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04 NA Open Formula 20 specs. and rules #26593
11/29/03 06:23 PM
11/29/03 06:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 800
sail6000 Offline OP
old hand
sail6000  Offline OP
old hand

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 800
here is the current web site and NA Open F-20 rules

They were left open in some areas for further input by others interested -
The updates and changes proposed for 04 are more definition and following the specification class model I-20 more closely in intent,
filling in some potential loopholes ,
while allowing specs of other 20s as well.

changes are -

NA Open Formula 20

For people of good will to race together for the enjoyment of the sport in accordance with the Racing Rules of Sailing and in the spirit of rule #2 of fair sailing under ISAF rules –To compete within recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play.

To race 20-ft catamarans on a first across the finish line wins basis, both in around-the-buoys and distance racing.
N A Open Formula boat specifications and rules intent is to closely match the US version model specifications of the I-20, while accomodating existing iF 20S and existing class 20 ft cat designs in compensation of weight to sail area in formula, any new boat or modification of existing should consider the sprit of the class and intent of rules .

Length: 20' (6.10m)
Width: 8' 6" (2.59m)
Mast Length: 32' (8.13m)
Weight: 390 lbs. (177kg)
Mainsail with Mast: 208 sq. ft. (18m2)+mast
Jib: 53 sq. ft. (4.15m2)
Spinnaker: 270 sq. ft. (23m2)

We wish to keep the rules as simple as possible and rely on the good intent of sailors in accordance with standard safety requirements per sailing rules, required gear, and class principles as stated. Amendments per majority vote of active class members. The NA Open-F20 Committee will propose amendments to the rule if necessary. Amendments shall be placed on one year’s notice unless it is considered essential to act immediately to prohibit an unseaworthy feature. Formula 20 boats will often be sailed in 1000 MILE and extreme type distance racing events and all components are to be constructed accordingly and sailed extensively in varied conditions before competing.

N A Open Formula Class Specifications and Rules.

LENGTH - 20 ft one inch maximum (Stern to bow measurement)
BEAM - 8.5 ft –max.hull point measurement
WEIGHT –two categories of boat weight 389 Lb. and above
419 Lb. and above
*Definition boat weights –boat sails and all att gear fully rigged. Boats may add permanently fixed hardware ,fixtures, and floatation to meet minimum weight. Corrector weights up to 20 Lbs will also be allowed for boats under 389lb. total.

SAIL AREA –two corresponding categories
Category 1- 389 min boat wgt –> MAINSAIL = 208 sq/ft including mast, 53 sq/ft jib, and 270 sq/ft spin

Category #2 419 min boat weight -> MAINSAIL = 208 sq/ft including mast, 60 sq. ft jib and 300 sq/ft spin. Increases of 7-sq. ft. in jib and 30 sq. ft in spin area in 30-LB boat wgt differential.

Sail area may be traded off from main to jib of equal sq. ft to allow modification and design variation of sail plan to any maximum sail area combination of smaller main in category
*All measurements per standard current ISAF measurement rules
Mainsails must be within outline area and pattern shape of the current I-20 mainsail,Mainsails may be overlayed for measurement within existing class spec shape area and pattern .-excluding area added to lowermost sailpanel towards trampoline within 32 ft max mast height on standard mast base.
Roller furlers and mainsail reefing system of any type may be used.
All teams to use the same set of sails for a regatta or distance race, but may be replaced if severely damaged to allow a team to continue racing with the permission of race organizers per event racing instructions.
Sailmakers and/ or owners to list sq. ft in 2 inch numerals at the tack of each sail next to the sailmakers logo with signature over.
All sails are to be commercially available to any and all sailing teams min. one month before an event or sails may not be used for that event.
Existing class cat designs will be accepted as listed per mfg. or sailmaker.
Racing will be on the honor system, but any boat may be challenged and checked along with the protesting party also being checked for weight and sail area compliance. Those not in compliance will be DSQ for those races or legs of the distance race.

CREW – Two or more may be crew. All crews must be capable of righting from a capsize.

CREW WEIGHT -A class min of 320 Lb. Teams may carry weight to meet minimum weight requirements. Crew weight based on teams wearing standard swim apparel and shirt.

MASTS May be of aluminum and/or carbon fiber or combinations of non conducting materials in standard section per class spec model I-20-.
Existing H comptip masts may also be used.
Max. 32 ft mast length -
Standard wire rigging in any configuration
Max. 29 ft spin hoist height to spin.tang lead.

HULLS - Any standard material or configuration
BOARDS - Any standard material or configuration
alligned within 10 degrees of verticle .
RUDDERS– Any standard material or configuration

note min. boat weight of 389 Lb.

SPIN POLES –A maximum 14 foot length may be used not to exceed 4.5 ft beyond bow plane ,made of any material in standard configuration with snuffer configuration of any type.
CLASS EMBLEM - The starboard side of the mainsail MAY carry the Open -Formula-20 logo of racing Formula 20s along with individual sail number for scoring purposes.

Older existing designs may be given dispensation per class specs. by F-20 committee in design feature trade offs.
Example = an existing heavier mast rig and standard class smaller mainsail in compensation for larger spin area, again only applied to older existing designs per owners request.
The current NA N-6/0 with NE spin is F-20 compliant under dispensation ,-as is the current H-20 class with NE area spin.
note ; if changed from class sails or class specs as defined per class a coresponding change to standard spin area is then required per weight category at 300 or 270 sq ft.

Formula 20 Discussion Forum
Hosted by The Catsailor website

Class Contact - Open Formula 20

Carl Roberts [Email]

Last edited by sail6000; 11/29/03 07:29 PM.
Re: Formula 20s and the Atlantic 1000 [Re: sail6000] #26594
12/01/03 12:30 PM
12/01/03 12:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 800
sail6000 Offline OP
old hand
sail6000  Offline OP
old hand

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 800
The UK cat co has Formula 20 s listed ,

and the International iF-20 web site

here is the Ventilo -Swiss Formula 20
this looks
like the earlier Hubbard design cats , nice-

here is the Storm --modern hull design -looks great -

here is the iF Hobie Fox as well

In the US it is the US version I-20 as built -

specs of the US version I-20 are a 30 Lb lighter boat weight and 15 more sq ft of mainsail than other iF -20 boats .
Length: 20' (6.10m)
Width: 8' 6" (2.59m)
Mast Length: 32' (8.13m)
Weight: 390 lbs. (177kg)
Mainsail with Mast: 193 sq. ft. (18m2)
Jib: 53 sq. ft. (4.15m2)
Spinnaker: 270 sq. ft. (23m2)
Construction: vinylester foam, sandwich hulls

The solution for a Formula 20 Class for the US as proposed uses basic specs of the I-20 already having hundreds built in the US .

Existing iF -20s for the US would be allowed a larger spin if desired as compensation for boat weight difference, just as F-18 uses a larger spin for crew weight in two sail area to weight categories.
The 20s are already suited to larger crew.

Existing EU i-F 20s could also add the 15 sq ft in main and or larger jib area to equalize sq ft within existing specs and mainsail outline pattern and equivilant area.
-Overlaying existing sails makes measurement compliance easy .

International teams could charter any compliant 20 platform and use existing sails or bring in their sails to race. A big complaint of chartering boats is the sail condition at the end of 1000 miles in sometimes extreme conditions .
This would make more potential boats for teams traveling into events more readily available and allow each team the boat type most familiar to them or that they wished to represent .
Hobie -Inter -Nacra-Arc -Storm -G-Cat -Eagle- Fox -etc

This rule would also apply to any 20 ft platform or existing 20 ft -8.5 beam built cat that matched length weight beam and sail area and pattern in two of 3 basic weight to sail area formula 20 categories.

The 3rd US version F-20 category would fall under the dispensation rule all Formula classes use applied to older existing stock class boats .
These would be allowed to sail with older existing brand class smaller pin top sails and heavier rig but allowed larger spin area of their choice ,-the NE version spin seems the most popular spin snuffer set up -this on existing NA 6/0s and stock H-20s or any spin of smaller sq. ft. desired.

This would allow numerous existing teams and boats to race in Formula class ,-particularly nice for those without numbers in brand class type .

NA-Formula 20 rules should follow the outline and similar specifications of the iF-20 rule but make these additions and changes to realistically be compatable to existing conditions here.

New NA F-20 boats could be built to match I-20 class model specs. Numerous existing boats could be updated and or changed ,-this increases partisipation in all regards.

The list of potential NA F-20S is extensive .

Inter 20

Storm 20
Mystere iF-20

modified F-20 versions existing
Hobie 20 w spin
Nacra NA 6/0 w NE spin
nACRA 6/0 Original version
Nacra 6/0 Express
Nacra 6/0 C H version
Prindle 19 MX
Mystere 20
G-Cat 20
or any 20 ft platform.

Some that could be built or modified to
NA F-20
Arc 21 -built to 20 ft 8.5 beam and matching sail plan .
Hobie 21 -20 ft 8.5 beam version -weight and sail area compliant .
G-Cat 21 - similarly built to specs.
and any existing 20 platform newly built to specs giving them new life with spin snuffer packages and Formula racing.

Applying this NA F-20 rule to races like the Atlantic 1000 seems ideal.It allowes reef systems ,-mid pole snuffers ,-and other added safety mods.

A consistant fair equal set of specs. and Formula 20 rules are needed.

Inconsistant brand class rules allow open SAILS of numerous sizes ,-weights -l b etc ,--for some and do not allow others to equally do the same.

Note on the HT versions -
Hope the lighter versions of 20s will follow the Marstom 20 example of larger 9.5 or 10 ft beam ,-like the Tornado,-CFR -V-20 with largersail plans , but will require a seperate HT Class.

An open or HT type class in future Atlantic 1000s seems a good idea as well.
As shown in other distance racing a top skipper /team can sail away over the horizon on these boats due to more sail area and 100 Lbs lighter weight .

Some problems with using P rating or any rating system for a race of this type are the numerous inherant inequities within one when averaging numerous types of cat design on very different brand class rules ,-some allow open sails -some do not ,-weights vary--spin sizes -main and jib sizes etc.etc. .
One example of ways to exploit the inequities in Handicap rating noted recently was numerous older boats with very slow rating -The G-cat 20 with a dpn of 72 is one such example currently ,-The I-20 has a 59 ,5 by comparison .
Take a handicap rating of - one pt for adding a larger new mainsail ,-and also a larger spin -of any size larger up to say 450 sq ft ,-and you walk away with the win though finishing well behind each leg ,-{no longer real racing}

This can be done to exploit the inherant problems of averaging under handicap racing to numerous boats ,-also on the other end of the spectrum some current lightweight 8,5 beam boats with more sail area have the same or similar number as the I-20 ,-

The more ideal form of racing for major events is Formula Classes and an Open Class ,-a F-18 class for the Atlantic 1000 with a seperate earlier start for Tigers -Mysteres and Nacra F-18s
and a Formula 20 start for all NA F-20 CLASS cats within specs as outlined , most all are currently with no changes .
An open class may also be added with seperate start.

One important rule addition for major races like the 1000 mile races should be a full disclosure of all modifications to team boat type sent in with team entry form .
Full disclosure of all modifications being the responcibility of each team manager within a set time frame.

Example ,-if racing an I-20 again it may read -
I-20 team XX modifications
1- foot straps added -
2 safety line and crew attachment to boat added
3 floatation bags in hulls added
4 mid pole snuffer added .
5 digital compass on pole added.
6 tramp with added storage pockets and clear chart pockets added
7-main with reef system , pattern and overlay area matching
8-righting system added
9 rotator and downhaul control lines lead to aft location with cleats-

see pics -

publish all these on the race web site with each teams entry .

This would allow all teams to review all modifications and add the same if desired,-it would also help new teams and all catsailors to set up their boats more safely .

The intent of F-20 is not to deter existing classes but allow them their own brand class racing within a larger F-20 class as well as accomodate all similar 20s .
Just as Tigers can race within Formula 18 and or in brand class .

All these 20s would realistically rate within one pt. of each other once modified or built to class specs . -Any top team could sail any and potentially win each leg based on sailing skill. If a boat is not comperable in speed in some sets of weather conditions it can be improved and changed, that is another great aspect of a F-20 formula class.

All avid racing sailors ,-evan those commited to a different size F-class or brand class or those involved in handicap rating groups should be in favor of all Formula class groups and a Formula 20 class. It potentially brings in new interest and partisipation to numerous events and the sport. Applied to major distance events like the Atlantic 1000 Formula classes and an open class seems ideal and is compatable with numerous brand classes as well as complimenting other F-classes .

As a sail loft, -builder, or boat dealer of a cetain type or class please consider the larger context of sport and racing.
More interest in great events like the 1000 mile races provides opportunity to expand markets and increase sales , expand the line and types to include new sails gear and great updates on equipement like snuffer systems -main reef systems ,-safety and trap set ups -righting systems and an expanded line of F-20 Class boats .

Looking forward to another
1000 mile coastal race,-

rules and classes and scoring are up to race organizers ,-in reading the event it says the race will esentially be run the same ,
A 5 boat N-6/0 brand class was run ,-an I-20 class and F-18 HT class run, along with a handicap rating finish list .
If other types of 20s show how do they fit in -
like H-20s ,-and all other types listed .
are huge spins allowed ? should only one type currently running be allowed larger spin ,-how about new sq top or larger mainsails as used on H-20s and others -what of HT 8.5 beam very expensive cats with larger sail plans ,-what of the rule inconsistancies ,-and sometimes very inaccurate average handicap numbers on older boats ,-are they simply excluded ,--where are the lines drawn -

A simple established consistant Formula concept and basic common specifications applied equally to all needs to be implimented .
-A F-20 class accomplishes this-


High-performance beach catamarans will once again be screaming up the Eastern Seaboard, from Florida and around Cape Hatteras, in two combined races totaling 1000 long and grueling miles.
The Tybee Island Sailing Association, organizers of the successful Tybee 500 that debuted last May, has teamed up with the Outer Banks Catamaran Club to produce two back-to-back five-hundred-mile races starting next year. The contests will form a new 1000-mile annual challenge called the Atlantic 1000. According to race organizers, these two events "the Tybee 500" and the "Outer Banks 500" will culminate in a third award honoring the sailors with the best combined time for both.
Race registration will begin on January 1, 2004, with surf sailors given the choice of entering either or both events. The Tybee 500 will run the same course as last year from Islamorada, Florida, to Tybee Island, Georgia, May 10-15. The Outer Banks 500 will start on May 17th where the Tybee leaves off, ending at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, on May 22nd. Each race will have five mandatory checkpoints between start and finish. (Schedule is listed below.)
The unique alliance formed by these two sailing associations is committed to a well-organized, challenging event for the experienced sailor. Tybee's ChuckBargeron and Outer Banks 500 organizers, Charles Thuman and Jon Britt, announce that both races will be conducted essentially under the same rules and procedures developed for the 2003 Tybee 500. In addition, the same key officials will follow through for both races and the entire 1000 miles.
Classes will consist of 18- and 20-foot production catamarans, factory spinnaker-rigged with beams of no more than 8.5 feet, including Inter 20, Nacra 6.0, Hobie 20, and the NAF 18.
Sailing a high-speed racing catamaran offshore is considered the ultimate test of one's mental acuity, physical and emotional stamina, seamanship, and luck. The event is expected to draw teams from a top field of internationally-ranked competitors prepared for facing anything from howling winds and crashing surf to calm seas with fluky coastal currents and zephyrs.
A team consists of two skippers for each boat and a shore crew of backup sailors to provide support. As the sailors make their way up the coast, land crews, traveling the parallel route by truck and van, arrive at the checkpoint ahead of time to meet the racers at the end of each leg. Crews cheer for their teams and help them negotiate their fragile lightweight boats in and out of the often-heavy surf, collect and compare weather data, help in planning strategies, make necessary repairs or adjustments to the craft, and see that the skippers are nourished and rested during the brief stopover of this strenuous event.
Each morning sailors and crew gather on the beach for final checks to the boat, sails, rigging, and equipment before the starting-horn signals another launch into the surf, and another leg begins. All boats are subject to safety checks and any gear replacement during the race cannot take place unless approved by the race committee.
Spectators at each beach checkpoint are welcome to observe not just the sailors and their catamarans but also each exciting launch and landing. Currently stopovers are slated for these participating towns in Florida: Islamorada, Hollywood, Jensen Beach, Cocoa Beach, Ormond Beach, and Fernandina. After the first race ends at Tybee Island, Georgia, the next northbound checkpoints are planned for Isle of Palms and Surfside Beach (south of Myrtle Beach) in South Carolina. In North Carolina racers will stop at Wrightsville Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Ocracoke Island before the finish line at Kill Devil Hills.
The names of beachfront hotels serving as hosts for each leg will be announced by the time registration opens on January 1st. Website addresses are, and (the latter two are under construction).
May 10 Islamorada FL to Hollywood FL
May 11 Hollywood to Jensen Beach FL
May 12 Jensen Beach to Cocoa Beach FL
May 13 Cocoa Beach to Ormond Beach FL
May 14 Ormond Beach to Fernandina Beach FL
May 15 Fernandina Beach to Tybee Island GA (finish for the Tybee 500)
May 17- Tybee Island GA to Isle of Palms SC
May 18- Isle of Palms to Surfside Beach (south of Myrtle Beach) SC
May 19- Surfside Beach to Wrightsville Beach NC
May 20- Wrightsville Beach to Atlantic Beach NC
May 21- Atlantic Beach to Ocracoke Island NC
May 22- Ocracoke Island to Kill Devil Hills NC (finish for the Outer Banks 500 and the Atlantic 1000)
Tybee 500 Chuck Bargeron (
Outer Banks 500 Charles Thuman (
News release prepared by: Diana Prentice
Mailing address: 411 Walnut St. #520 Green Cove Springs FL 32043-3443
3896 ext 520
Submitted to Catamaran Sailor Magazine by:
Jon Britt, Nor'Banks Sailing

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