Hopefully, I can address your concerns. 1. The added rig loads. This is the lesser problem, and while I don't want it on my boat, that's just personal choice. But the fact remains that it takes a LOT more rig tension for every reacher setup I've seen.
When using the boat in normal downwind situations there are no added rig loads, and all the dolphin-striker stuff is unnessary. The only reason for keeping the pole stiff with a Hooter is when you try to point while going upwind -- the luff has to be tight (just as it would be with a jib while going to weather.) But the reacher can only be used upwind in very light winds. Most fleets do not even sail in those conditions.
But, in normal conditions the sail would only be used off the winds and does not require the extra beefing up. 2. Here's the big problem: the hooter is, at least in light air, upwind sail area. The rules have a limit on the size of the jib, and if you're sailing with a big triangular tight-luffed sail upwind, that's called a genoa -a jib. The only solution I could see would be to make some "class rule" limiting the points of sail, which seems ridiculous, difficult to enforce, and meaningless for distance races.
As pointed out in the first answer, the sail only works upwind in very light winds. Most classes do not allow races in under 5 knots. At 5 knots the sail would be tough to use. It could be used, but its usefulness would be marginal. Much ado about nothing.3. No prob. in the U.S., but since the boats have to be sold overseas as well to be profitable, Texel views problem #2 the same way I just described it, and nobody over there will be willing to take that kind of hit.
Look! We sail in the U.S. and Europeans sail in Europe, and Aussies sail in Australia.., and each area has totally different conditions. I see no reason why each can't use sails that best suit their wind and sea conditions. If and when a World Championship should occur, we will find out which would prevail and in which area.
I really believe there will be no problems in allowing cuts similar to the reacher. I have to again ask: What can anyone be afraid of?
If the reacher is faster, perhaps folks will lean in that direction. If they aren't, then no one will use them anyway, including me.
As you know the NAMSA Nationals/Tradewinds Midwinter Open Cat Nationals is coming up in January and will be the Midwinter Nationals for many classes, including the Shark, A-Class, Wave National Series Championship, and we have heard this will be the first time for the three major Formula Classes to get together in the F16, F18 and F20 Classes.
If this is so, it would be a good time to test out what we have been discussing.
However, I will be running the races and my son Dave will be sailing his Nacra 6.0NA. Hopefully, I can find someone that would like to give my Taipan 4.9 set up a try in the F16 Class.
We will just have to see.
Thanks for listening,
Click on the following hot link for NAMSA/Tradewinds Nationals NAMSA Nationals/Tradewinds Midwinter Open Cat Nationals