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International Melges 24 Class starts a new decade with new Class Rules

by International Melges 24 Class Association 28 Feb 07:01 PST
2023 Melges 24 U.S. National Championship, Lake Geneva Yacht Club, Wisconsin, USA © Up Top Media / Felipe Juncadella

On Friday, February 23, World Sailing approved the final 2024 changes to the Melges 24 Class Rules. It published a new edition along with the document of particular changes, which came into effect immediately.

The following Class Rule Change proposals were accepted by the IM24CA World Council AGM 2023 and ratified by the World Sailing last week.

The C.2.2. WEIGHT has been eliminated to encourage more participation, make events more enjoyable, and make it easier to create teams. There are significant health and safety concerns related to crash dieting, which is often used for teams to make current weight restrictions. This proposal has the full support of Melges Performance Sailboats. The proposal was approved by the AGM 2023, following lengthy discussions and an IM24CA Open Technical Committee meeting considering all the factors mentioned above and a shift in opinion and attitude towards the proposal to eliminate it.

The removal of the weight limit does not mean you can load the boat up with ten people, as this would be controlled by the boat's declared capacity, which is submitted to governing bodies such as CE and USCG (and others) before the boat can be certified for use and sold in their jurisdiction. This is the reason behind the new wording of C.2.1 CREW / LIMITATIONS, where the number of sailors is now limited to 6 (to match the stated capacity set by the manufacturer). The new wording also controls crew substitutions, including a maximum and minimum weight variance.

After removing the weight rule, the class had to establish guidelines to ensure safe hiking for potential 6-person teams. A revised version of the C.11.3 BOAT HANDLING RULES clarifies what actions are permissible or prohibited while hiking.

In concert with an amendment to the B.2 CLASS ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP, requiring all WS Group 3 sailors to be full members of the respective NCA to participate in a Melges 24 event, registration of all crew members, not just helmspersons and owner/skippers, is now required as per C.2.1.(d).

The updates to rule C.10.2 LIMITATIONS (SAIL) clarify the rules intent and should be beneficial for those unfamiliar with the class. Specifically, it is to clarify that teams can change to the second spinnaker while racing.

Some minor changes, like reformatting, have been made throughout the Rule Book to meet World Sailing standard requirements.

IM24CA Chair Laura Grondin: "Remember that the Melges 24 Class Rules are "closed class rules," - so only those items specifically described in the rules are allowed. If a piece of equipment or new system you want to use isn't described in the rules, it isn't allowed. If you have any confusion or doubt about the meaning of any part of the Class Rules, please feel free to contact IM24CA Technical Committee Chair Mike Gozzard, Technical Advisor and Chief Measurer Branko Parunov, or any members of the Technical Committee, who will be happy to assist you."

Melges 24 Class Rules 2024 and Class Rule Changes are available on the World Sailing website.

IM24CA World Council AGM 2023 Minutes and voting results

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