Ballot results

Hello people. We now have the results of the ballot.

Please see link.

I would very much like to thank the national registrars for their sterling efforts in running the ballot. The effort involved is greater than we ever thought.

I would also like to thank all of you you very much for the extremely high quality of the debate up to the time the ballot closed. With the exception of one skipper (using another site) everyone has acted in a very positive and gentlemanly manner. We have (maybe) a reputation for being quarrelsome. If this means that we are mostly people with minds and opinions of their own that we are prepared to argue, I am all for it. What matters is that the debate be conducted in good coscience and in good spirit.



On what date should Footy events start implementing the new Rules?

Will the rules page be changed to reflect the ballot changes and clarifications so the new skipper only has one document to reference?

Thanks for letting us know.

Hi Frank,
It may be some time I would think…there are several major problems as far as I can tell.
the new rudder rule contadicts itself,allows multiple rudders in one breath and then one rudder in the next.
And the also the rig situation…2 rigs of any size,but now you can cut down your smallest one with scissors!!!
No more orverpowering problems…just have to be prepared to cut your sails down.

I am guessing that no one saw the possibilities of the mixing and matching of the intentions of each question.
ie the scissors rule was intended for the 305mm rig that has now been scrapped.

It is my guess that the class will have to rewrite the class rules to bring in the intentions of the vote…not the actual results???

Hi all,

#7 is a pickle. Here’s what I think our choices are:
A. We can declare it ambiguous and not implement either change. Throw out all of 7.
B. Put in both changes as rule. We’ll have to have an administrative policy to deal with practical measurement until the rule gets clarified.

C. Rewrite the rule using the ballot result as a guide.

I don’t like C, too imperial.
B. is fair but very confusing.
C. is also fair, we take our lumps as bad ballot authors and continue to use the current rules for that section.

Any other possibilities or comment on these choices?


As a contented vassal I’m for C.


Hi John,

Since you asked for it…

Rule change #7a was clearly voted for and passed. The requirement for rule change 7b was a “No” vote on 7a, which according to the posted results was 34 “No” votes. The total of the votes in 7b (both Y & N) was 38, yet it should have been no more than 34. This casts some doubt on the counting process. In any event, since 7a passed, 7b is not even eligible for consideration.

A similar situation exists with 8d, which in order to vote on required a “no” on 8a plus a “yes” on 8c. Since there were 27 yes votes on “c”, 27 votes is the limit for “d”. So, how could there have been a total of 35 votes (both Y & N) cast on issue 8d?

I also have a problem with the wording in section 3a, where the word being defined is used in the definition. Merriam & Webster must both be rolling in their graves over that one.

If nothing else, this election proves that any election regarding the Footy rules needs to be kept simple, direct, and not try to address too many issues at once. I’m sure if this were a local, state, or National election, there would have already been actions filed to declare the above mentioned items (if not the whole election) invalid.

Being from Florida, I’m at least glad to see such errors not solely attributed to this State. Maybe we can do it better next time! 8^)

Bill Nielsen
Oakland Park, FL USA

Bill I,m not going to get bogged down in the details. Obviously there is an element of cock up for which I think I am substantially reponsible. So we learn.

I would say, partly in our defence, that this poll is (hopefully) the most complex we will ever run : the first half of it is there to correct admitted drafting errors/failures of imagination in the original rules and was essentially generated within the ‘official’ class organisation. The second part (rudders, rigs, batteries) is all the result of requests from members. With a new class and a new rule, it is inevitable that there will be differences of opinion/philospohy between members and that there will be genuine practical differences in the use of the rule/boats in different parts of the world. This ballot has, I suspect and hope, gone a long way toward finding ‘vanilla’.

Please do not come back and talk to me about the ‘intention behind the rule’. The main driving force behind the rule was an architect. I am continually amused by, for example, twee and romatic paved pathways winding their elegant way across lawns, and the public comment - generally a line of worn turf going straight from one end to the other. I am determined that we should look not at what someone once thought would be a nice idea for a 12" model yacht, but at what real people paying real money and consuming real leisure time want.

This all sounds much grimmer than I intend, so …


Well said Angus.

Well, I’ve just surfaced from the details. Ick. I’m so glad we rushed this. That’s sarcasm in case anyone missed it.

More info on #7. A few votes appear to violate the ballot rules. They don’t affect the outcome though. The source of the problem was the ballot itself. 7b should not have read “only if you voted No for 7a” . It should have read “Vote Yes only if you voted No on 7a, a No vote is recorded if you voted Yes on 7a”. My gut feeling is to allow multiple rudders.

I’m tired and I’ll finish checking 8 later.


Yes I agree with talastro …

That is no way to write a ballot paper. It was a similar challenge for the proposal #8 section of the ballot.

I voted YES for 7a because it allowed multiple rudders (inside the box).
I could not vote in 7b because of the restriction. Some did obviously.
E. Hull Appendages
This combination of changes retains the restriction of a
single aft-projecting rudder of 6.3mm thickness, but it
permits any number of rudders of any thickness
provided they fit within the box. This would allow such
things as canards, t-foil rudders, etc, within the box.[COLOR=Black]

[/COLOR]Some would say that I am a little thick but I must say that after I had read the ballot paper I was confused as to what I could or could not vote yes too.

What I really wanted, was to vote for no rig restrictions at all.
But on reading the ballot paper carefully I was told that unless I had voted a specific way on the earlier clauses I was unable to vote as I wished.

I am not getting involved in the controversy to come over the next few weeks as fingers are pointed and the “I told you so” accusations are asserted.:scared:
Good luck, I shall be keeping a beady eye on proceedings.:rolleyes:

Hmmm… looks like we have ourselves a bit of a SNAFU as they say… I’ll have to study this in greater depth once this physics final is done!

laughs Ah, the trouble we get ourselves into!

I would have thought that 3b which allowed the scissor trimming (what an awful though) of the ‘small rig’ was made irrelavent by the passing of the ‘two rig unmeasured’ rule. ‘Small rig’ clearly reffered to the sub 305mm B-rig then in use.

Now that there are two unmeasured rigs allowed there is no ‘small rig’. I say that because I could choose to use two rigs of different heights with the same area or of the same height with different areas… which is the ‘smaller rig’ then? :devil3:

A rewrite with the intentions of the vote will be the best option I think too. As it is winter here and I want to get building I can at least move ahead with the basic understanding that…
a) Any battery can be used
b) Two unmeasured rigs are available in a regatta.

Cool :zbeer:

The problem is…
we voted on actual changes to the class rule wording…not intentions.

what a pickle

Footy Class Rule change proposals Part 2 (complete rule clauses in the CR
order with changes within each rule in red)
Changes to the important working of the class rule
Proposal 6: Batteries Yes No
C. Conditions for Racing
The current 2005 rule restricting batteries to 4x AA was
originally set to be the lowest cost with use with the
standard battery clip that comes with a basic RC set or in
a pack. In terms of mAh this still appears to be the least
expensive battery type.
Proponents of the change argue that other battery types
are cheap, readily available, and lighter weight, allowing
a less-experienced builder to more easily build a light
boat. They also argue that the AA rule restricts
innovation in what is intended to be an open class. The
wide range of weight for AA batteries also promotes a
single brand of lithium nonchargeable battery for serious
racing. The most important effect of lighter batteries is a
better performance for all boats, both lighter
displacement with a lower center of gravity and therefore
more stability.
Opponents of the change argue that the 4 AA restriction
presents an interesting design and building challenge
that is important to the class. They also point out that it
serves as an equalizer that keeps boats within a
reasonable displacement range. An experienced builder
with lighter hull construction would still have a greater
stability advantage over weightier hulls because the
lighter hull would have a bigger effect on the lowering
the center of gravity, than with heavier AA batteries.
Change C.2 as in red
C.2 Batteries are to be placed within
the hull.

Are you telling me that I actually voted to change the number and size of batteries allowed for use in the FOOTY by voting YES in this clause?

As far as I was aware I was simply saying Yes to the proposal that "Batteries are to be placed within the hull "

If I was counted as yes for changing the battery rule then I would like to change my vote to a NO.

Am I particularly thick or did I just loose the plot here.
Where does it specify what the moot is that we are voting on apart from that I have specified ? Anyone please ?

Hi Ian,
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. It was a subtle and easy point to miss, since on it’s surface it did appear only to address the “batteries within the hull” issue, and the explanation included with the ballot left this point out. The opening line of the rules where it is stated that anything not specifically restricted is allowed is the culprit. The ballot wording makes “batteries within the hull” the ONLY restriction, thereby allowing all other restrictions to be deleted. I mentioned something about this “opening of the backdoor” in one of my posts prior to the deadline but was quickly shot down shot down by others for my wrong-headedness. I guess I should have made my point more clear. As it was, the voting on this issue was very close, and it wouldn’t take too many others who were as surprised as you, for it to have changed the outcome. It does point out how in any really important election, the outcome can be changed by unclear wording of a ballot.

While it might not help the International Rule, I believe the AMYA still has to vote to ratify the AMYA’s acceptance of any changes to the class rule, and I don’t believe that AMYA membership is restricted only to members residing within the USofA. So, what would happen if the AMYA vote was against ratification of the new rules?

Sorry 'bout that.

Bill Nielsen
Oakland Park, FL USA

Come on now Bill, “opening the back door”? Can the wording be any clearer on the accepted change to rule C.2? The discussion section that accompanied proposition 6 clearly outlined the outcome of voting one way or another. So the whole point that the preamble of the Footy rules that state that anything not prohibited is legal being not understood by many Footy skippers is just silly. Besides being the lead off concept in the Footy rules it is common to most other international r/c sailboat classes. If one can read english, and carefully considers what one is voting for, then one should be satisfied that they participated and let the chips fall were they may.

You may not be familiar with the way that class rule amendments are phrased in AMYA ballots but proposal 6’s intention and the wording thereof are common place. It is up to the person voting to consider not only the proposed change itself but the ramifications of one’s choice in the context of the rest or the rules set. It is on the individual if they later realize that they didn’t understand what they were voting for and voted incorrectly.

I’m not going to get drawn into discussion about who should have done what better, but I want to communicate some personal feelings and opinions. I’m not looking for return comments, as I’m just stating my feelings.

First, the committee made a good-faith attempt to produce a ballot that allowed all proposals received to date to be considered by registered Footy skippers in a democratic process. The process was outlined in the class charter. In hindsight, the charter was less detailed than it could have been regarding definition of majority, etc, yet that charter was voted on and accepted at the time by Footy owners. The shortcomings were not clear at the time.

Second, the committee realized and warned voters in the ballot introduction that the conflicting options on the ballot could be confusing. Once again, in hindsight, a better job could perhaps have been done to avoid some of the confusion. Committee members are not professional lawyers or wordsmiths…so stuff happened…but there was no hidden agenda or attempt to manipulate anyone.

Third, I personally have been feeling very much caught in the middle lately, where by trying to be fair and open, I only open myself to more criticism. Though I have made many friends over the last several years through my involvement in this class, I have also lost a good one in NZ and have come close to losing another in the UK…and I regret those losses a great deal.

I got into class administration because I loved these little boats and wanted others to have the chance to love them, too…and no one else stepped forward to volunteer. My strengths are not in administration, though, and I am more than ready to turn over my responsibilities to anyone cares about Footys and who, with good faith and better administrative skills, will do a better job.

I’m worn out with all this bickering and just want to go back to having fun with boats.

Bill H

I agree completely Niel, I had to go over some of the proposals several times to be clear in my mind what I was about to vote for but it really wasn’t that difficult. Voting is a personal responsibility not to be taken lightly or rushed. As in any other vote I have ever taken part in, once sent that is an end to it, right, wrong or confused.

It’s a thankless task Bill, but you have my thanks anyway.



IanHB has already stated that he was confused by the wording of the ballot and wants his vote changed. The voting on this was VERY close, 47 for and 44 against. If Ian had correctly understood the proposal the count would have been even closer: 46 for and 45 against. While you may like to think even that tally would be a victory for changing the rule, it really wouldn’t. There were 91 votes cast, and 51% of that number is 46.41, so 46 votes is just a wee bit shy of 51%. If there were any other votes cast in error, the vote would have definitely gone the other way. There were several other confusing proposals too, and ballots should NOT be confusing. A vote is not a contest to see who can best figure out confusing wording on a ballot. I realize you were in favor of the change all along, so I really don’t expect you see this point or admit that the vote was not a clear decision by the majority, but please don’t belittle anyone who says they were confused and voted yes in error.

Bill Nielsen
Oakland Park, FL USA

Graham you are quite right - it was not easy to decide but its done and we have to now got to get on with it