International F18 Newsletter No. 21 (November 2016)

logo-f184world_sailingInternational F18 Newsletter
No. 21 (November 2016)




To all our F18 sailors worldwide!!

The end of a busy season for our Northern hemisphere just as the “Southerners” start another season.  Let me catch up with the work that has been done since my last Newsletter, this is designed for ALL F18 sailors around the world and we look forward to their contributions through the National Class Associations. It is important that we receive as many contributions as we can to help develop policy for our F18 sailors.

May we thank all elected officers from our F18 National Class Associations (NCA) for the work that they do. We are all volunteers and devote time and energy to supporting our great Class around the world.

2016 Worlds in YCA, Argentina

Highlights of the season have got to be led by the 2016 World Championships in Argentina, crowning ten years of work by local F18 members. It is the first time that we have moved into the South American continent and we thank Martin Vanzulli for his constant support and also Freya Mors for her work with the Yacht Club Argentino, regatta just don’t happen they are made to work by dedication of such enthusiasts.

If attendance definitely suffered from the true difficulty of shipping boats to Argentina, due to drastic local tax policy (even neighbour sailors from Chile did not succeeded to send one container, and had to build and tow big trailers, driving 50+ hours through Andes Mountains, crossing 7.500 foot passes, to join the event …) the sailing was of a high quality with the race team achieving 14 of the planned 15 races, sailed by the widest range of wind conditions.

Chilean fleet - F18 Worlds 2016 Picture Matias Capizzano
2016 Worlds – Chilean Fleet – Picture Matias Capizzano

The podium places were held by Pablo Völker and Juan Martin “Tigre” Benitez (Argentina) in first place with Cruz Gonzalez Smith and Mariano Heuser (Argentina), second and Jason Hess and Nicolas Schargorodsky (Guatemala) in third slot.

Masters from NZL
Drummond Brothers from NZL, F18 Masters

It is here to notice many satisfactory points:
– the new blood coming to the class, Pablo Völker being former 420 World Champion (2011), and Eugenia Bosco, getting Mixed title together with Ian Rodger, being ARG Olympian in the N17 Class, recently crowned Gold at South American Games;
– Many Argentinian Olympic Nacra 17 campaigners were present, such as Matías Buhler or Esteban Blando;
– four different F18 designs spread among the first top four places;
– four continents being represented, thanks to some US and European fellows, and to Drummond brothers from NZL as well, Mike Drummond being by the way the one involved in the design side of four winning America’s Cup campaigns, starting with Team New Zealand in 1987-2003, before joining Alinghi in 2007 and being latterly the Design Director for Oracle Racing in the 2010 America’s Cup, and the development of the wingsailed 120ft trimaran USA-17…

Olivier Bovyn our President and Pierre-Charles Barraud, Chief Measurer were there for the whole regatta to support all our F18 sailors, and it is to stress the huge job done by the measurement team prior to the first regatta to be sailed, ensuring the best fairness to the event.

Again our thanks to all for the work in making such a great regatta. Further details on the F18 website.

F18 Constitutional change.

We started with F18 in 1993 when Olivier and Pierre-Charles first developed the concept. The Constitution that they wrote has managed through time but after 23 years needed to be updated. Much of this work was done in the Netherlands and we thank Ad Noordzij and colleagues for their work in preparing new drafts. The final work was based on the model from World Sailing (WS) for International Classes such as F18, and following their approval of the final draft, it went for Council voting who endorsed the new Constitution by an overwhelming majority and it will come into effect on the 1st January 2017. There are many advantages to the change, and  NCA’s will be asked to nominate the new Executive Committee during the early months of 2017 and final voting to take place for the Executive will be in Denmark in July when we all meet for the World Championships.

F18 Rules Review.

This subject is still under review and we hope that we can come to conclusions shortly then Council can vote upon the changes. Let me go back through our thinking. At Sailors Meetings at the World Championships, there was a strong feeling that fundamental changes were not necessary at a time when there seem changes were occurring in many areas of sailing. But there was still a need for a review and simplification for F18 owners to make ownership easier.

The original rules were written in 1993 by Olivier and Pierre-Charles and in 2007 /2008, the F18 Class had World Sailing International status and we were requested that the F18 rules were written in Standard Class Rule format. This was done with the rules from 2009 onwards but again another review after seven years was required to accommodate the wishes of sailors expressed in Kiel 2015 and subsequently. Again we are indebted to Ad Noordzij and Dutch colleagues for undertaking much of the early work.  Drafts have gone out to Council with little response, we asked for final comments by 13th November and have received recently some comments and are taking these on board. The concept within the latest drafts moves was to allow a stronger concept for certification by builders and sail makers to reduce the onerous task for F18 owners for measurement. The WS technical team were not happy with all the suggestions and we are still in discussion with them. WS understand the costs and problems of measurement to achieve fair racing for all classes and have spent considerable effort in developing In House Certification for builders and sailmakers, the problem being that certification for them demand considerable administration only suitable for companies with large volume production. Also WS team have just returned from their annual conference and getting F18 to the top of their work load is not easy at the moment. We can’t be too critical, they have a small technical team that covers a massive amount of work, our relationships are good and we will keep working with them. We will inform Council of any development in a timely manner.

The Future.

We are very confident for the future, we plan a real marketing campaign working with builders and dealers to increase sales. The number of WS plaques being distributed to builders is good and the real marker for future sales. All NCA’s will have their National F18 Champs and will also have the major event in Denmark for the F18 World Championships (8th-15th July). Work is well under way and this is going to be another great regatta and numbers attending look very encouraging. Please see the dedicated website for regular updates and detailed plans.

As well as the Worlds our Swedish F18 friends have developed the idea for a F18 Raid Worlds, 5th – 9th August. A real challenge of sailing through the Swedish Archipelago for four days, a true long distance race, a form of racing that only F18’s can manage. More details to follow!

Looking a little bit further, please note our 2018 events to come:

  • 2018 Worlds, to be hosted by Sarasota Sailing Squadron Florida USA, September/October (dates to be confirmed asap).
  • 2018 Europeans, to be sailed in Spain (near Barcelona) early July 2018