|Modification of RL24s for racing|
I am concerned that the intent of class racing is being neglected by sailors that use the freedoms within the RL24 rules to modify boats beyond the spirit of the class to gain advantage on the race course.
In particular, I believe boats with heavily modified keels, rudders and rigs should be excluded from racing in the class when modifications are not in the spirit of the class rules.
The owners of RL24s need to know that they are not going to be thumped by a lightweight Mk1 with a bulb drop keel, space framed structure, carbon sails and rig, fully battened main and asymmetric spinnaker at the next class race.
If people want to get into a technology war with the current rules, it would be easy to rebuild a RL24 into a Eliot or Young type sports boat but who benifits and who looses.
The original concept of the RL yachts is still excellent but needs to be protected otherwise most owners will not be able to use their boats in class racing or mixed fleets due to the variation of performance of the modified yachts masquerading as one design yachts.
We should consider singling out those heavily modified yachts as Mark 5s and make it clear to the handicappers that they are different to the single class yachts for cruising and racing.
Class rules for standard yachts need to protect the integrity of the racing, the value of the fleet and assure that the winner is probably the best sailor. I believe the rules need to ban carbon fibre, control the keel section, limit ballast more strictly, ban internal structures reinforcing the mast structure to the chainplates and exclude using drop keels in Mk1 and Mk 2 yachts. Spinnaker sailplan needs to be rationalised for standard classes. Let the Mk 5 have all the goodies and make it clearly a new class.