Technical Committee letter to F18 Sailors Worldwide.


Despite all the talk, bloggs and chatter, much of it incorrect, the World Council, The President, Secretary General, some others, with varying views, are working to try and bring some complex situations to a satisfactory close.

May I again re-affirm the facts.

On various occasions over the last few years, the Council have stated that they do not want “painted hulls” within the Class. Clearly there are disputed facts, as to whether paint will add cost and improve performance or not. Council have sort one of the most experienced scientists in the field to give an authoritative comment. Todate that report that has not been received.

Various attempts have been made to bring together boat builders with differing views who have interpreted the rule book in different ways, but these have not yielded any result yet. ISAF are being asked to rule upon  C.7.2, “routine maintenance” and to decide whether full hull painting before or after delivery to end user is “routine”. It is clearly against the intent of the rule, but whether it is within the rule  ISAF will judge. When they do, it will be a “rule clarification” and not a rule change, hence it can become affective immediately.  ISAF will talk to commercial bodies wishing to change rules for financial gain, that is due to common courtesy, but ISAF will ONLY be influenced by Class Associations and National Authorities.

The Council are being asked again, for their views. A questionnaire went out recently seeking responses to questions relating to hull coatings and sail construction.. Once these results have been received, within one week then an updated rule book can be sent to Council members, and then with their approval, can go to ISAF for confirmation of any changes that there might be. There has been serious effort over the last few weeks to control even the minor loop holes in the rules that have been exploited.

The Cloth List is under review as some members of the Technical Committee believe that better sails can be produced, still with the longevity and value for money required by Council. Also some main cloth makers are reviewing their cloths in composition and price for 2013. Any changes that are made will go to Council later this year, allowing for stocks held by sail makers, and purchases by sailors, so that changes can be made in an orderly and timely way, fitting in with the ethos of F18.

One of the great successes of Formula 18, has been the willingness of competitive boat and sail makers to work together for the common good of F18 sailing. These attitudes have taken time, energy, compromise and diplomacy to build. It is hoped that such cooperative behaviour can be rekindled again in all builders.

Would all F18 sailors who have comments to  make please address them to their National Associations, “blogging” may be of interest to some but doesn’t move the discussions forward in a democratic way and immoderate language often hardens attitudes making matters worse. The NCA elected officers will pass comments to Council which IS the decision making body.

Don Findlay.

Chair of F18 Technical Committee.