I’m glad Phil has started this thread. I for one will be very interested to see how many contribute, & on which side of the fence the majority find themselves.
Before I start, I want to make it quite clear, that I acknowledge the supreme effort made by all those who have voluntarily given greatly of their time to bring the class to where it is now. Having said that, I truly believe that we have missed a golden opportunity (in the last ballot) to simplify, improve & add more excitement to this class. Sadly, regarding rigs, I believe the result diminishes their hard work.
For the record, I would like to say that I think the existing rule is ridiculous. Yes, most boats will sail with the smallest of rigs but how exciting & enjoyable is it to be floundering around with a dozen other boats (for up to a day & a half) just because the wind has changed. ENJOYMENT is the main reason most of us play this game or have I missed the point? This is after all a DEVELOPMENT class & while hulls & other aspects are able to develop exponentially it is a huge joke, more an insult, that the numerous & imaginative rigs & hulls now being made, very easily & cheaply, are not allowed to be used to their best advantage.
I appreciate your point Bill about all being in the same boat, but this is no comfort when the boat has sprung a leak & is sinking fast.
It comes as no surprise to me that queries about rig rules continues to come up. There is still confusion, which will ultimately require yet more “INTERPRITATIONS” & more unnecessary work for he tech committee, all of which could easily, & at no cost to the concept of the Footy, be avoided by removing the rig rule completely. There wouldn’t even need to be a definition of what constitutes a rig because anything would be legal. How simple is that??? As time goes on & my understanding of Footy performance grows, It has become blatantly obvious to me that the wind strength, water conditions, & the size of these boats ARE the defining parameters that govern the size of the rig that can be used at any given time. So I ask myself, why do we need man made rules to redefine this? My answer, & the opinion of everyone I have spoken to, bar one, is that WE DON’T.
Basically, Phil, the rule remains unchanged because the total number of voters (91, I believe) were split between 4 rig rule options & none carried because there was no one option that collected the majority of votes (47, in other words, 51%). Had there been only two options, the outcome would have, I believe, been dramatically different, & better. We all need to learn a valuable lesson from this to insure it is avoided in the future.
Bill H. Regarding your nats, good luck with that. For the sake of the competing skippers, I will pray for steady winds so that the event is an enjoyable, competitive, & successful one not just a statistical exercise.
Angus’ point about lighter & thinner I believe is correct, and is all well & good if the wind drops off, but if, having made your rig choice, the wind increases, you will almost immediately be overpowered. A boat designed to those criteria is, while sailing well in lighter airs, far more sensitive to stronger variations, hence the need for more than two rigs.
Most of us want to get kids involved in this sport, them being the future & all that. If the boats are not allowed to perform at their best then we have less than no chance of maintaining their interest.
Fundamentally, I think the rule was a good place to start, but as this class HAS developed, things are now different. We need to make changes that keep it alive, healthy & gaining momentum.
I think that is quite enough for now. I apologise that this was such a mouthfull and I thank you for your patience, I do feel a lot better. I bet some of you are saying “It’s just as well Gary doesn’t comment often or we would all be nodding off at our computers.”
All the best