Rules update

  • Simon Lovesey
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13 May 2008 19:24 #20253 by Simon Lovesey
Rules update was created by Simon Lovesey
Rules Update
Hye Fellow Sailors !
I thought I would give you a quick rules update on what is happening - and so also ease any concerns/rumours which this topic can often generate.

At our last AGM in Brightlingsea at the end of august, the UK Mirror Class Association agreed to the following:

Allow drainage holes in the transom
Allow rudder stock material to be optional with minimum weight
Corrector weight position to revert to be under thwart
Allow more rigging options for centre mainsheet
Allow wider range and design of mast steps
Increase maximum purchase of kicking straps and GNAV to 8:1
Change spinnaker construction to allow crosscut sails with broadseams to give an improved shape

Following our AGM decisions, the procedure was for the draft rules to go to the IMCA Technical Committee, chaired by our guru Martin Egan. The function of this international group is, to draft and redraft the actual wording of the rules, to make sure we get what was intended - a very important function.
This Committee has now finished its work and the next stage is for these final proposals to be circulated and voted on by the different member countries of the International Mirror Class Association, [IMCA] - which is what is currently underway.
Assuming this is successful, the rule package then has to go to the Technical Class Committee of the International Sailing Federation [ISAF]. They may request some changes - or if we are very lucky, just approve them as presented.

As you can see it is a lengthy process, with lots of safeguards to make sure we don't do anything too hastily or ill thought out. This means that we can not be sure of a precise ISAF approval date but we would hope most of them would be approved during the summer and could become immediately effective as they do not have any immediate cost or performance implications. The one exception to this process is the new spinnaker rule allowing cross cut sails, where we are recommending to ISAF that they should not be permissible until after the Europeans, namely September onwards.

At the forthcoming AGM in Llandudno, there will be three further minor rule proposals, all aimed at making the Mirror an even better boat, namely:
Allow reefing points in the Mainsail - to help the younger kids cope in a breeze.
Allow a window in the Mainsail - to improve safety afloat.
Delete minimum boom length rule - to improve the profile/look of the boat.
These proposals will have to go through the same process mentioned above, but hopefully with more speed as they are not significant changes.

Finally I would like to take this opportunity to mention, as discussed at the last AGM, that a working party, under Martin Egan's chairmanship, has begun the process of reviewing the rules connected with wood construction. Their intention is to come forward with proposals to the IMCA in the course of the next few months, that will encourage this important aspect of the Classes heritage and future to flourish.

Hopefully, Martin, Simon and I, will have the opportunity to discuss all of this further at the Nationals.
If you won't be there, drop us an email if there are points you wish us to consider.
Cheers Jeremy P Pudney
Chairman

MCA Secretary

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13 May 2008 21:38 #16013 by Paul Hansen
Replied by Paul Hansen on topic Rules update
It increasingly feels like we are in a development class with rules now changing with an alarming regularity.

As a parent we are expected to fund these changes, and to be honest i am begining to feel there seems to be a greater argument for a one design class such as the Feva.

I feel this is not the way to encourage people into the class that I always understood to stand for family friendly (it still is), and value for money with boats having high residual values.

I understood reefing eyes were allowed, Kayleigh and Eloise once had a set of Jeckels that had these and were signed, Trevor may be able to shed some light on this.

Paul

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  • Roger Clark
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14 May 2008 08:54 #16014 by Roger Clark
Replied by Roger Clark on topic Rules update
Although I do not race at present, I have to disagree with Paul on his views.

The Mirror is a long standing class that must be able to move with the times. If we did not and had to remain with the original 1960's design rules, then we would not be allowed to have cleats for the jib, or ratchet blocks for the mainsail, let alone fly away poles stored on the boom or self bailers. (How do I know? I used to race a Mirror in the 1960's) Not having these would certainly be a big minus point for the class if viewed against any other newer class of dinghy.

Many sailors would like to make changes to their Mirror that are sensible, but are denied the opportunity due to the class rules. If we do not embrace these minor changes then the class will eventually die as there will be much better boats to learn to sail in.

In reality these changes are minor and will only affect those at the very top of the racing field. Ultimately the rules are designed to make all Mirrors as equal as possible to ensure fair competition.

Anyone who has good ability will always be at the front of the fleet, but the winner may also have their Mirror combining all the latest rule changes. These changes may not make the Mirror sail faster, but because it is a winning boat with an excellent crew others feel their Mirror should have the same set up. This copy cat effect is what Paul is complaining about as he feels he is being forced to pay for the latest gizmos.

Probably the best investment for better speed will be making sure the crew use and understand their existing equipment. If his children can honestly say that every race has been sailed without any errors, including tactical errors, and they still do not win - then may be the rule changes will improve their results. A new set of sails should be their first investment, as sails do go out of shape over time. May be after that a new mast or a new hull, or possibly a complete new boat built to minimum weight with all the latest changes. By comparison the minor changes that have been proposed are relatively cheap to instigate.

Returning to the original post, I can see no problem with any of the rule changes. Hopefully they can be quickly approved by the IMCA.

Roger Clark
59725

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  • Simon Lovesey
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14 May 2008 11:11 #16016 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Rules update
I think Roger sums up the position we and all classes face, you need to evolve to survive


<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
i am begining to feel there seems to be a greater argument for a one design class such as the Feva.

Paul

<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

Even so called strict One Designs like the Laser have upgraded their rules eg control lines, which many sailors have spent money on. The Feva rules have changed to allow more re-enforcing (boats could not take racing loads) and now allow electronics !!

So far the recent rule changes have appeared to make no difference to performance, so there has been NO NEED to upgrade to keep up

MCA Secretary

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  • craig bond
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14 May 2008 11:41 #16017 by craig bond
Replied by craig bond on topic Rules update
Hello Simon
The only question I have heard against any of these rules is the Spinnaker, will this make a change to the performance and are we all going to have to buy new Spinnakers?

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  • mattandcall
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14 May 2008 16:01 #16018 by mattandcall
Replied by mattandcall on topic Rules update
I am also concerned with the changes to the spinnaker as this will immediatly outdate all existing spinnakers.
Rodger ... you are correct re changes making a small difference to most crews but the amount of change will outdate older boats with older style sails a lot quicker than you may think. Pauls girls sail at a very high standard and these changes will make a difference to them.
Comparing Laser downhaul systems to a complete overhaul of the sail shape is a little unfair and a lot more expensive.
Can someone explain the reason we are considering the spinnaker change.
Ian Escritt

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14 May 2008 17:20 #16019 by Paul Hansen
Replied by Paul Hansen on topic Rules update
I would like to clear up what may be a misunderstanding.

I have no objection to change and voted for the new mast (incidentally I would have preferred spreaders)classes must move on. The problem to me is since this change, rules seem to be altering at an alarming rate, when I feel the changes to the mast have not had time to settle down. There seems to be so many masts available and still no definitive one proving itself, some people have been seen testing several types at once. This is not an option for many people who sail on limited budgets.

I agree with Roger that a bad tack can lose more ground than the equipment used, but when sailing with similar boats the alterations can make a difference. I agree with Simon that the gaff is competetive in <b>most</b> conditions, but the emphasis in top level training schemes is for a one piece mast.

The final point I was making is that by allowing so many changes e.g. centre main /gnav etc gives more variables, taking us futher away from anything resembling a one design boat. A newcomer to the class will be confronted with so many different options, "choosing the wrong one" could be used for an excuse for not performing well, when as Roger rightly says the need to sail well is what wins races.

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  • Simon Lovesey
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14 May 2008 18:13 #16020 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Rules update
<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>

Comparing Laser downhaul systems to a complete overhaul of the sail shape is a little unfair and a lot more expensive.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

Laser XD upgrade pack to meet new rules £358
http://www.lasersailing.com/shop/uks/bo ... ccessories

New Mirror Spinnaker £239
http://shop.speedsails.co.uk/index.asp? ... 0Spinnaker

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>

Can someone explain the reason we are considering the spinnaker change.
Ian Escritt

<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

Spinnaker rule was discussed and approved last year by UK AGM
http://www.ukmirrorsailing.com/agm07/Sp ... posal1.pdf

I fully agree we have had a lot of rule changes, but this is mainly due to having to condense 40 years of change into 4. The offical plan is now to lock things off for the feasible future to give stability. Of course any individual member can make their own proposals for rule changes. The AGM is an ideal opportunity to bring everyone up to speed


MCA Secretary

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  • HannahJ
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14 May 2008 20:06 #16022 by HannahJ
Replied by HannahJ on topic Rules update
Is it likely that the 8:1 kicker system will go ahead? What is the advantage of this over 4:1, apart from being easier for smaller helms/crews? I'm just about to update mine, although it would be easy enough to add in the extra 2:1.

64799 "Dolphin"

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  • Simon Lovesey
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14 May 2008 20:24 #16023 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Rules update
<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
Is it likely that the 8:1 kicker system will go ahead? What is the advantage of this over 4:1, apart from being easier for smaller helms/crews? I'm just about to update mine, although it would be easy enough to add in the extra 2:1.

64799 "Dolphin"
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

Hannah

The key advantage of the 8:1 kicker is it is easier for lighter sailors, downside is there will be more rope to pull and more load on the fittings. With a cascade system you only need one more block to upgrade, so very cheap

I think there is plenty of support Internationally for this upgrade

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15 May 2008 09:37 #16024 by Nigel Thomas
Replied by Nigel Thomas on topic Rules update
Thought i would add my two pence worth as a new member to the class. It is exactly the types of rule change i have seen in the last few years that has drawn me to the class with my son, and no doubt will encourage others. Changes in rules, and their debate, is driven my class members - in this country and elsewhere. I believe their debate and the passion generated is a positive thing. In the UK, we are lucky to have a class committee that represents and supports a broad cross section of members and their different Mirror activities.

The vast majority of recent Mirror rule changes allow for OPTIONS - they are not mandates - most do not provide a competitive advantage - some are even cheaper than wood equivalents - but they do allow the class to evolve and become more attractive versus other recent classes.
Nigel

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  • Emma Barry
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19 May 2008 17:57 #16034 by Emma Barry
Replied by Emma Barry on topic Rules update
I am a bit concerned about the change to an 8:1 kicker as this will result in a higher chance of fittings being pulled out of boats as people pull too much on and/or forget to take it off as they bear away in windy conditions which can cause the mast to bend permanently or snap.
Also with the change in the spinnaker rules does this affect the size of the spinnaker??

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  • Sinker
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19 May 2008 19:13 #16035 by Sinker
Replied by Sinker on topic Rules update
<b>8:1 Kickers</b>

"<i>What is the advantage of this over 4:1, apart from being easier for smaller helms/crews?</i>"


The key reason for the change is to get the one piece masts to bend correctly.
The masts are built stiff to give them the stability required.
As we can't get away with using very thin mast tube walls or varying the mast wall thickness, or fit internal mast stiffeners or external supports (spreaders.)

The tip of a gaff rig could easily be bent off vertical by 10inches or more, this is just not possible with the 4:1 advantage of the current kicker systems.


The change is a very cheap and easy one, especially if you use a cascade system. An 8:1 cascade kicker system is already fitted to at least one the current racing boats.

As for the increased load it will come where the kicker terminates on either the mast or the bulk head, and at the boom, at the thwart/side tank it will be less or the same.
If we begin to get failures in these areas, we will have to just use stronger fittings!

Sinker




Edited by - sinker on 19 May 2008 20:51:53

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  • LevanteIRL67592
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20 May 2008 08:58 #16038 by LevanteIRL67592
Replied by LevanteIRL67592 on topic Rules update
I would support all of the changes except for the spinnaker shape. There doesn't seem to be any need for it, as it does not make the sails cheaper or easier to rig. All it will do is outdate everyone's existing kites and mkae mirrors a more expensive class

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  • craig bond
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20 May 2008 09:14 #16039 by craig bond
Replied by craig bond on topic Rules update
Listening to members at Whitstable the spinnaker rule is the one rule that members seem against, I support all other changes.

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