RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
from Rob Legg Yachts

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I am confused
Please look at the fabulous photo of Simon Walsh’s Rl24 Ohau-rua beating to windward in this months Australian Sailing magazine (page 29). I have to ask, is the person in the red lifejacket hiking out as per the rl24 class rules? Surely this person has past the mid thigh limit? If I am wrong and this form of hiking is legal, is this the way for the RL 24 class to go and is it good for the image of the RL 24 class and trailer yacht racing?

I ask you to now have a look in the ‘Sail Port Stephens’ segment in the same magazine (page 5) and have a look at the photo of the Melges 24. It’s a very popular international sportsboat and it has what I refer to as ‘pensioner perches’ and this means that one does not need to have a few Olympic athletes on board a trailer yacht when the wind kicks in?

Alastair Russell2-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 
Re: I am confused

Apparently, if the class rules call for life lines to be fitted to the boat, they have to be taut (tight), so I am of the opinion that one is allowed to have slack life lines when racing an RL24. Dick Voller fitted them to his RL24 Big Deal a few seasons ago and we used them at the National titles at Paynesville that year.

We raced the boat in the DK division, two up with a 100 kgs of water ballast in 20 litre drums on board and with no spinnaker. The purpose of the whole exercise was to get performance comparison times on a triangular race course and against well sailed DK RL 24s. We intended to use this data when applying for a Victorian modified CBH rating for our pensioner racing type RL. I think there are photos in this web site of us racing with the slack life lines.

With the cockpit coaming in the RL being close to the gunnels it is easy for an oldie to perch his bottom over the coaming and lean back on the strap facing inboard.

During the titles Simon (who is one of the three class measurers) complained to us about our hiking method. We told him then that we were sure our method of hiking was legal and allowed in the RRS rule book so we carried on using the hiking system during the titles. We immediately prepared our defence case as we were then expecting a protest, but low and behold, no protest came. The short two person guard rail was part of our development work and we would of course have declared them in our request for a modified CBH number.

I remember during the titles we were really wrapped with the boats performance to windward but it was soul destroying to get round the top buoy in the first leg in a good position only to be totally blitzed on the reaches. Down wind was not so bad. Anyway during the titles Dick decided to bail out of the RL 24 class and he put his much loved boat on the market. Big Deal was a top boat and had nothing cut out of her to reduce her displacement weight and also like Dump Truck she had two NSW CBH ratings, one as a class boat and another with a bigger jib and spinnaker. She was built in WA and was the second RL 24 to be fitted with a drop keel. Prior to fitting a drop keel Dick wrote a letter to the class association for a copy of the class rules and he is still waiting for an answer.

At the national titles this year I saw two leading Grand Prix RL 24s breaking the rather different RL 24 hiking rule and I am of the opinion that the photo of the RL 24 in the Australian sailing magazine fits in with what I saw at this years heavy weather nationals.

But hey Rob! Would I want to get into an argument and please please do not show that fabulous photo of our No 1 RL 24 on this website. Why, because I do not want our overseas RL 24 owners to see how well we sail our RL 24 here!

Alastair8-Mar-2009    Edit    Delete 

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