewer rules (we have the 10R!) we need to realize that cost increase or perceptive cost increase needs to be avoided at all costs. This is not easy but there is always a bigger picture to look at. For instance some believe we should reduce rigs and go down to 5 or 4. Looks great on paper and we think its just as easy as dropping one of our current rigs. If only....

Say we go to 5 rigs. New skippers will design new rig sizes to spread over a wider range, leaving a near whole fleet of skippers cutting masts and ordering new sails to stay competitive. This reduces costs how exactly??

A simple way if we wanted to reduce costs would be to record our 6 usable event rigs on our certificate. We instantly go from 9 possible rigs being in the car to only 6. This would be a start..

At present we have good quality older boats like the Paradox and Starkers that continue to remain competitive, largely using original rig/sail plan sizes that have evolved. We need to be very mindful not to obsolete this quality to our fleet and not just focus on what the new guy is buying.

Cost reduction is good but the downside in changes to make it happen always present a problem to a small few if done correctly, but a large majority if not.


As for West Kirby IOM ranking, no wobbly pontoon, safety, along with fair race were the reasons given at the time by our Race Officer. An easy decision to make of which there were very few, if any complaints. His job was an easy one in this instance.

If you are one of the few with the smallest rig used once or twice in 20 years and can continue, whilst the majority of the fleet is in the car going home broken or damaged, how this is good for any class? Outside of telling yourself you had a great day...


Cheers

Brad

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In relation to the reduced rig height. See Brad's and Roger's points perfectly even though they are different.


What I would have liked to have seen is the re lettering of the rigs. A, B, C, D & E. One rig allowed per rig letter.

I enjoy sailing my RM and Vane M they are exciting things to sail, but I can't afford the rigs to go sailing at the very top of the class, I understand my limitations and as such placed the majority of my monies in me B and C1 rigs that are used the most on both my radio and vane hulls. What annoys me to hell is the appearance of all these super light weight A rigs that are wonders of lightness and engineering but pushing the cost far beyond me. As such in very light or heavy A suit breezes I'm crippled through my own unwillingness to put any more monies into yet another A rig that I can't use on both radio and vane.

OK so the argument would go that skippers would still use their lightweight A rigs as they would just re letter the rigs for a specific event, hoping that the wind doesn't pick up and they don't need their E rig after all.


If the class was the F1 of model yachting there wouldn't be many boats on the water and the class would not have seen the upturn that it is currently enjoying.


Damian

Skipper, measurer and hull builder.

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With respect to the reduced rig height.


The weather in the UK appears to be becoming more not less variable, and stronger winds appear more likely in the future than in the past, so those of us that have bought boats with small rigs may be very glad we have them, I certainly was for the Hampton Court GAMES event early 2015 when it was as windy as it is outside again right now.

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Hi John, not to disagree with your thoughts on the seasons becoming windier. This could well be the case, who knows. It would be great to use my B2 rig again someday :)


With a close look at the report, pictures, designs being sailed and talking with skippers present at the Hampton Court event, it is evident that rigs no smaller than C2 were used of between 1400 and 1300mm luff length. http://www.hcmyc.org/ms-district-rm-championship-games-2-29315.html

What is being proposed is a minimum luff length of 990mm, a full 300mm or 12" in old speak smaller than those on that particular day. I think you may agree that for the amount of wind for those smallest rigs to be used in most, if not all venues in the UK (outside of an enclosed Fleetwood, Birkenhead, Eastbourne etc) it would be all but un-sailable and far too dangerous to operate rescue craft with safety.


As commented earlier, if your smallest mainsail luff is no smaller than 990mm, as I suspect with a Paradox it may not be, the new proposal would effect you in now way. A lot of us own small rigs, but I suspect very few as low as the figure being mentioned and I understand your fears but I suggest the vast majority have very little to be concerned with in reality despite what may be doing the email rounds.


Whatever the decisions lets make them with clarity


Cheers

Brad

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Could our MYA TC please direct me to which of the attributed skipper comments are my own as I do not see my comments on those produced on the MYA website.

Maybe MYA membership numbers or hull registration numbers attributed to the comments would show some transparency?


Brad Gibson

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