Report from Australian Association (John Whitbread) on the 1996 Championships at Townsville, Queensland. 7th-19th April 1996.
Report from the Danish Association on the 1997 Championships at Gilleleje, Denmark. Late July 1997.
Proposal from the American Association to hold the 1998 Championships at Hyannis Yacht Club, Mass. U.S.A.
European Championships 1996 at St. Moritz. 17th-23rd August 1996 Report from Swiss Association.
The effect of this change is to remove the restriction on mast and spar materials which was introduced some fifteen years ago when carbon fibre masts were in their infancy. Recent research indicates that the cost of carbon spars has reduced to about three times that of alloy and that, unlike aluminium, they can be repaired at relatively modest cost when broken. IRC feels that it is now appropriate to remove the restriction in the interest of class development.
"the sailing weight in dry condition shall not be less than" 127,4 Kg. The sailing weight is the weight of the hull including metal ballast, the spars, standing and running rigging, centerboard, rudder and tiller, but excluding the sails and battens. Fittings and components of exaggerated weight and artificially heavy areas of construction are not permitted.""
Amend Rule B-5.8.3 to read as follows:
"if the sailing weight is less than 127,4kg. the difference, " without limit, shall be made up by metal ballast secured to the centerboard case or spine and visible when viewed from a standing position next to the boat, half between 1100mm and 1500mm and half between 2900mm and 3500mm from station 11, such ballast to be retained for the life of the boat or until the boat is reweighed in accordance with Rule B-5.8.2.""
Substitute new Rule B-5.8.4 as follows:
"each piece of metal ballast shall be hard stamped in a visible" place with its weight in Kg. to the nearest 0.1kg. and a serial number to identify all the pieces of ballast used in the boat.""
The effect of this change is to eliminate the control of bare hull weight and allow the use of unlimited amounts of metal ballast to bring boats up to sailing weight.
The chief Measurer reports that for some years hulls have been built with artificial area, which contribute nothing to the strength of construction, solely to meet the weight requirements of the class when using no more than 2 kg. of metal ballast. IRC considers, in the light of evidence, that the control of hull weight is superfluous in modern conditions and the proposal is a much more truthful approach to the permitted sailing weight without immediately rendering existing boats uncompetitive.
Additional benefit is gained by eliminating the need to strip boats which are near the sailing weight at regattas to verify their compliance with the hull weight rule. If this change produces exaggerated weight distribution experiments, it may be necessary to control particular developments in due course.
The effect of this change is to reduce the sailing weight by 5 kg. from the 1st January 1997. IRC considers that the weight reduction implied by admitting carbon fibre mast construction is likely under present rules to make carbon spars unavailable to many newer boats as they are already using maximum ballast. This proposal, while at first sight possibly disadvantaging some older boats would, in combination with resolution 1, allow most present day boats to take advantage of a 5kg weight reduction, whether or not resolution 2 finds favour.
For further discussion on these proposals, check Howard Hamlin's comments on them.