Up to now in his thread I’ve been trying to explain the rationale behind the 2-rig rule - or more specifically the 305 mm 2-rig rule. My personal views are rather different.
I think we must change. The fundamental reason is not whether Footys in general are undercanvassed or overcanvassed in NYC, NW2 or 45 S. As Neil rightly says, all IOMs are equally underpowered. The real problem is that a lot of highly experienced and intelligent people of the calibre of Richard Alford and Bill Hagerup have problems with the risk of travelling a long way to a meeting and then blowing a whole day (or weekend or week) of racing by a single ill-considered choice of sail in the first race. Bill grinds his teeth, Richard dores not travel far.
Please note here: Roger Stollery puts a moralistic slant on it by saying that the peson who goes for an excessively large rig in the hope that it will never be overpowered is ‘greedy’. Maybe. The reverse is also true. An event may start in a lot of wind, which moderates quickly and more than expected. We may make an excessively conservative choice and get burnt that way.
First Footy’s point about not being prepared to learn about meterology struck me initially as odd: First Footy is a methodical and studious man. It then dawned on me that model yacht races are of such duration that no macro-meteorological change that is not predictable by with the naked eye by an umbrella-carrying commuter on the 5:15 to Esher is of the slightest relevance within them. Hmmm!
So at the end of the day, the choice is social, not technical. It is up to the technicians/engineers/rule makers to give the paying public what they want. And what they seem to want is a greater assurance that one wrong decision will not put them right down the pan for the whole regatta.
I think that we should go with the general philosophy of the class that it is an open, development class - and derestrict everything. However, all such highfalutin mission statements have to be taken with at least one grain of salt - so we should be prepared to cap or control developments that go i a direction that we do not like.
Here note very carefully the word ‘like’. Let me set out the history of three rules, one very unsuccessful, two very successful indeed.
The unsuccessful one was the International Offshore Rule (IOR). It was introduced in 1970 to produce a world rule for offshore racing boats. It was a reasonably happy merger between the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) rule for hulls and the Cruising Club of America (CCA) rule on rigs and structural weight/stability. It was actually quite a good rule and would have been with us yet had it been better managed. As it was, it’s central drive became ‘maintaining the value of the existing fleet’. The result was that repeated detailed ‘tweaks’ expanded the rule to something like 60 printed pages of mathematics (including the appe3ndics measurer’s instruction’s etc) with I guess 250-300 mathematical variables. It also ended up producing boats that were expensive, ugly, dangerous, not very fast for their size, not very nice to sail and with a huge rate of fashionable, if not real, obsolescence.
Score: Rule Architects : 7.5 / 10
Ruke Managers : 0.5 /10
The International 12 m rule formulated in 1910 (I think) was unashamedly a type producing rule based on a mathematical formula. The high poi8nt of he 12m was the America’s Cup in Fremantle in 1987 when Denis Connor’s Stars & Stipes narrowly beat the Kiwi Plastic Fantastics. Over the intervening 80-odd years relatively few changes were made to the rule. Those that were were almost all directed - vigorously and appropriately - at preserving the type. The result is that the 12 metres of 1987 bore a quite evident resemblance to the first boats before the First World War and were perfectly healthy examles of their kind, if you accepted Amnerica’s Cup budgets, which were hardly the rule makers’ fault.
Score Rule Arthitects 9.0 / 10
Rule Managers 8.5 / 10
The third rule was the Swedish 30 sq. metre This started life in about 1910 as well as a rather bumbliong little ‘poor man’s cruiser racer’, The major restriction was on sail area (hence 30 sq. m) and the intended result was a moderate boat with a waterline lengty of around 24 feet and an overall length of around 28. They were frankly worthy but boring and would be a footnote to a footnote - except that …
Sometime after WW 1 some bright spark realised that, because length was not controlled at all (so far asx I can remember) and there was not a lot of controil on displacement if you built the thing properly you could have a light weather flyer (short waterline length, low wetted surface) that had quite electric performance if it blew hard (huge overhangs). Over the next 10 years the boats grew longer and lighter - lighter by typically around a ton and longer by as much as 20 feet +/- - all controlled by what you could get out of 30 M sq of sail. In what has to have been one of the most courageous rule management decisions of all time, the rule makes just let it happen. The new boats were not what was intended, but they were the fastest, funnest and most affordable sailing machines on the planet. Pick up the ball and run like buggery. For a fully developed 30 squae, see http://www.sskf.se/2008/Diverse/JubileeBook.htm
Score: Rule architects 3.0 / 10
Rule Manager 11.0/10.0 !
The result is that the IOR is dead, the 12 metre (abandoned by the America’s Cup) is moribund. New 30 sqares are still being built almost a hundreed years after the rule was first formulated.
See what I mean?