World Champs 2009

Discuss class championship regulations, sailing instructions, umpiring, observing, scoring software, fleet racing systems, forthcoming international events, etc

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Post by RoyL » 22 May 2009, 05:08

Andy: Nice to see you back. As we say in the law, Lester's question has been "asked and answered". Bruce Andersen, Val and I have all tried in both reasonable and humorous (hopefully) ways to respond to what I believe is a very trivial point.

Let me try one more time since you asked--there are multiple ways to draft rules. One can choose to make them shorter or longer or more or less detailed. To therefore constantly ask "What is wrong with my proposal?" misses the point. Choices are made and language is adopted. After that happens, it is time to move on.

Don: While the IOM class rules could probably use a few tweaks here and there, most people seem to have a pretty good sense of what they mean and how they work. It's usually only when someone looks too long and too hard that what is pretty much clear becomes murky. I've found that if you ask around you should be able to find the answer to most rule related questions. If you check the recent history of our class, there hasn't been a "technical" protest at a major regatta in years, to me that means that the rules aren't that impossible to use and understand.
Last edited by RoyL on 22 May 2009, 16:08, edited 2 times in total.

Barry Fox CAN262
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Post by Barry Fox CAN262 » 22 May 2009, 07:48

Perhaps then the word "ply" is the wrong word. In the context of sail material I would say that ply either denotes the number of layers of material or the thickness of the material or maybe both. But it is some form of numeric reference and not a visual reference.

As the rules state that they must be a single ply that would lead me to believe that the reference is aimed at how many layers are involved and we only allow one.

So if we only allow one ply then the count of how many plies are involved is dealt with.

So now we are left with the thickness side of the equation and the rules say it must be the same ply throughout each sail. So now we know that we should measure the thickness and assure ourselves that is it the same throughout.

I looked at as many definitions of ply as I could find and I didn't find one that lead me to believe that the color of the material would affect its ply.

If the majority, or some NCA, feel that it does then the definition of play needs to be much more exact and/or the rules need to say directly that multiple colors are allowed or not.

I would think that the majority believe that color is not part of this equation and I think that is generally what we have seen in this somewhat hijacked thread.

In that I continually hear that a primary purpose of our rules is to control cost and to prevent obsoleting equipment I would like to know how multicolored sails cause any significant change in cost and what the performance advantage might be?

The question was good. The "argument", not so much.

I am reminded of some of my former workplace companions who would ask a question and, if they didn't get an answer they liked, would then proceed to go down the hallway and keep asking until they found someone with an answer they liked. Usually someone not tuned into what the problem really was. Usually a waste of a lot of people's time.

Looks to me like most don't think the use of ply in the rules has anything to do with color. Maybe I'll mount mine up in time for our upcoming Nationals and see what happens.
Barry Fox
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Post by Lester » 22 May 2009, 08:48

Ok. Time to wrap this one up, I guess. This is a summary of where I think we have got to on the vexed issue of colour in our sails, originally triggered by the MYA's suggestion that this needed looking into, and probably needed some rule changes.

On the matter of permitting coloured sail material in the sailing instructions for the worlds, no one has noticed the error which crept into my argument (too busy pissing on the messenger, no interest in understanding the message). Originally, 'self coloured ply' was to be added to section (b) of G.3.1 and G.4.1, not section (a). This makes 'self coloured ply' optional, not mandatory, which implications I failed to follow through. Probably no real problem with the proposed sailing instruction, then. Because no one really understands what 'self coloured' means in this context, the proposed rule could be simplified to just say 'G3.1(b)(14) Coloured ply' and G4.1(b)(11) similarly.

On the matter of the body of the sail being 'of the same ply', that is just what the rule says. Despite what anyone might wish it said, on the face of it, panels of different colour are not 'of the same ply', and are probably out of class. It would need an official interpretation to decide this. Panels of ply of the same colour are probably permitted. These conclusions are unrelated to the proposed G3.1(b)(14) and G4.1(b)(11) sailing instructions.
Lester Gilbert

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Post by Nigel » 22 May 2009, 09:57

While the language in this thread is not allways good promotion to our sport the actuall content seems controverse.

It seems as if everybody is now fine, that as long as the same ply (thickness, material, etc) is used for the body of a sail, the panels can actually be of different colour. :shock:

Now this strikes me as a great surprise. :?: Considering all the offerings be commercial and non-commercial sail makers as well as talkes with these and a number of measurers, common practice has been somewhat different, in the sense that the same ply through out also refered to the same colour. I currently don't know of any sails available that are not following this thinking.

Due to these facts, I don't consider this issue resolved and will put in a formal request for interpretation under the German IOM NCA.
Nigel Winkley
GER 87

Ken Dobbie
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Post by Ken Dobbie » 22 May 2009, 10:30

In the early days of the class, light-weight cloth was difficult to source and clear materials were sometimes given a thin coat of paint to aid visibility. This practice was clearly outside the class rules and was discontinued.

The availability of light weight coloured sail cloth is restricted to spinaker cloth which is available in a multitude of colours but otherwise of the same manufacturer's specifications.

Given the definition of a ply in the ERS and in the context of its use in the class rule, I believe that a multi coloured sail would be legal but like Nigel I would want this to be confirmed by an official interpretation.

We are unlikely to see a rush to coloured sails as the available cloth is much less suited to our purpose than that in general use.

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Post by valpro » 22 May 2009, 13:27

Now all this has calmed down a bit here's just a few points.
The term ply was introduced to define a layer of whatever sail material was used. We are bound by adopting the Standard class rule format and the ERS to observe the use of the term. I personally dont find it ideal but I have never come up with anything better and I am always very concious of the language problem internationally. So ply it is. It has never been used in any context but to define that the basic panels of which the sail is made can only be made of one 'layer', thickness', 'piece' or whatever term you prefer to use. By saying that it must be of the same ply throughout it is saying that the thickness must be constant. So Iam quite certain that colour does not come in to it but I will check this with RYS Technical, who were resposible for the original drafting of ERS and whose invention the term ply is.
As to coloured sails, as said previously the Mylar film that is predominant is actually clear and receives a coating of a whitish layer. It is also available in transparent colours, opaque white, black and silver. If you follow Lester's argument then we do not have a single legal sail on the planet as apart from completely transparent sails, every other one is 'coloured' indeed Peter Wiles uses a laminate where the mylar element is available in several colours.
yes please Nigel, follow this up for an interpretation and lets knock it on the head finally and get on with something useful.

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Post by Nigel » 22 May 2009, 14:28

Val, I can follow your ideas around the term ply and the results for our class rules. Never the less, it seems as if sail makers and measurers seem to have a different angle of view on this.

I have allready contacted our NCA chairman and we will put this in for clarification as soon as possible.
Nigel Winkley
GER 87

Bruce Andersen
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Post by Bruce Andersen » 22 May 2009, 20:11


Glad you agree that what the EXEC, PRO, and WC committee did regarding GBR's request for interpretation and the World Championship Sailing Instructions was OK, and that the Executive Officers at MYA wrote it properly in the first place.

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Post by Roy648 » 23 May 2009, 02:53

I have watched this sub thread and resisted until now to jump in.

My problem is I want a “bob each wayâ€
Roy Granich

Bruce Andersen
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Post by Bruce Andersen » 23 May 2009, 08:35

Nice non-inflammatory summary! I agree with your analysis, logic, and suggestions.

Barry Chisam
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Post by Barry Chisam » 23 May 2009, 20:03

Surely it just needs one word inserted and would then read

The body of the sail shall consist of th same SPECIFICATION ply throughout.

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Post by JThompson » 24 May 2009, 04:22


I have struggled with this as well. While I would like to believe I know the intent of the class rules, it is possible that ply thickness was never intended to be controlled.

It is possible they intended to make legal a sail that had a 3mil head panel and a 1.5mil foot. That would still be considered a single ply sail as opposed to making a sail that has 2x 1.5Mil layers in the head (3Mil total) and only 1 1.5Mil layer in the foot. The sail would be the same thickness, but it one instance the sail would still be the same ply (quantity 1) while the other would not because it would have 2 plys in the head and only one in the foot.

Which is right, what was intended, and what is best for the class is not entirely known.

If the intent is single ply, mainly uniform thickness sails then I believe you idea would make a lot of sense.

Jim Thompson
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Post by Roy648 » 24 May 2009, 04:44

Hi Jim,

Please see continuation of thread under Class Rules - Sail Material
Roy Granich

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