RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
from Rob Legg Yachts

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FBM (battens) and CBH
Hey Wayne
It seems we are hobbling ourselves with the 20m2 box rule.
The 2018 ATSBR now has a list of all the CBH measurements we are being rated on, and I notice we've had a small bump in our rating to allow longer battens (I assume).
I'd be happy to wear the extra hit if our class rules allowed us to have sails to the full extent of the CBH measurements.
It seems we could, indeed, use a genoa in lighter conditions, to as you say make an impression on similar handicapped boats like Castles and Noelexes.
The CBH measurements allow for a Longest Perpendicular of Genoa of 2591mm, which is more than half a metre bigger than we're using now with our non overlapping jibs. Also, we could have a mainsail foot of 2900mm without any extra penalty (I think most of us are running around 2600). I realise we may not be able to use all of that extra 300mm without putting too much sail area behind C of E, but why not let people try, in the name of being a "development class".
If members are stuck on the 20m rule, why not move that bit into the section for RL24 regattas, and for open / mixed class events, just say "these are the CBH parameters you must stay within .... "

previously (Nov 17) from Wayne Hill:

Re: CBH increase for FBM
…Regarding discussion of the RL24 CBH and batten length.
Discussions were triggered by a protest and sail measurement in a mixed fleet competition.
The sails were measured and found compliant with our RL24 CLASS rules - see http://www.rlyachts.net/RL24RulesAndRegs.pdf
“Working sail area
The combination of headsail and mainsail in use at any one time shall not exceed 20 square metres measured area.
The spinnaker shall be symmetrical when folded along its centreline with the leeches together. Maximum measured area shall be 20 square metres. Shape is otherwise unrestricted”.

These rules have served the RL24 Owners Association well and we are racing (and cruising) safer and more responsive boats. Costs have been kept minimal and the class provides relatively inexpensive competitive racing. Change has occurred carefully and steadily - via a proposal, a seconder and a 2/3 majority at our AGMs …for around 45 years.

Section 12. (ATYSB Rule with CBH - July 2017) reads, "… sails shall be constructed and measured in accordance with the individual Class Rules."
Note that our individual RL24 Class Rules say nothing about battens. Therefore, following the rule requires no action and RL24s within our class rule using appropriate working sail areas and spinnaker size are compliant. The RL24 individual Class Rules are silent on differing batten lengths.

Australian Sailing applies a formula to develop a CBH. It includes a nominal batten length. A batten length was assigned to RL24s in the 90’s … but there is no record of a discussion or correspondence with the RL24 Owners Association. It’s likely that RL24s are the only trailerable class that do not mention battens or batten lengths in their class rules. This is in keeping with the ‘development class’ ethos that attracts sailors to the class and makes for increasingly safe and responsive boats. Other trailerable classes are more prescriptive with varying degrees of enforcement and compliance.
The dilemma for Australian Sailing is that the rule did not fully consider all individual class rules and does not cope well with a development ethos. Until now it’s been applied without consultation.

There have been other adjustments made to RL24 CBHs to reflect performance; RL24 DKs were pegged back in the 90s to reflect some excellent campaigning in mixed fleets and a string of RL24 victories. RL24 sailors around Australia still feel the impact of these adjustments and it’s hard for the efficient RL24 sailor to make any impression on similar handicapped boats like Castle and Nolex class boats when conditions are lighter and their class rules permit the use of large genoas.

Further the RL24 handicap reflects performance measured years ago - over old triangular courses incorporating a reach. RL24s are quicker to plane than most boats (and exciting/demanding) in fresher breezes which meant more good results. Mixed fleet courses are now simply windward and return so that ‘advantage’ in some conditions no longer enables RL24s to gain ground in mixed fleet racing.

Finally over recent years of mixed fleet racing and 5 or more years of RL24 National Championships the result do not indicate any advantage in more battened square topped sails. Both division winners are relatively conventional topped sails and the square top is yet to dominate or even place consistently. In the spirit of the class we are keen for further development to find a configuration that makes a great boat even better to sail. If that means square tops, more battens or a greater batten length ... so be it.

If you boat complies with the RL24 class rules the RL24 Owners Association view is that is compliant with the Sailing Australia, Racing Rules of Sailing
It is not the role of Sailing Australia’s Technical Committee to set RL24 Class rules. (Incidentally can anyone provide me with an example of Sailing Australia assistance to the RL24 class given good numbers competing locally and nationally as well as several generations participating in the class over many years? Apart from generic admin & insurance; despite requests, I cannot find any evidence of support for one of Australia’s leading and most innovative trailerable classes).
The RL24 Owners Association believes that the current CBHs are a reasonable reflection of RL24 SK and DK performance in mixed fleets. The Association’s position is that Australian Sailings formula may require revision to better reflect current RL24 results in mixed fleets and better support the development approach of the class. The revised formula should provide the same handicaps as currently applied RL24 SKs and DKs.
However the association will:
• Discuss the Class Rules in regards to battens at the 2018 AGM at the National Titles.
The starting point for discussion is that there should be no change to the current class rules; that all 20m sail configurations are expected to remain within Sailing Australia rules and that the current CBHs should not change.
• Assemble a subcommittee of experienced competitors with good insight into the history of the RL24 CBHs to consult with Sailing Australia Technical Committee reps. The aim is to assist them to better and fairly incorporate the RL24 development class in the CBH rule but not use of a specific batten length. The goal is no adjustment to the current CBHs.

Swing keel RL24’s fitted with keel case fillers, blocks, flaps or similar devices, or which have modifications to the keel itself, to fill the centre case slot to reduce drag while sailing, will (for the purpose of handicapping and divisions at championships) be treated as drop keels. (Amended RL24 AGM 30th Dec.30th2008)
In the spirit of keeping it simple and having rules that enable competitors to attend mixed fleet, national championships and feature races SK owners should race without keel slot gadgets. Multiple variations to handicaps just make the class less transparent and accessible.

Wayne Hill President of the RL24 Owners Association
Paul 6-Sep-2018    Edit    Delete 

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