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#34754 - 09/02/04 07:14 AM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: Rolf_Nilsen]  
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Hi Rolf,
Sadly, I don`t think the ITA could do anything to grow the weekend sailor base in the class. The boat has been refined and developed into a Formula 1 race car,in order to retain it`s Olympic status. Not too many folks would buy a F1 race car just to go weekend racing at their local track.
Of course I was exaggerating a bit when I said the class would disappear, but the truth is that most top-level T sailors would move onto the next class chosen for Olympics, even if it were the Hobie 16 without spinnaker, as the Olympic medal hopefuls are there for the medal, not the boat. The class would suffer a huge loss at the top-end, and many lower level (mere mortal weekend) sailors would pursue a more affordable class such as F18/Hobie Tiger/ F16/whatever the stronger classes in their own country are.
The Tornado would still exist in wealthy countries, mostly in Europe, but in developing countries other more affordable boats with more local involvement in the manufacturing process will be easier to sell to an already diminishing participant base.

The typical scenario in South Africa : The Dart 18 Worlds in 1999 were in SA, many Hobie 16 sailors bought a Dart just to do the event, so the class grew rapidly, but the hobie class suffered low turnouts for a year up to the Dart Worlds. Then Tornado Worlds came around, so many of the Dart & Hobie sailors swapped allegiance, sold boats & bought Tornados. The Dart class suffered a drop in club turnout from 28 boats to 4 boats at club level at one club alone. In 1999 you couldn`t find a Dart for sale, while in 2000 you couldn`t sell one. Same with Hobies before Tornado Worlds. Now the 10 or 12 Tornado owners would struggle to get the correct value for their boats if they wanted to sell them, because there is no REASON for a demand.
Dart Worlds AND Hobie 16 Worlds are both in SA in 2005, will be an interesting time just after these regattas - I believe there will be a lower South African turnout at both, since sailors will not be jumping classes as much, maybe more stability in the resale value of boats will be a positive outcome. my point is that many Tornado sailors would possibly switch classes if the boat lost Olympic status - not because they have hopes of competing in the Olympics, but because it`s nice to own a boat that has recognition. I think F18 or F18HT will benefit from this if it ever happened, since the boats are easier to transport & cost a lot less to maintain and campaign for a Worlds. At present, how many boats does the Tornado Worlds attract ? 62. Still a fair number by all means, but not when compared to the Dart 18, which attracted a "poor" turnout of 102 boats in 1999, normally over 150 boats up to 300. The cost of sailing a boat is critical - most Dart sailors, even at Worlds level, are just weekend sailors with enough cash for an overseas holiday where they can go sailing for 10 days in a new location. If the ITA could get the average weekend sailors in their class to the Worlds, half the battle would be won. The reason that weekend warriors would feel out of sorts at a Worlds is that the boats have become too expensive to keep up with the top guys. Rig changes, carbon masts, and high-tech manufacturing methods have elevated the cost beyond reach of most.
With Olympic status comes professionalism. Competitors are paid in one form or another to train, compete & sail 8hours a day every day. It`s not sensible to expect a weekend sailor to even attempt to keep up with that. So we find that all Olympic classes lose their weekend sailor base at Worlds & even Nationals level. Once the National level has been eroded to a handful of sailors (Only 20 in Germany, you say?) that are really the guys trying to qualify for their country`s spot at the Olympics, you find that at club level the class suffers, since a Nationals is no fun for a regular sailor when competing with the Olympic hopefuls.
The Finn and Star classes are examples where the Olympics have kept the classes alive longer than they should have survived, they are both fairly antiquated classes in todays terms. The T is far away from that, but has only kept up with the newer designed cats through the rig upgrade (which was forced on them by the Olympic selection committee) and highly expensive manufacturing methods. That, and the fact that the designer got it so right all those years ago.

Sorry for such a long reply, just my thoughts, not necessarily correct, since my opinion can only be based on what I`ve experienced, read or heard throught the grapevine, none of which are reliable sources of information !

Cheers
Steve

-- Have You Seen This? --
#34755 - 09/02/04 08:26 AM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: Steve_Kwiksilver]  
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Hi Steve, long replys are often _good_ replys.

Some small points along the way. Participation in the T-Worlds are limited based on the respective countries ITA members. All nations are allowed one team, but countries with many ITA members are allowed additional slots (up to 4 i think). So there would probably be more than 62 teams at the worlds if it was open for all.

In Germany they alternate the nationals between the coast and the inland (lakes). 2003 saw some 32 boats participating with lots of older sailors, some quite young and mostly weekend warriors. There was three or four olympic teams present then.. I dont know what caused the low numer of teams this year, perhaps the prospect of little wind?

Would it be insulting to say that you basically think that the T is kept artifically alive by the olympics?

Professionalism are making some disturbances in our sport, as you say. And we regular guys are of course not competitive with the pros'. But doesn't your 10-12 MarstrÝms (and I bet there are other T-designs in SA +neighbouring countries as well) go out racing and have a good time? If they dont, why? Lack of initative, acceptable goals or general apathy?

In 2003 the swedish championship was cancelled due to lack of interest. Then some T sailors started to sail together in Stockholm. This year 7 T's came to the SM, and the class Assoc. had its first meeting in 6-7 years. Now they are working to have 4 official regattas next year and to get more boats to attend.


The start price in the T is not that bad, considering that it has a crew of two to share the cost. But of course changes like the carbon mast hurts a bit. The other olympic classes like the Laser should be hurt by professionalism just as much, but at least here in Norway both the Laser and Europe thrives.. (even tough we have professional teams in both classes)

I would like to hear other peoples toughts about the lack of T interrest and what could be done.

PS: Steve, I guess you know that the Hobie 16 are still trying to become the olympic multihull

#34756 - 09/02/04 10:30 AM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: Rolf_Nilsen]  
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I`ll try to keep this one shorter .
Ok, entry to Worlds limited - I never knew that.

"Would it be insulting to say that you basically think that the T is kept artifically alive by the olympics?"
No, quite the opposite - I think (my opinion only) that Olympic status can do more to harm a healthy class than help it grow. Basically the class grows at the highest level at the expense of membership at the base. When a setback at the highest level occurs (such as being replaced as the Olympic boat), is there still enough of a membership at the weekend level for the class to survive? Has the Soling survived after being dropped from The Olympics ? I don`t know, but would guess against that probability.
What I`m saying is it`s kind of like a vicious circle - The boat gets selected for the Olympics, then in order to remain the Olympic boat they have to keep changing to suit the IOC selection requirements. So they do this for 20 years, only to find they have out-priced themselves in the base market, ie us, the weekend sailors. NOW they HAVE TO REMAIN the Olympic boat to keep their popularity.
The T is a great boat, but for a lot less money you can now buy quite a few very nice boats, F18/F18HT etc.
Would the T remain as popular without being the Olympic boat ? I can`t answer that, but I have my own ideas.
Would it have grown to what it is now without Olympic status ? Of course that is impossible to answer. It would probably be less high-tech,less expensive, and have more builders involved, as the only reason it has funneled down to one major builder is that everyone MUST HAVE the boat that won last year`s Worlds. The original olympic classes could be home-built and was in fact a criteria for the selection, this is long gone.

"Professionalism are making some disturbances in our sport, as you say. And we regular guys are of course not competitive with the pros'. But doesn't your 10-12 MarstrÝms (and I bet there are other T-designs in SA +neighbouring countries as well) go out racing and have a good time? If they dont, why? Lack of initative, acceptable goals or general apathy?"
Unfortunately they don`t race often, for all of the reasons you list. It`s a lot of work to travel to an event, set up the boat, and take time off work, pay accommodation etc, for a Nationals where maybe 6-8 boats will attend, if we had 30 boats and 20 of those attended it would be more worthwhile. Our situation is so different - take the price of any boat and multiply it by 8,5 - that`s realistically what a boat costs us. If you earn R10 000 and a new Tornado costs R 300 000, that is the comparison. 30 times our income. So there won`t be too many more imported T`s here. Our Marstroms are over 10 years old, so not worth spending all the money to attend a Worlds where the newer boats have the advantage. So that goal is out of most people`s reach.

Of course here a Laser and Hobie 16 costs around R65 000, while a brand new entry level car costs R80 000, while there can be no comparison in the effort & technology required to build each. So that has killed sailing here to a large extent. We have a few 49er`s, 10 or so 29er`s, not enough boats in each fleet to build on. We must produce locally to keep sailing reasonably affordable, which is what is happening.

By the way, I can buy a complete Mosquito, (16ft "miniature Tornado" ) for R50 000, or 6275 Euro, probably the same price as the new carbon T mast ! It has carbon reinforced epoxy-foam sandwich hulls, carbon boards & blades, full mylar sails, spinnaker, and weighs about 100kg.

I think the problem with our sport is that it is way too fragmented, there are more boats than sailors, and still more boats being designed every day. When a new class is introduced, it will grow at the expense of an older class, I suppose that is evolution, but not growth.

Cheers
Steve

#34757 - 09/02/04 11:45 AM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: Rolf_Nilsen]  
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Quote

Would it be insulting to say that you basically think that the T is kept artifically alive by the olympics?


There is no doubt in my mind that this is the case here in Southern California. All the T sailors here survive on used sails sold by campaigners. It's a very affordable class if you are willing to buy used equipment. None of us would buy a new boat.

However, the last 2 times we've managed to get 2 T skippers together, we could see a fleet of Tigers and Inter/Nacra-20's (carbon mast, BTW) racing in the distance.

The carbon mast is not the reason the T fleets will not be growing, since the Inter-20 has a carbon mast and is a very popular racing boat around here and is selling well. IMHO, the things that make the Tornado a hard sell are the wide beam (making trailering difficult), the cost (double that of a Tiger), and the reputation for being unrightable (although I've seen Gary Friesen right my Tornado *solo* with a righting pole), the fragile gaskets that keep them off the beach, and the wide tacking angle because of the centerboards and wide beam and sloop rig (which make tacking up narrow channels a bit tedious).

I'd not recommend a used Tornado for a novice, though I would recommend a used F-18 Tiger, although I would advise them to leave the bowsprit at home for the first year at least.

Quote
Professionalism are making some disturbances in our sport, as you say. And we regular guys are of course not competitive with the pros'.


I don't see how Olympic status would hurt the F-18 class, or the Hobie-16 if it were adopted. The Tornado's problems have nothing to do with that.

Quote
But doesn't your 10-12 MarstrÝms (and I bet there are other T-designs in SA +neighbouring countries as well) go out racing and have a good time? If they dont, why? Lack of initative, acceptable goals or general apathy?


Here in the US, it's a cultural problem: Americans want to be entertained in their time off more than ever, and are sailing less. Attendence at all regattas (not just Tornado regattas) is down. The Tornado, being the most exclusive class is hit first, but volume is so low the venerable Hobie 18 stopped production and even at Hobie regattas some classes can't get enough boats for a start.

We would love to get enough (4) boats together to get a start at a local "Olympic Classes" regatta, but we haven't been able to get that many boats together yet, and if we do, we know the finish order is likely to be 1994 Marstrom, 1980's sailcraft, 1980's sailcraft, 1971 Panthercraft (with a possible hand-made wooden boat thrown in there), since those are the boats in the region.

Quote
The start price in the T is not that bad, considering that it has a crew of two to share the cost.


I have never, ever, ever heard of anyone sharing the purchase price of a boat with their crew (unless they are married). The Price:Performance ratio is definitely important, and you can get almost as much performance for much less money from other boats.

Quote
But of course changes like the carbon mast hurts a bit.


IMHO it helps the Tornado. Anyone fanatical enough to buy a Tornado for performance wants all they can get. Anyone campaigning will get a competitive mast at a fixed price and the mast properties will better match their sails. Old boats are not competitive, with or without the new mast.

The price problem comes from the fact that the competitive boats are built using expensive materials, techniques, and tooling that only a single vendor has invested in (and considering the volume, who else would try?), and noone is building noncompetitive boats because there is no market for them.

#34758 - 09/02/04 01:45 PM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: Glenn_Brown]  
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Mary Offline
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One of the problems with a boat becoming an Olympic class is that the price usually goes up, making the boat less affordable at the lower levels of racing. I have always heard that one of the reasons the price goes up is because the boat becomes more expensive to build -- the manufacturers have to have much tighter quality control and much smaller tolerances for all aspects of the boat.

#34759 - 09/03/04 08:38 AM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: Mary]  
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Mike Hill Offline
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Mike Hill  Offline
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Personally I think it's great to hear that the T went with a carbon mast. I think they will develop the carbon mast and really perfect it. This technology will bubble down to the other classes and we will get the advantage of having a cheaper, better, carbon stick than we could otherwise. The T class needs to stay leading edge to keep worldwide interest.

Mike Hill
Tiger #1520


Mike Hill
N20 #1005
#34760 - 09/03/04 11:11 AM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: sail7seas]  
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BRoberts Offline
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Hi Gang,
It sounds like the Tornado class wants a carbon mast no matter what. The headline has now changed to a safety point. "Any reason to support the position in favor of the carbon mast is welcome".
A shroud extension system would make the Tornado one person rightable and the parts cost about $100.
A new aluminum mast extrusion die paid for by the manufacturer would solve the mast extrusion inconsistency problem. If there is a problem with variations in the mast taper, this can be solved with laser cutting and robotic welding. This is twenty year old manufacturing technology. I see none of these solutions being suggested. The Tornado class wants a carbon mast no matter what and that is all there is to that.
The Finn class decided to go with a carbon mast a few years ago and now their mast situation is a mess; no satisfactory solution. The masts still break like match sticks.
Learn from experience:
The sailboard industry tried carbom masts about 25 years ago. The first ones were very stiff; too stiff to work at all. The parts were built with fiberglass tooling. The next step was to go down in mall thickness. This was tried; these spars would bend and they proved to be very fragile. Many of the thin wall spars broke while the sail outhaul was being tightened. The rest of them broke while sailing. Carbon sailboard spars got a bad name and the enthusiasm for the carbon sailboard spar fell off for a few years. Then finally along came a carbon spar that was about 75% of the diamenter of the glass spar with a thicker wall than the old carbon spars and the new one was bendy and lightweight and tough. Hot Dog, somebody finally found the answer! They had adjusted the mast diameter and wall thickness in coordination with the modulus of elasticity of carbon and came up with a part that bent much like the glass spar and was much lighter in weight and tough.
If the Tornado class is going to have a satisfactory carbon spar that bends much like the present aluminum mast, the engineers/designers are going to have to have a clean sheet of paper to work with. No rules like "it has to be the same outside shape as the present aluminum mast". A rule like this is guaranteed disaster. There is too much difference in physical properties between carbon and aluminum to impose this limit on the carbon mast.
Bill

#34761 - 09/03/04 11:34 AM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: BRoberts]  
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Jake Offline
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Now that I agree with. To stay with the same extrusion parameters but go to carbon doesn't offer much.


Jake Kohl
#34762 - 09/03/04 01:15 PM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: BRoberts]  
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Quote

A shroud extension system would make the Tornado one person rightable and the parts cost about $100.


We'd also need a captive ball mast step, no? With shroud extenders, I've never understood how you get up to the high side to pull the pin when it's ~10 feet off the water. Please explain...



Mike Dobbs
Tornado CAN 99 "Full Tilt"
#34763 - 09/03/04 01:16 PM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: BRoberts]  
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Bill,
let it go. you don't even sail a tornado. Carbon is a great material and many sailboat masts are built with it. Granted they are still learning the best way to go about it,and it is more costly, but it is the future.

On your sailboard example you mixed the apples and oranges. Carbon didn't replace glass masts for racing. Racing masts were alu. and during the first couple years of carbon masts some racers still used alu. as the first carbon masts were too stiff. the glass masts are used in the waves. they still are mostly glass. Windsurf masts are labled by their pecentage of carbon and by a system for gauging the flex characteristics. Some of the masts are skinny and some are the same as they ever were. The racing masts have more carbon and thinner walls.

For most things on a cat-lighter is better

#34764 - 09/03/04 02:19 PM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: Tornado]  
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BRoberts Offline
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Hey Mike,
No problem, you just have to be ten feet tall!
Well, not really. You climb up on the mast at the base and stand there and reach up and aft to the shroud lever and open the lever and pull the extension pin. Then climb back down to the lower hull and pull on the righting line and up the boat comes.
As to the captive mast step housing and ball: Get those parts from Aquarius Sails and adapt them to your present system.... OR ,,, Before you extend the upper shroud, tie a short piece of line tightly connecting an eye strap located at or near the bottom of the mast to the main beam. It is just a short piece of line going through the eye strap and around and under the main beam. Pull it tight and tie a square knot. This loop will keep a non-captive mast step connected. Then extend the shroud and right the boat. No problem. I have helped several sailors rig other brands of boats this way. Some boat owners have even installed a cleat on the bottom of the main beam to eliminate the need for the square knot.
Opening the leeward shroud lever is a "go fast" in light air downwind in that it allows much more mast rotation. It takes the tension out of the leeward shroud and then the mast can push it out of the way and rotate much more.
Good Sailing,
Bill

#34765 - 09/03/04 02:46 PM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: jollyrodgers]  
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Quote
Let it go. you don't even sail a tornado.

That is no reason to not voice an opinion, especially when this thread has changed into a discussion about the decline and politics in the T-class (and general sailing).

I have sailed Tornados for just four years now, but we have never had any problems righting it with an ordinary righting line thrown over the hull. Not even when sailing with a crew weight of 150 Kg. I have even seen a 160kgs team right a pitchpoled T (before it went turtle).

Besides, as Roland Gaebler said "we are not sailing these boats to be safe"

#34766 - 09/03/04 03:01 PM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: Rolf_Nilsen]  
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Quote
I have even seen a 160kgs team right a pitchpoled T (before it went turtle).


I've seen my Tornado with aluminum mast righted single-handed with a 6' righting pole. (Pictures at http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/TornadoCat/lst under "SoloRight".)

#34767 - 09/03/04 03:37 PM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: Glenn_Brown]  
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Quote
Quote
I have even seen a 160kgs team right a pitchpoled T (before it went turtle).


I've seen my Tornado with aluminum mast righted single-handed with a 6' righting pole. (Pictures at http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/TornadoCat/lst under "SoloRight".)


need a login to access that.....


F16 - GBR 553 - SOLD

I also talk sport here
#34768 - 09/03/04 04:34 PM One simple reply [Re: BRoberts]  
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I think we can trust Marstom to come with a good top quality mast with longlivitey.

Wouter


Wouter Hijink
Formula 16 NED 243 (one-off; homebuild)
The Netherlands
#34769 - 09/03/04 06:31 PM Re: One simple reply [Re: Wouter]  
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It seems apparent that Bill isn't in favour of most anything that he hasn't "incorporated" whithin his boats, but that doesn't mean that other innovations are not good.
Carbon is the way that ALL boats are going, LIKE IT OR NOT. It is similar to the transision from marine ply as the favoured building material for most if not all the high performance sailing craft of that time, to fibre reinforced plastic (polyester and E glass). There were all sorts of "wild" reasons given that fibreglass would NEVER replace ply. To heavy, to slow, to expensive, and UNSAFE, were just a few emotional "reasons" that were given at the time, (sound a little familiar?). Well, we are at just such a watershed in the development of "the next generation" of building materials right here right now, and nothing is surer than over the next few years "if it aint carbon/kevlar, then it aint there"
There is a load of conjecture and, I may say "Rubbish" being bandied about the diameter, the comparison to aluminium, the comparisons to "wind surfers" wall thickness etc, for the Tornado carbon mast. You only have to look to a class that is more appropriate that successfully converted to carbon masts years ago without "reducing" diameters etc, and is growing (as a class) more now than at any time in their history. The A class is the example that Tornado's should be looking to for validation of their decision to move forward into carbon masts.

#34770 - 09/09/04 07:49 AM Re: One simple reply [Re: Darryl_Barrett]  
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Probably flogging a dead horse here, but..

Mitch Boot and Darren Bundock has made some statements regardring the last ballot..

Ref: The German T Assoc (in english)

#34771 - 09/13/04 12:47 PM Re: One simple reply [Re: Rolf_Nilsen]  
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Rolf,

Can you post a copy of these comments here (and/or on the TornadoCat forum on Yahoo)? The link you provided is all in German and it's not obvious (to me at least) where to go to get to the comments.

Mike.


Mike Dobbs
Tornado CAN 99 "Full Tilt"
#34772 - 09/13/04 02:51 PM Re: One simple reply [Re: Tornado]  
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Quote
Rolf,
Can you post a copy of these comments here (and/or on the TornadoCat forum on Yahoo)? The link you provided is all in German and it's not obvious (to me at least) where to go to get to the comments.


Sorry about that Mike!

In the meantime, the posts has 'disappeared' from the german forum (as controversial posts has a tendency to do there from time to time). Both posts was forwarded from them, and written in english. The next time I will post them here instead..

The basis was that both Mitch Booth and Darren Bundock supported the ballot to further the 'one-design' element in the Tornado class. Mitch eleborated, as mentioned here, that the boat/equipment was just 1/3 of the cost of a campaign. The rest went into travelling, hotels and coaching..



#34773 - 09/13/04 09:14 PM Re: Lighter mast makes the Tornado safer! [Re: BRoberts]  
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Here is the post in question

Tornado New Rules von Mitch Booth

Autor: Flippo
Datum: 09.09.04 12:43

Dear Tornado Sailors,

Finally, after 5 months of full on sailing I now have a chance to comment on the ballot and its impact.

The pre-text to the ballot form and so called intention of what the ballot was trying to achieve is far from what the class started as many years ago.


The class has always allowed and still does permit owner builders to build 1 boat a year for their own use. Many sailors from all levels have exercised this right to make part or full boats. We have made over the years hulls, rudders, centerboards, sails, booms and even masts.

I am a strong supporter of the one design concept however, there is a big difference between "one design "and "one manufacturer". This whole idea that no sailor should be able to use something that is not commercially available to other sailors is totally against the spirit of the class rules. We have strict tolerances, materials and rules to abide by and we can make them even tighter if we want.

The point I am trying to make is if the class wants to go towards the commercially available and same equipment for all sailors then we have to scrap the owner builder rule and change the class to a "manufacturer supplied only" rule just like Hobie or Nacra. Personally I think this would damage the future of the class and it would lose its edge as the leading beach cat.

There are two major flaws I find in the ballot.

Firstly, under the current rules 3, d, an amateur builder is allowed to build a boat a year for his own use. This of course includes a mast if he wishes.

Secondly, the rule 17b, 1 and 2 talks about "Schedule A- approved sailcloth" However there is no wording as to the criteria , method or persons to create this list. We have earlier this year gone through a rule interpretation on spinnaker cloth and it was clear from ISAF that no matter how much supporting correspondence as to the intention they would ONLY rely on the wording of the rule. I believe the new rule is not enforceable in its current form.



Good Sailing,

Mitch Booth



Auf diesen Beitrag antworten









Re: Tornado New Rules von Bundy

Autor: Flippo
Datum: 09.09.04 12:45

I agree that the class should remain one design and not one manufacture to encourage a little bit of development. However, the class must put in place some steps to prevent the class becoming elitist.

The circumstances have changed over the years since the class started many years ago, now many teams are professional sailors, some MNA's are pouring in exorbitant amounts of money and the amount of sponsorship money in the class has risen substancially. Something needs to be done to level the playing field to low budget teams.

I believe the class has taken some positive steps in this direction.

I donít see it damaging as at this stage the carbon mast is the only part to be strict one design and one manufacture. If it passes the ballot with a greater than 2/3 majority then it is what the class is wanting.

You are correct that a amateur builder can still build one mast a year for his own use. Only 1 not a practice one and then a real one. I believe it must also come out of an ISAF certified mould as well.

I am unclear on the wording of the new 17b, as I do not have it here with me. But for sure it needs to have clear guidelines for selection of material to get approval to be listed on "schedule A".

I have confidence that the ISAF will approve something that is fair and binding.

Regards
Bundy




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