Newsletter No 6. January 2014.

International Formula 18 Catamaran Association

Newsletter No 6.

January 2014.

Dear F18 Sailors,

May I wish you all a very happy New Year.

As before, let me say straight away that these are MY thoughts as your Sec. General. I want your thoughts in reply, so please let me know what you think.

World economies have not been kind to anyone in the last few years, but the economic situations are getting better and we are ready to get F18 sailing to prosper in the next few years.

There has been much activity over the last few months, let me update you.

Our President felt, and many agreed, that the World Council was too cumbersome and getting involved in too much detail, and then only meeting twice a year meant that decisions were slow to arrive at and even slower to implement. Also the Council was too Euro-centric as due to travel distances many countries were not involved in decision making. So the plan is to have a Council of all F18 countries and the Council makes strategic decisions as to the dynamic future of F18. There is then a smaller group, the Board, that will have Skype meeting monthly, and have a “one week” read of all emails and interpret and act upon all Council strategic decisions. The Board consist of the President, three Vice Presidents, covering North (Michael Easton) and South America, (Ian Rodger) Australasia (James Ogilvie) and Europe, (Frederique Pfieffer) the Chief measurer, (Pierre-Charles Barraud) the Treasurer (Eric Hainneville) and the Sec. General. The Europe VP also holds the Ladies and Youth interests on the Board.

This decision was accepted unanimously last summer Council in Grosseto, so all members around the world will see faster responses and greater positive actions in the future.

Now to a list of matters that all F18 sailors ought to know about.

ISAF Decision.

At the Grosseto F18 Worlds there was concern about “gybing dagger boards”. Our Chief measurer gave a ruling in line with IF18CA Rule A.8.3, and ISAF who were asked for adjudication on the F18 Dagger Board rules as Council later requested.

“We have heard from ISAF regarding the Council request for clarification and interpretation of the IF18CA Rule. E.3.5 a. regarding dagger board fitments as seen at the Grosseto Worlds in July 2013. You will all recall that our Chief Measurer , Pierre-Charles stated that he thought that the fittings were legal and within Class Rules. You will see below the ISAF answers to the request.” ISAF response is in RED.


E.3.3 a The dagger board shall have not moving parts.

Daggerboard is defined in the ERS as : A retractable hull appendage, attached approximately on the hull centreplane and not rotating, primarily used to affect leeway”

A board that moves within its case does not have any moving parts.

E.3.3 b. The cross section of each dagger board shall be symmetrical about the hull centre plane.

The first part of this rule is to prevent asymmetric boards, ones that give greater lift on one tack than the other. Symmetric about the hull centreplane should be reasonably well understood.

It is very difficult to write ‘dynamic’ rules that regulate the boards whilst in use.  It is impossible to enforce such rules and very difficult to measure.  If a sailor chooses to fit boards that ‘slop’ around in the case and gybe then there is nothing in the rules to prohibit this, especially given the wording in E.3.5(a)

E.3.5 a. Pivot bushings, height restraining or adjusting systems may be fitted.

‘Adjusting systems’ is very permissive and would probably allow any device or arrangement to get the boards to gybe.

However there still some who feel that this is a move not in the interests of F18 sailors. If they feel inclined then they must forward to Council a suggested rule change.


I detailed my views on coaching in Newsletter No5, I presented them to Council for the future of coaching within our F18 fleets. In a few words, I believe that it is one major factor that sailors who have made a major investment in equipment need. The class has the funds, but needs to ensure that the coaching is done to a high professional standard and that there is a check on costs and benefits to sailors. I know that coaching needs a skill set in its own right and being a good sailor does NOT necessarily make a good coach. Also Council has suggested that a new DVD be prepared and also a training/coaching manual starting and encouraging new sailors to F18 through to the World podium seekers. In order to achieve this, I am asking that all F18 National Class Associations (NCA’s) to nominate coaches who have the expertise and recognition from their NCA and also from their National Authority.

As a start, I am indebted to the UK F18 sailors who have nominated:

Hugh Styles, Olympic Tornado sailor, achieved F18 podium, Olympic campaign coaching on a range of classes, Director of “Time on the Water”. Full time coach


Rob Wilson, Tornado sailor, F18 podium, Olympic coach covering a range of classes, Para-Olympic coach (Gold Medal), honoured by HRH Princess Royal, entered “Coaches Hall of Fame” 2012. Full time coach.

I am sure that there are many countries who can offer sailor/coaches with similar abilities. AGAIN. I ask for nominations for the Coaches Commission. It is regret that we have heard that the French NCA do not wish to put forward names of coaches with FFV approval.


I wanted to get all the dates for regattas into one place, so that sailors world wide would know what racing is taking place throughout the year.

Responses were slow, but now we have heard from UK, Germany, Netherlands , France and the Nationals from Belgium and Spain. This work taxes my computer skills and so I have to rely upon Sanyi, webmaster, to do most of the supporting work.

Our German colleagues have produced a good three page A6 brochure, and the UK is using our F18 printer to join in and print similar, this helps with costs. Any other requests ?

Technical Committee.

A little while ago, I thought that the Technical Committee (TC) was not working as it should, there were too few members making contributions. Also the TC was an ad hoc grouping and were not mentioned in the F18 Constitution, therefore did not have the authority to make clear recommendations to Council and it must always be remembered that the TC is an advisory body.

DRAFT wording for Constitution.
9.1 The Technical Committees shall advise the World Council on a range of
technical matters. Members of the Technical Committees shall serve for an
indeterminate time, set by the World Council.
9.2 Members shall be nominated to represent Continental, IF18CA interests
and technical knowledge of all aspects and manufacturer of the Formula 18
catamarans and multihull sailing.
9.3 There is no limit on number of technical advisory members.
9.4 The President, the Secretary General and Chief Measurer are ex officio
members and may Chair the Technical Committees.
9.5 Members of the Technical Committees shall adhere to a Code of Conduct:
a) Members shall declare all commercial interests and leave them aside when
giving advice.
b) Members actions and advice shall be in the long term interests of Formula
18 sailing.
c)  Members shall inform the Chief Measurer, who shall inform the World
Council, at the first available opportunity, of any undesirable
characteristic in line with IF18CA Rule A.7.2.
d) Members shall inform the Chief Measurer, in a timely manner, if they
believe that there are any breaches of F18 rules.
9.6 The Technical Committees shall meet whenever possible and report in
writing to the World Council, at least annually and communicate
electronically throughout the year as required.
9.7 The Technical Committees may appoint further members, with a time limit,
to help with advice
9.8 The Technical Committee shall liaise as required with the Technical
Department of the ISAF. ISAF Regulation 10.5.g (ii)

Some of the technical problems related to sail cloth, therefore I have asked the cloth makers, Bainbridge International, Dimnsion Polyant, Challenge and Contender to be represented on the TC. I am contacting Pryde Sail Cloth, then we have re[presentation from all F18 cloth makers. If this is accepted by Council members then we can move forward. We need nominations from NCA’s for TC members.

Worlds 2014.

Plans are going well for the 2014 Worlds at Ballyholme YC in Ireland. Please follow on www.2014 F18 Worlds. This is going to be “one great party”. The Irish are famous for parties, I have said before, but it IS worth repeating that this regatta is going to be talked about for years.

Also follow Facebook which is keeping us all updated. Your Race Officer has just been appointed as Principle Race Officer for the “Volvo”, so you are all in safe hands ! The Club has many world and Olympic sailors, all there to make your trip to Ireland truly worthwhile.

Keep an eye on ferry offers, charter boats and many other facts on Facebook..

I was asked to look at container purchase to see if that would help with long distance haul costs to Ireland. (USA, Argentina, Australia) First impression looked financially hopeful, but when all factors are considered, it doesn’t seem that attractive. If any sailors wish to explore further then please contact and will give all the information I have retained.


At the Council Meeting in Paris on December 14th, I was asked to look at ways on promoting (marketing ) the F18 Class in a better way. Why ?

“Creating a better image for F18 racing and sailing should create improved regattas, increased sponsorship, better “value” for members.

It should increase membership, which has declined in recent years, so NCA’s “a membership drive ??”

It should create more demand for boats, hence maintaining second hand value.”

I have written detailed plans and am meeting a “marketing man” next Monday. Now this is the first time that Council have considered paying anyone, we have always relied upon volunteers giving their time freely. So we have to be clear as to what we are going to spend (if we do) and what returns we are going to get and how do we judge those returns. This subject is ongoing and I will keep all sailors informed.

Hull length. Grosseto.

You will recall at Grosseto that there were some problems measuring hull length. Our Chief measurer, Pierre-Charles has investigated and presented his view to Council and his diagrams will be published on the IF18CA website shortly.

Mast side / mainsail area.

The 17 sqm measurement for the mainsail has been a problem for years as it includes the side area of the masts which are variable. You will see from the Paris Dec. 14th minutes (published on website) that there are suggestions for improvement for measurers and sailors. The area details of masts and mainsail on 323 boats from 2007 and to 2013 are published on the website. We thank Pierre-Charles for this considerable amount of work.

Crew / boat weight.

The weight of boats and crew has been a talking point for all sailors for years, our Netherland colleague present a paper to Council and this has led to a complete review of results over the years from 2007 to 2013 to see if there is any correlation of weight of crew/boat and finishing position. This work in ongoing and I hope to be able to report ion next Newsletter.

Sail Cloths.

The F18 Sail Cloth list has been increased with Bainbridge International Airx N 650 (40 grams/sq metre) and Dimenion Polyant RPN 075.(41 grams/sq metre). Both cloths are nylon and available worldwide. They will be added to the Class rules on the ISAF website before the end of January.

Commercial site.

Can I ask again, that we all give this commercial venture more support. We all want more from our Class, More means money! Would you believe that some NCA’s haven’t even put a link on their national websites to the Commercial F18 site. Please go to and follow the link.

Action PLEASE.

1. Nominations of F18 National coaches.

2. Dates for all National regattas.

3. Nominations for Technical Committee.

4. Any knowledge/suggestions for container movement.

5. Suggestions to improve F18 marketing.

6. Support your commercial site.


Don Findlay.