You know, Karl, I want Wouter back for a while for some insight into the numbers and quality of the FX One is Europe.
How does it compare with the F16. Both are one-up, wave-piercing. How many of them in Europe? Is the F16 hotter?
Woot for Wouter! I got your back, man. What is happening?
Okay, I'll bite this time.
Here are my personal views on the FX-one class in Europe. In the pst I would dig up Europeans and National results and provide references to them. But this time I'll allow myself only to provide an update on the latest results, those of the 2008 Europeans. The rest I'll provide from memory and you can research the validaty of that yourself using google.
One thing always pisses me off though, Hobie typically only names the first 3 placings of each class and never names the total number of participants. Therefor one always has to dig deep to get the full results and know how many were there.http://hobieracing.dk/2008multi/results/08fxone.htm
Looking over the results you'll find 5 boats racing (3xGER, 2xNED ,1xSUI) in Denmark 2008 of which the two Dutch boats never entered a single race. So bsically only 4 boats raced. It is my memory that this is pretty typical for the FX-one class over the years. I believe the FX-one class had the largest fleets when the Europeans were held in Spain (Cagnas 2005?) or France (2006). There were some 11 boats registered then. Typically these results included 5 Dutch boat of 4 sailors are from the same club in Noordwijk and (way) past 50 years old. At that time, Hobie would also quote the birthdates of FX-one crews and I remember two of them being from the 1940's. Actually, Tony Mels and someother guy whose nameI can't remember now are/were by far the youngest sailors in the Dutch FX-one class. Tony has now switched to the F18 class and I don't see Dirk Zwitser turn up at these events anymore (he typically wins them), but even he is close to or past 50 now. Stealth Sailors in the UK report that the FX-one class is dead overthere when it went downhill right after our combined F16/FX-one event back in 2003 I believe. I have never seen signs of it having recovered overthere. I have no intimate knowlegde of the France FX-one fleet or that of other EU nations Although I do know that no boats are to be found in Nations like Norway, Sweden, Finland were there are F16's to be found.
With European results like that, I feel that the F16 class could have called several European championships already. Heck a good number of club races at my home club attracted as many racers. But my personal opinion is that any fleet having less then 10 boats racing is not a Worlds or Europeans.
I'm not sure how many there are in Europe so I have to guess about it. Personally I would expect between 50 and 100 boats.
With respect of the FX-one class racing, I think the average skill level is now higher in the F16 class. In that sense and design wise I truly believe the F16 class is hotter then the FX-one (or nacra 17 for that matter).
The developments in the F16 class are ongoing with the VWM Falcon being the newest installment.And I truly feel that the F16 designers and builders are inputting past experience into their new products, so with each new iteration the boats become better. The FX-one design is getting on in life and hasn't nearly seen the same amount of development. Maybe the icat is going to change that but rumour has it that it won't be qualifiable as a FX-one anyway so ...
Having said all this I think the F16 class could do better in Europe, but maybe we have got to give some more time. Afterall, there is an economic downturn to take into account and sailboats are luxury products by definition.