The class committee have received some requests for a clarification about the maximum sail size rule. The newsitem published on this topic on 21st September was considered to be unclear about the status of the published class rules, particularly with regard to the permitted sail tolerance should a sail need to be measured - ie CR C.8.1 (c).
The 2009 AGM unanimously approved a class rule change that permitted the continued use of the RS:X 9.5 and 8.5 sails. Discussions with ISAF regarding the wording of the Class Rule to action this decision were long and complicated - CR C.8.1.(c) was the only acceptable solution put forward. As reported in the September newsitem a further attempt has been made to find a "revised" class rule that is both acceptable to ISAF and respects the class AGM decision. We have not been able to agree a revised rule.
The Committee acknowledge that a submission may be made to the next AGM to reverse the decision of 2009, as it was not the AGM's intention to approve a change which would encourage manufacturers to knowingly increase the sail size beyond 9.5 or 8.5 sqm. The committee, however, wishes to draw a line under this particular debate until the next AGM, and accept the current rules as written. In reaching their decision the committee wish to emphasize:
1) CR C.8.1.(b) - the maximum sail size for Men is 9.5 sqm ( not - 9.6 , 9.7 or 9.8 !) and for Women/Youth is 8.5 sqm ( not 8.6 , 8.7 etc )
2) CR C.8.1 (c) - If at an event an Equipment Inspector is in doubt as to the sail area he shall use the ISAF method to check, and shall apply the tolerance.
It is the intention of the Committee to ensure measurement checks are rigorously carried out at 2011 championship events. Under the old class rules no tolerance was permitted. One benefit of C.8.1.b is that the tolerance allows for inevitable imperfections in the manufacture of sails (including sails of same brand size), the known imprecision of the ISAF Guide to Sail Area Calculation and Measurement, and the fact that sails stretch over time, thus ensuring that sailors will not be punished as a result for a class rule infringement.
Any competitor using a sail that has been built to make use of the tolerance, ie a sail built to size greater than 9.5 sqm, accepts a heightened risk of disqualification. Any competitor using a sail built to class rules - ie maximum sail size 9.5 or 8.5 - will never need to worry about Equipment Inspection!
The class wishes to remind sailors that it is their responsibility to ensure that the equipment they present for inspection at class championships complies with Class Rules.