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ISAF mixed multihull evaluation rules - serious flaws identified

by Roland Gaebler on 25 Sep 2011
Tornado European Championship 2011 Team Gaebler

Roland Gaebler (GER) Tornado class President and current World Champion (sailing in an Open Championship with a mixed crew), has launched following the issuance of a specification by the International Sailing Federation for the Mixed Multihull evaluation trials.

From other information supplied to Sail-World, we understand that the specification was compiled without any multihull sailor input, aside from a conference call a couple of months ago.

Several of the points raised by Gaebler are valid.

Aside from the Laser class, not other Olympic class has a two part mast, and such a spar is fraught with issues in a high performance class. Much simpler and stronger and lighter to make a single part spar.

Target crew weight is ridiculously light. There are enough lightweight classes in the sailing Olympics, and the optimal crew weights for the classes are not aligned with the body weights of the general population - reducing the potential talent pool for the new class.

Similarly the requirement to fit into a 20ft container is equally irrelevant. Most countries shipping to the Olympics and World Cup regattas are using a 40ft container, as they are packing a multitude of yachts and coach boats, and length of the new multihull is somewhat irrelevant.


Roland Gaebler writes:

The original Tornado with mixed teams at the top is not allowed to sail in the ISAF evaluation trails.

We are shocked. We cannot believe it. The ISAF presented the rules for the mixed multihull evaluation trails in a way that the Tornado Class cannot compete.


The Tornado class is the forerunner in mixed multihull sailing and has a great Olympic history. But ISAF technical committees do not respect this. The Tornado like it is has no chance to reach the starting line of the evaluation event in spring 2012.

Check out the rules for the evaluation here.



We comment on the following points:

20 Foot Container
They have restricted the length of the new multihull to be a maximum of 5,898m (the inner length of a 20 foot container). No one will travel, in sailing, with a 20 foot container. It’s too small and not eco-friendly and sometimes more expensive than a 40 foot container. If you want to travel eco-friendly with multihulls (10 Tornados in one container) and ribs (coach boats); the sailing world has been using 40 foot containers for decades. So why is there a restriction to the length of 20 foot containers?

Two piece mast
Such a mast is heavier. It’s more complicated to make it watertight. After a while the joint/conjunction gets loose and the mast has a chance of bending characteristics. This has nothing to do with strict one design. You can change mast bending a lot by playing with the conjunctions. Also there is a risk for breakage and leaking in a simple capsize.

120-140kg crew weights
Another class aside 470, surfers and 49er for light weight teams. An average man with a weight of 80kgs or more has no chance any more. The Finn Class is the clear winner of them all. Every person above 80kgs must sail Finn. Star is out. Match race women too. Women and men with an average or higher weight have no chance to sail mixed multihull. Many mixed multihull teams weight above 140kgs. And the new average weight of a mixed team should be 130kgs? This actual disqualifies 50% of all mixed sailing teams.

What weight statistics have ISAF used? If you watch real Olympic athletes and normal average weight statistics, we end up above 140kgs. Click here for more details.

The 120-140kg team weights with an average of 130kg forces bulimia for Olympic athletes. More details here.

National Sailing Federations - MNAs
They lost the Star boat. They lost the Elliot’s. Now they have lost the Tornados which are ready to sail on all continents. Let’s ask the MNAs what they think about this. Every four years the MNAs have to buy new Olympic sailing equipment. Who should finance this?

Media
ISAF want to have a small boat. The media will have less interest in this. Sailors will get fewer sponsors. This means: Downsize Olympic multihull sailing in a way that the media has no interest any more.

ISAF Committees
If you looked carefully inside the technical committees of the ISAF, you will see sailors with great commercial interest who create the rules the way it fits perfectly to their boats/products that they sell. The Tornado Class is a real non-profit organization. Now commercial interest of some sailors have made the rules and kicked the Tornado out before it can reach the starting line of the ISAF trials. What would you call this?

ISAF must act now!
There is only one way to come out of this dilemma. Change the rules and allow the original 'Tornado' to sail in the ISAF evaluation trials!


www.mixedsailing.org

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