IRSA elections, CEEFIE mid-March news

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IRSA elections, CEEFIE mid-March news

Post by Lester » 12 Mar 2014, 10:50

In case the third CEEFIE newsletter sent to the IRSA DNM electors might be interesting to IOM sailors... (smile)

CEEFIE Newsletter Mid-March 2014
Committee for the Election of an Effective IRSA Executive
A newsletter from Graham Bantock and Lester Gilbert regarding the IRSA EC elections.
May be distributed, circulated, or forwarded freely.


Our third e-mail "newsletter" to you (parts will also be posted on-line). In this newsletter, Graham expands on his personal statement as a candidate for the Technical Committee Chairman.

I’d like to expand on the brief objectives given in my personal statement written for the International Radio Sailing Association (IRSA) General Assembly page. I’d also like to address some concerns raised regarding commercial interest and personal interest.

From a technical point of view
The bigger picture
Clarity in class rules, measurement, and certification procedures is fundamental to top quality competition whether casual or formal. Where grey areas emerge in class rules a considered response is needed. This should, ideally, take into account the wishes of the owners rather than of the few who speak on their behalf often without any consultation.

To expand on this a little. In my experience when class rules are written or re-written they are the best effort of the authors to constrain the builders and designers in a way that creates a class where certain freedoms may be enjoyed but others may not. The authors strive to ensure clarity and avoid ambiguity. Because they cannot imagine the ingenuity of the designers/builders they fail to do a perfect job so there will be grey areas where the meaning is not understood consistently by all of the rule users. The normal approach then is for one or more designers/builders/measurers/owners to request an interpretation. The interpretation process requires the relevant body (for the IOM it is the International One Metre International Class Association, IOMICA, for the M, 10R, and A Class it is IRSA) to consider the class rules and make a decision about their meaning. The interpretation has to be ratified by the IRSA EC and is then valid for a period of two years or until the class rules are changed.

When making an interpretation the technical committee shall consider only what the relevant rules and measurement forms state. They are not required to estimate what the authors of the rule intended or what the owners would prefer. The interpretation has to be ratified by the IRSA EC and is then valid for a period of two years or until the class rules are changed. Often an interpretation simply establishes that the current, common, understanding of the class rules is correct. No change is required or needed. But there are two other scenarios.

One is where a feature is found to comply with the class rules but the class owners may prefer it to be prohibited. The second is the opposite case where a feature is found not to comply with the class rule but the class owners may prefer it to be permitted. In either case it would be best, in my view, if the owners themselves, rather than a representative in each country, had the opportunity to vote on the matter. This may be a little while away for IRSA but I am hopeful it will happen.

IRSA regulations time limit interpretations to two years and hence all on the IRSA website are invalid. The class rules have to be updated if the effect of those interpretations is not to be lost.

The purpose of time limiting interpretations is to ensure that the cause of the interpretation is addressed, i.e. the class rules are changed to make it clear the feature is permitted or is not permitted. Allowing an interpretation to lapse puts the class back to the point it was at before the interpretation was requested. Not such a bad thing if the interpretation was made erroneously but not helpful if it was useful.

Rules maintenance
The Marblehead and Ten Rater class rules are in need of routine maintenance and the A Class rules, edited by myself and still extant after 20 years, are well overdue for presentation in ISAF Standard Class Rules (SCR) format.

It is time to consider the potential role of on-board sensors/computers/servos which might be used to sail the boat more or less automatically. The only input from the sailor might be to point the boat in a given direction. My feeling is that this is not something that should be permitted in mainstream rc sailing.

The value of recognizing only the most recent certificate to be valid should be questioned. It seems at least one country positively ignores this rule for its internal use. Is it fair that visitors to that country are not aware of this freedom? As it is not obvious to event organizers how many certificates a boat may have or which is the most recent certificate, how can we be sure sailors from that country comply with the international rule when they compete elsewhere?

The certificate for the Ten Rater sail measurement can be modified to help measurers know when they have made an error in their recorded sail dimensions. This will help ensure certificates are correctly completed, that sails do comply with the certificate, and that sailmakers have an easier time making replacement sails. The requirement for alternative sails to fit within the profile of larger sails is an historical one that was not addressed correctly in 1994 due to lack of available time. A better system is required that is clearer to understand and which permits replacement sails to be made that are guaranteed to comply with the certificate. Better for sailmakers and owners alike.

The A Class rules, drafted in 1994 and directed by the owners’ association that existed at the time, have not been brought up to ISAF SCR standard. Although the class does not enjoy regular international competition, this move should be a worthwhile investment for the future of the class and help to ensure consistency across the fleets.

RG65 class
In the same way that IMYRU (now IRSA) took the initiative by formulating an international one metre class in 1988, IRSA can provide an international SCR version of the RG65 class rules that the owners may choose to use. Preferably this would be done with the consent and assistance of the class itself. This would create demand for world and continental championships for the class, welcome in an age where air travel with even an IOM is becoming costly.

Foiling class
IRSA could also formulate/propose an international class rule for a foiling rc boat.

There are a good number of YouTube clips showing amazing performance from foiling rc models. Foiling is firmly established as the new target for many full size classes where that development is permitted. It would seem appropriate to post a class rule for foiling rc boats that has the potential to attract adherents in the future.

Interests, personal and commercial
My own commercial interest in the sport has been raised as an impediment to doing the technical committee chairman’s job.
The commercial interests of any candidate for election to office and any candidate for selection to any IRSA committee shall be declared. No IRSA regulation debars a candidate with a commercial interest from service.

Having a ‘personal involvement’, as the IRSA Regulation puts it (which need not be a commercial interest) does debar any member of the technical committee from taking part in any interpretation – IRSA Regulations 6 refers. During the time 1994 to 2002 there were occasions when interpretations on the IOM class rules called into question the compliance of products designed by myself and others. Those interpretations were chaired by Jan Dejmo, the previous TC chairman and then Vice Chairman and I seem to recall they all resulted in those products being ruled as non-permitted. Other designers/builders also fell foul of the same interpretations. The TC should comprise other members who possess the skills required to lead the TC should I find myself in a similar situation. Ensuring suitably qualified candidates are put forward as TC members is something positive that can be done to help.

I recall two occasions during that time when the personal interests of EC members dictated the future of class rules against the recommendation of the technical committee:-

The first of these was after the GER member proposed that carbon fibre should not be permitted in IOM fin construction. The TC concluded carbon fibre per se could not be prohibited because of the problems associated with testing but the effect of carbon fins could be mitigated by having a minimum fin thickness. This was proposed as a rule change and broadly supported by the members. At that time a significant number of the EC had carbon fins in their IOMs and they voted not to introduce the minimum thickness.

The second occasion was when it became necessary to introduce a maximum draught restriction to the Marblehead and Ten Rater classes. The views of the members were sought and their preferences roughly established. It was clear that a draught of around 600 mm maximum was the draught that was preferred by a sizeable majority of respondents with 650 mm being the second preferred maximum. The then chairman of the EC had a boat with a draught of 654 mm. A draught limit of 700 mm was introduced.

Personal interest has had an effect on the class rules in the past and this is another reason why I am fully supportive of the concept of a firm link between the owners and the rules governing the classes they sail.
Lester Gilbert

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