New Poll on Rigs and Batteries

I have started an unofficial poll on the Footy Yahoo Group to try to find out what people think about the current Class Rules on rigs and batteries. Why not stop by and cast your vote. Paul

As requested I have set up the poll on RC sailing in addition to the Yahoo site. please don’t vote in both, the intent is to get an honest concensus and perhaps clear the air by laying these issues to rest. That way we might get a couple of months of uncontentious Footy sailing. Paul

I seem to recall that the way to change a rule was to submit a proposal in writing to the technical committee for them to evaluate, as stated below from the Footy Class Website:

“IFCA policy on requests for interpretation of class rules.
IFCA encourages discussion around the class rules
IFCA encourages NCS officers to answer questions about the class rules at national level wherever possible.
IFCA encourages Owners to discuss the class rules with their NCA/NCS, In Footy class Forum’s, and elsewhere, and encourages IFCA and NCA/NCS officers to participate in such debate.
IFCA emphasises that while such discussion and debate should involve the exchange of informed opinion, any views expressed are neither official nor authoritative and do not represent IFCA’s position.
IFCA encourages an NCA/NCS officer to request an official interpretation from the IFCA Technical Committee via the IFCA chairman in all cases where and NCA/NCS officer feels this would be useful
In general, it is the NCA/NCS which is the source of official requests for interpretation.
Official requests should be submitted to the IFCA TSC with supporting documentation that provides diagrams, quotes relevant rules, and gives a summary of the issues.
Where the IFCA TC becomes aware of a discussion about the class rules that, in its view, should be the subject of an interpretation, the TC may make an official request on behalf of the class.
All official requests for interpretation are announced by the Chairman on the Footy class Web site so that all interested parties are clear whether an interpretation has been officially requested or not
NCA - National class association
NCSs - National Class Secretaries
TC - Technical committee”

So I assume this is intended to be simply for the basis of discussion, which is fine. In fact, I thought the battery issue had already been batted around & decided upon by the above procedure, but maybe I’m wrong. If so, please correct me.

Last year someone applied to the tech team re the battery rule…What happened???
was it debated??? what was the result???

early days yet, but we appear to have much support for the AA battery rule, and almost as much for a less restrictive rig.

21 voters on an International forum,quite a small sample of registered owners.

Support for a less restrictive rig? I contend that 2 nominated rigs is more restrictive than the current rule,at least now we can sail in all conditions.An unexpected strong wind will see you all sailing out of control with your 2 nominated larger rigs.

allow a 3rd unmearsured rig and all will be well,but 2 nominated rigs is plain silly IMHO

I agree with you there Brett.

I don’t follow your argument Brett. Having 2 unrestricted rigs would not limit anyone from choosing a small rig for high wind possibilities. Some might gamble on light wind and get burned but that is their choice, not a restriction from (potential) rule. That being said, I’m not convinced that changing the rig rule is a good idea.

I have poked the Tech Team to finish their comments on the proposed rule changes. We’ll have a look at their comments when they’re done. Non of the Registars has voiced any objections so far, so general membership should have something to vote on. I’m not worried too much about the speed of this process since I’ve seen plenty of fair racing under the current rules. No extreme design appears to be dominating. Tuning and skipper skill are winning events.


I’m just (in time) going to make a whole bunch of different sized rigs; and on race day, I’ll just use the legal ones. Whatever size they turn out to be.

Unless…I can develope one, fully reefable rig, to be used in all conditions…

Nah. no time fer that.


Actually, that’s not quite an accurate assessment, the numbers show that those in favor of changing the battery rule are only outnumbered by one vote out of 27, compared to those that want it to remain unchanged. Those who want it changed are split between just loosening the rules to also allow AAA cells and those who want ALL battery restrictions removed. I would say that in terms of a change or no change the vote is too close to call. This is part of the problem when dealing with polls, accuracy depends on how the poll is presented and how the results are analyzed.

Bill Nielsen
Oakland Park, FL USA

The ‘storm’ rig restriction is not at all unreasonable and should be retained. There is no restriction upon sail area, so it is possible to have several ‘storm’ rigs and designate the one most likely to be needed on any given day, just the same as with the “A” rig.
All racing classes have some sort of restriction, which if removed, would enable higher speed or other characteristic.( i.e. removing the one metre length limit for all the 1M classes would probably increase boat speed no end!) But why?
Leave the ‘box’, the 12" ‘B’ rig, the 4 AA batteries limits alone. I would even go back to the “standard” servos.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Hi John,
That my point exactly…most would choose 2 large rigs given a light wind forecast…the class then becomes a joke when the wind comes unexpectedly and the boats can’t sail well with the large rigs.
If this is a serious class then the boats must be capable(via the rules) of sailing in all conditions,that means leaving the rules as is or adding more rigs but maintaining the small rig.
I am not in favour of unlimited rigs either, rigs may be cheap right now but some smart guy 5 years down the track could invent something that beats us all and costs an arm and a leg if you need lots of them to compete.We need to think of the future not just the now.

I see dumb things happen in sports all the time (actions allowed by the rules). Rarely does anyone say that the sport is damaged. The team or individual is ridiculed only. In our US Footydom, most skippers don’t have a B rig and I don’t see the class suffering because of it. More common are all the reports of boats dropping out of races due to hatch failures and other leaks. Perhaps you should worry about Graham’s Pringle lid idea, it may have a greater impact after all.

(Still in favor of keeping the current rig rules)

I’m somewhat curious as to what the original intent of the AA battery rule is. I assumed that it was an attempt to promote a sense of fair play. The idea being that someone of greater financial resources couldn’t gain an unfair advantage by utilizing an expensive/exotic battery technology. Is the rule about weight, volume or electrical capacity??? Surely, it can’t be electrical capacity. Even the lamest of battery chemistries is more than ample for the electrical loads of a Footy. If it’s all about weight, then shouldn’t the rule specify a minimum battery pack weight??? If it’s all about volume, then the current rule gives those with greater financial means an unfair advantage. Some may counter that disposable lithium batteries (currently the lightest AA) aren’t that expensive in the grand scheme of things. That is until you compare them to a rechargeable battery that can be recharged hundreds of times before it needs to be replaced. I just purchased a 750 mAh AAA Nickel-Metal Hydride battery pack that weighs 56 grams for a whopping $12.99 USD. Amortized over a few hundred sailing sessions that’s a lot of bang for the buck!! If indeed the rule is all about fair play, then a minimum battery weight would seem the way to go!! Just my two cents (or maybe only 1.2 cents considering the current state of the U.S. dollar).

Happy Yachting - Kip

Having just discovered Footys, and having built a free sailing one to get an idea of what works, this thread worries me…Not the cost aspect (lets face it, it is cheaper than dinghy sailing, even when sailing cheap old ones) or even the actual proposed rules changes (sailing skill will always beat a few grams of battery weight, I’d have thought) but the mindset of some of the replies. I don’t think I’m seeing the Footy class at it’s best here, somehow, and that could put people off.
As someone who has yet to go RC, I’d say either keep what you have with batteries or scrap battery rules completely, otherwise you will end up with the same discussion over AAA batteries in a few years.
The rig idea as it stands now seems a simple way of ensuring people have access to a small rig if the wind picks up. Though I doubtthe crabclaw rig I’ve just made is much over a foot above the deck and it has nearly twice the are of the high aspect rig I made 1st. If the class is that worried about rigs, then the only “fair” solution is to go one design and publish a rig for people to make. This seems like a very bad idea for a class of free thinkers, though!

The original intent of the AA battery rule as with all parts of the FOOTY rule was and still is, “to ensure a level playing field.”

Any rating rule for any class of yacht, full size or model, endeavours to make the class conform to the concepts of the basic philosophy of that class as formulated by it`s creators.

We, the “potential owners” then elect to either join in, or not, based on the appeal of that rating rule.

Human nature being what it is, we all want our craft to be faster than the other fellows craft.
The challenge for the rule makers is that the simpler the conceived boat the more complex must be the rule.

I was involved in the conception of the IOM and can tell you what started out to be a simple low tech, easy, home built, any style hull, low cost, available class, has become quite an extensive exercise in rule composition.
The boat is still simple, but because of it`s popularity, the fact that so much thought has been put in to making mine faster than yours and the development of materials and techniques of construction, that to keep the simplicity desired by the owners, the rule has to be made, not complicated, but shall we say more extensive.

My feeling is that the FOOTY rule guardians are trying to avoid such a development from occurring with the FOOTY rule.
The original concept that has found acceptance worldwide is for a “semi development” class based on the box rule and with those restrictions in place that we have come to accept, namely the 4 x AA battery and the set height B rig clauses.
Pretty much anything else is allowed.
There has to be enough leeway there to satisfy the most extreme experimentalists provided they accept the 4 x AA and the rig restrictions.

If they do not, then maybe they should move to another class, ( the RG65 should suit. )

The most important element of any rating rule is that it is perceived as being “FAIR”
[SIZE=2]The level playing field concept is the best expression to visualise the idea of being the same for all.

The FOOTY rule is currently fair.
Lets keep it that way and help it grow. Have fun. [/SIZE]

Thank you for reading my little rave.
It is not aimed at anyone, it is just my two penneth worth (and with the current state of the kiwi dollar makes it worth about a farthing ) so please do not take offence if I have touched your sore spot.
Best wishes.

Well said Ian (and Rupert), the class has a great future with the rules as they stand, rule instability is not the key to growth.

Apparently, the batteries to use in your Footy class sailboat is a fairly “charged” subject (sorry, I just couldn’t resist).

Happy Yachting - Kip

P.S. Happy Birthday Ian

as a brand new, potential player {ordering my boat tonight} I would have to say KISS is a good idea, keep it simple, I would also suggest keeping it cheap which is why I am going this route:paw:

Interesting you reference the RG-65. Current US discussion has been about “banning” carbon fiber. Within the discussion, it was pointed out that we need to leave the rules for open development as they stand, since a few have found out carbon for sake of weight has few followers in this 25" / 65cm. sized class. Using just balsa, the materials have sorted themselves out, and a plain old balsa hull is strongly competitive with the carbon or glass boats a few have tried. I just make this point in an effort to refocus the original intent of the Footy class being “developmental” - and as such, the more rules, twists and turns you put in, the further from pure development you go.

Also, as a development class sailor in big boats - my friends, development is what it was all about. If you can’t afford to play, you need to find a different game - and within the Footy class, I see a lot less cost than any other class - even compared to one-design classes, where the rules favor “fairness” yet everyone seeks that elusive “loophole”.

Good luck in your efforts on this one. And Brett - FYI - I did not vote ! :wink: