President’s message: looking forward 2022

Picture by CN Plérin

Message to F18 Sailors

Dear friends,

After almost two years heavily impacted by Covid pandemic, and in an environment still marked by uncertainty, I would like to address a rather positive message to you all at the dawn of the year 2022.

First, despite strong restraints on air travel and strict health measures as well, we did succeeded in holding 2021 Worlds in Formia, gathering close to 80 teams from twenty nations and four continents, with special mention to our ARG, AUS, & US friends, and we have been provided with excellent racing, superb pictures from photographer Gianluca Di Fazio, live tracking and friendly atmosphere, thanks to YC Gaeta team lead by Costanzo Villa, and seconded by Italian F18 Association.

Second, it is to stress our faithful builders keep on working to produce new designs or to improve existing ones, maintaining the development character of the Formula 18 Class, and clearly assessing their interest in producing F18s. Actually, there is no less than four excellent designs who appeared on the market for the last four years, and it is to notice we distributed 91 plaque sets during 2021 year, which was almost unexpected.

Third, when we prepared a cautious budget for 2022, anticipating a serious shrink of our global membership, we got pretty good surprises from numerous NCAs, although some suffered from lower numbers. Whatever the case, we can now reasonably expect a positive result for the year to come, 800+ members being currently registered worldwide.

Fourth, after years of discussions with World Sailing in order to implement In House Certification, our international sailing body finally admitted that IHC was not tailored for classes using actual surfaces in sail measurement, such as A Class, Flying Moth… or F18. We then investigated in order to produce our own IHC system and, after imaginating to build up a very comprehensive measurement database, we swap to a lighter system, simpler to implement, and based on builders and sailmakers trust, so that we can at last make true the “Buy it, use it” principle, making sailors life easier.

Fifth, at the moment we just held our Annual Meeting, it is reassuring to see that, by the exception of one, all motions put forward on the agenda have been unanimously approved, assessing the confidence of our NCAs in Class management, and I would like to seize this opportunity to heartily thank my faithful ExCo fellows Ad, Kyle, Steve and Pierre-Charles.

Sixth, it is to notice that a group of NCA volunteer representatives is still active in working on possible Class Rules improvements, maintaining the cost/advantage principle we apply since the very beginning of the Formula 18 Box Rule.

Seventh, a promising calendar is in front of us for 2022, including Europeans in Arco, Raid Worlds in Stockholm Archipelago, and Fleet Worlds in Clearwater, FL, thanks to US F18 for picking up the banner after our Australian friends being forced to renounce to welcome us next March in Rockingham, when we all remain eager to visit Western Australia in the nearest future.

For all these reasons, I do want to positively look to the future.

Looking forward the pleasure to meeting you soon in some sailing place, and wishing you the best 2022 sailing season,

With my very best regards,

Olivier BOVYN
International F18 Class President