This Class Still Kinda Sucks...
OK, so admittedly I did want to get everyone worked up with my first post. No, Doug I'm not going to 'move on'?Ě just because things aren't the way I think they should be. If I really did think this class sucked that bad, I wouldn't have wasted the time and effort to type a two page rant. I guess I think of it in terms of a business; the customer that is willing to take the time to complain is one of your most valuable customers because they are giving you an opportunity to improve. The customer that just quits doesn't even care enough to try to help your business get better. Doug, can you honestly say you're perfectly happy with the way the National Association is being run?
So my complaints were in an effort to try to improve things on the National Class level. I would like to thank Bob Abelin for his constructive comments and I know that he‚??s working on the very things that I'm frustrated with. Bob, keep up the good work and let me know how I can help out here on the west coast. I wasn't planning on just throwing stones and then running away and hiding.
Basically, I''m seeing lots of great things happening at the local fleets across the country (great fleet web sites too), but if you were to look at the National Class Web site, you would think the class is dead. In my mind, that is a much easier situation to fix than the opposite; where you've got a very flashy and cool web page but really no fleet activity to speak of. I think the class has great participation considering the age of the boats and no new boat builder, and I think we should be proud of that and it should show on the National Class site.
I also think that in a class that is this spread out (North Carolina to Texas to Montana to California to Washington to Oklahoma to Florida to Calgary...) the chief measurer has to be very active, accessible and very controlling. Especially when you have a set of class rules that has more loop holes and discrepancies than an arena full of calf ropers (no offence MT boys). You're always going to have "tinkerers" that are constantly trying to make the boat go faster/better and some will tinker legally and some will push the limits. That's part of the fun of owning a sail boat. Do we tinker, yes. Do we read the rules and try to do it legally, yes. Have we built a new and improved foil shape rudder, yes. But we always tinker within the rules as they're written and if there's a question as to legality, we would contact the chief measurer for clarification. Just ask Bill McClure, who we've gotten know very well over the years. The Chief Measure has to be able to qu ickly and concisely rule on these innovations otherwise the class evolves to an expensive developmental class‚?¶
So I'm still waiting for an 'Official' ruling on Randy's Rudders and the whole Rudder Gate thing. It's unfortunate that it happened and hopefully Mike Chesser can clear it up soon. As I stated before, I know Randy and he was not trying to do anything illegal, just trying to provide a service and make a nice product that, if anything would actually help level the playing field for those of us who don't have the time or skills to build a new rudder. I fully understand that this is only my opinion and it's entirely up to the chief measurer to interpret and make a ruling. I guess I don't see it as a clear cut issue as Greg does. There are numerous boats sailing with these rudders and as an engineer, I don't think the added width would provide any speed advantage. Yes the text is pretty clear, but the drawing contradicts the text, so how do you know what is correct. They''re both in the class manual, I think. I still can't view the latest version of the official class rules.
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