I have been thinking!
It’s a month since the end of the IOM world champs in Pierre latté France, apart from being suitably tired I was left with a great feeling of achievement, not from my mediocre performance, though mid fleet is always toughest, I used to tell the youth sailors “just get out front its way easier there” I felt achievement in the fact I was able to interact with some really nice folk, enjoyed great sportsmanship and enjoyed sailing with the best, if I have concluded one thing, the best sailors always get through in a regatta, it’s always been that way, and this regatta was no exception.
So, what? Well I am thinking, the best will usually win so what about the other 90%, they have fun, yes (though not always) and they provide fleet scale while some (not all) strive for improvement, that’s hard! I am thinking that IOM design is in a bit of a corner (I know some will disagree) with narrow hulled chinned or semi chinned boats, apart from the Kantun which is narrow but a little scow like? Doing most of the winning. I am thinking we need to allow club and second tier sailors a better chance of winning, (that’s difficult given in my view its 70% the sailor) I am thinking we more and need various opportunity for more sailors if we want our IOM class to grow and thrive
What about this, a 4th Rig, a B plus Rig?? I feel the step between A Rig and B rig is too great, this was very evident in the last day at the worlds, wind was oscillating between 10 and 16 knots, most competitors didn’t change down, opting to hang in, raging the daylights out of A rig hanging on in the gusts, charging all over the lake on the runs, buggering the sails, but it’s the worlds so it doesn’t mater I hear you say, correct!
But if we had a new B rig (say) 200 taller than the present we would allow way more rig tactical choices, allowing or creating passing lanes for less skilled sailors, allow better optimised A rigs as the wind range would drop from the present 1 to 14 knots and settle to 1 to 8 knots (or so), a true light airs rig!! That in its self would enhance the longevity of the A rig, I know some of you who are better numbers folk will disagree with the rig wind zones I am using, that’s OK as this is a discussion document (work in progress), what we trying to create is opportunity! And from my humble perspective the class is getting so tight in design and setup that the ability to create race track opportunity is very limited.
We could develop a new well balance new B rig able to operate from say 8 knots to 16 knots, where a reasonable amount of our sailing is done. Not only that, it also allows choice, and tactical options that allow club and regional sailors choices and a chance to win!!! The old B rig would become a more optimised fresher air rig, operating between say 14 and 20 knots, then the C rig is still available to be a true heavy air rig, let’s remember a lot of club sailors very rarely use a C rig and some don’t even have one.
Cost! I know I can hear some from here, yes there is a cost but to be fair the rigs are not the biggest cost or barrier to IOM sailing, the biggest barrier is those not having fun, those never having some wins and those not having a sense of being taken seriously, its drop outs that hamper our sport and a 4th rig will open more options and doors than the extra costs close
There are options that will come up from this idea, if we discuss this on a broader basis, such as Jib size, maybe the new B Rig Jib would also fit the current A rig allowing wider options? Like you could change down a jib size (between races) but keeping the bigger A rig main? Just a thought, but I know it would add fun and dimension for all, to what otherwise is a tight sailplan set up.
What do you think Chaps, we need to talk?
Contact Phillip HERE