The AC 120 class has grown significantly since its inception in Italy and France and the class has been blessed with the privilege of having some brilliant RC boat designers such as Claudio Diolaiti & Renato Chiesa that have greatly contributed to the development of this new modern class of RC sailing yachts around the world producing over 30 plans (completely free of charge) of different IACC generation boats that dominated the Americas Cup mono-hull era from 1992 until 2007.
Like anything new, it takes time for a new class to find it’s legs before it is up and running, and recent Italian AC 120 rule changes was classic example of how not to improve class rules.
Without going into details, the Italian AC-120 rules are based only on measures & weights e.g LOA max 120 cm, LWL of 103 cms, Keel/Bulb max 3 kgs, Max sail area of 80 dm2 with minimum total displacement of 4.5 kgs which is fine if all people are sailing single boat designs … but they’re not! And this is what will continue to cause problems there.
For example: If we take ITA-25 Moro di Venezia with beam of 290 mm and water plan of 14,32 dmq and sit it beside USA-98 BMW Oracle that has 165 mm beam (125 mm less) and water plan of 11,96 dmq (2,36 less) …then we add the same sails (78 dm2) same keel/bulb (3 kg) and have same total DSPL (4.5 kg) in the hands of two skippers with same sailing skills …. which boat would win ?
So here we see the extremes of design variations in the same AC-120 class boats between Ver. 1 to Ver. 5 yacht designs and if one wishes to be competitive in Italy, you have no option but to go with Ver 5.0 boat design to be in the hunt, the girls from class of 92, 95, 2000 & to some extent 2003 will die if we don’t help preserve them.
One way this can happen: If yachts of different designs in the same class are given ratings with penalties applied to basic parameters so that all boats have comparable performance when racing together (same as real IACC did) this will provide not only more fun but greater interest in building and sailing boats that people want, while having an equal performance and the focus would be on RC racing strategy, tuning skills and sailing ability…rather than having helping hand with boat design advantages.
The International RC AC-120 rules & rating guide is a reference to help sailing groups that wish to start their own local groups using this document as a guide-line. This is not an officially sanctioned set of hard rules published by any authority, only the accumulation of experience from AC-120 sailors (who learnt the hard way) that would like to see different boat designs, sail competitively in the same class using a simple rating system.
Like to hear your comments & feedback on this and if any group would like to use this guide, can provide Excel spreadsheet for quick rating calculation.
Cheers Alan :zbeer: