Interpretation of rule 5.7 by the TC

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Bengt J
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Interpretation of rule 5.7 by the TC

Post by Bengt J » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:37 pm

Interpretation of rule 5.7 by the Technical Committee

Rule as written
5.7 For J/109 Class or fleet sanctioned one design racing, purchases shall not exceed (a) two mainsails, jibs, and spinnakers in the first year of ownership (b) plus one mainsail, one jib, and one spinnaker during any subsequent calendar year. Notwithstanding any other limitation in this section, the Executive Board or the Chief Measurer may permit replacement of any sail which has been damaged beyond reasonable repair.
End of rule

Over a period of about a year several questions have come up how to interpret this rule and in particular how to define “damaged beyond reasonable repair”.

First it is important to establish in what spirit this rule was created back in 2006. It is reasonable to believe it was to limit the number sails purchased per year to minimize an “arms race”. It still gave the owners of then brand new boats the option to get two new sets of sails to be on equal basis to owners with used boats usually with a reasonable sail inventory in place. We feel it is important to let new owners of used boats purchase two sets of sails the first year of ownership.
Also it is reasonable to think the assumption was that the life expectancy was the same for all three sails.

The damaged sail beyond reasonable repair statement should be interpreted as a catastrophic failure such as a collision, squall line or fire during storage and not from old age or heavy use. It is reasonable to set a time limit for replacement of 18 months from date of delivery from the loft. All requests for replacement must be backed by photo evidence.

Several statements have been made that the rule as written could be gamed by having non racers purchase new sails and let them sit a few months and then sell them as used. Used sails less than 18 months old from initial delivery from the loft will be considered a new sail. The sail tag system will be changed to transfer used tags to the new owners; this will then flag multiple sails purchased in a calendar year.

We now know the life of a jib is shorter than for a main or a spinnaker but in the spirit of the rule maximum three sails (one main, one spinnaker and one jib) will be allowed each calendar year.

It has been suggested that specialty sails such as Code Zero should be limited or not allowed at all for Class sanctioned OD events. This will be handled in a separate ruling or most likely by a proposed rule change

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