May 25, 2017

May 25, 2017: New Formula 18 Rules changes proposed & to be voted soon.

Photo: Jasper van Staveren / 2015 Worlds - After more than 10yrs in the IF18CA World Council representing Arg and with our Worlds finished Nov 2016 I felt it was time to leave Class management locally along WC representation. It was without a doubt the most enjoyable and intensive +10yrs building, sailing and racing F18 ,also through Class work and with full promotion here in this web.

One of the things I always pushed within the WC was for the IF18CA  to inform duly and have transparent communications to the sailors. Specially formal rules proposals should be always distributed wide open.

Now the management accepted this request from some WC members (myself included back then)  and they have published proposals below.
Important to note that official text from IF18CA makes reference to a "Mast/Sail area"  rule change proposal that was blocked through voting months ago.
The proposed rule intended to define a fixed area  for main sails  leaving the combined 17m2 total of  Mast+Sail. The change was rejected due to the inconsistency on having only 1 builder mast complying to the new rule, leaving all others combinations out of the rule, handicapped in total area or with the need to modify current sails or buy new ones.

The IF18CA is a non profit public organization which is maintained directly by local Associations membership payments, which are then transferred to the IF18CA accounts.
President, Gral Sec and now an executive committee are the responsibles of administering those funds with some gral budget consultation and approval from the WC.
Reports on the spending is published every year and can be found here:

Now that rule proposals are public I can comment no problem my position on them:

Regarding rules changes below, the ones with more substance and clearly to read are the joined proposals from France , Italy & Hungary, two of them are based in my formal doc to the IF18CA WC back in April 2015, the formal doc analyzed the past, current and future of the Class and presented some alternatives to keep the F18 in the limelight.

Convertible F18 & expand Epoxy resin use
One of those proposals was to adopt and push for a convertible daggercase for sailors to be able to race and also foil for fun if desired outside F18 racing. Along this line of thought I also remarked that we should expand the Epoxy resin use, which is permitted in the Class since day 1 for building hulls, but only in combination with wood cores.

So, if someone wants right now to build an Epoxy resin & wood / balsa core  hull, he/she is allowed to race it 100% legal, no issues.
With many of the new Cats classes using Epoxy resins to add durability and reliability to hulls, basically more resistance and long lasting F18s, I saw no reason for the Class to allow Epoxy with wood cores, but not with PVC / Foam cores.

In the process using epoxy would allowed a more efficient  and durable use of  a "convertible" F18s, due to the high loads affecting platforms and hulls during flights.

In which way a convertible epoxy F18 would affect current class Status? well, only in a good one, as stated in my F18 convertible posts, an F18 could become the only double handed boat you'll ever need.
Participating in a still big floating class, and foiling for fun out of the legal racing without affecting your chances to swap foils and maintain a 100% legal platform to go racing at any given time.

Why convertible?
Right now I want to continue racing F18 for many years, but also would like to go foiling double handed. Do I have resources to buy two boats? Do I want to buy an Olympic Nacra 17 (beyond being a weapon as stated?  No, I only have budget if any , for one and custom assembly and I want to continue racing in a Formula Class.

So why not join two alternatives in one ? But based firmly on the F18 Class Rules to be able to race no problem? That is the basic idea which can only drives momentum for people to buy more F18s.

Rule compliant
On the rules proposals below by France/Italy/Hungary representatives  they analyze that a convertible platform will need  some additional trimming systems for the foiling mode, like additional clams cleats and sliders for the foiling daggerfoils and T rudder rake systems, the latter are already in place and allowed in the F18 Class:  for ie in the Nacra Infusion regulated castings.

In addition to the Epoxy expand rule, France/Italy & Hungary are proposing to removed the close rule wording, but I really see no issues having some additional clams, blocks for a main foil rake, as stated rudder rake system are already legal and non specifically permitted in the Class wording.

Ready to sail
The third proposal of this group includes a simplified or builder kind of pre certification of new F18 products, being boat, sails, mast etc. for them to be ready to race.
Read proposals for more details.

Below find the proposals above mentioned plus Dutch Class own docs published in the IF18CA official website with Gral Sec Don Findlay's comments.
IF18CA Official Proposals published at

Proposal – Rule simplification and changes 2017
Dutch proposals:
NED proposal Submissions #1-9 – WC Denmark July 2017 v.18052017 – This document gives an overview/summary of all 9 different proposals by the Dutch F18 NCA.
NED proposal #1 – WC meeting Denmark July 2017 v.18052017 – Text document with proposed wording with mark-ups which compares with the original proposal submitted in January 2017
NED proposal #1 – Appendix B – F18 Certificate v.18052017 – Excel document with F18 boat & sails certificate
NED proposals #2-8 – WC meeting Denmark July 2017 v.18052017 – For ease of reference for the NED proposals #2-8 this text document shows the proposed wording with mark-ups which compares with the wording of NED proposal #1

Italian/Hungarian/French proposals:
Submission 1 – To update the list of products entering in F18 hull construction to improve boat construction quality and reliability
Submission 2 – To develop the concept: one platform for a multiple program
Submission 3 – Removed with the abandon of the idea to modify the main sail/mast measurement
Submission 4 – The goal of this proposal is to propose new equipment stamped “ready to sail” from the factory directly to the customers in respect with the current class rules with no hidden or extra cost using an easy process for the customer: Buy it, use it!


Don Findlay's letter to the WC:
As Members know there has been much discussion about rule changes for the F18 Fleet. Council will vote electronically during June so that these matters can be finally resolved. Will all F18 sailors discuss with their National Officers and ensure that their views are taken into consideration.

Dear members,

I do understand the volume of paper work that is coming to you all this week. But we are discussing the future of our F18 Class. In the documents menu on our website you can find all proposals from the Netherlands and the Italian, Hungarian and French National Class Associations.

In line with F18 Constitution, I am asking the Netherlands and the Italian/Hungarian/French NCA’s to examine each of their proposals and see if we can amalgamate any to reduce the volume of voting.

I will be sending to World Sailing (WS) to ensure that any rule changes will be accepted by their Technical Committee, for there is little point in voting. Failure by the IF18CA to agree with their Technical Dept. will mean that the rules have to go to the World Sailing Class Rules Sub-Committee, which can be a longer process. If necessary and subject to their diaries, I will visit World Sailing on Friday of this week.

Once we have had agreement, or not, that proposals can be amended, then I will send out electronic voting forms which can be completed in four weeks. Constitutional requirements for voting will be detailed in the voting forms. I know that electronic voting is not popular with all members, but this is a complex task and leaving it to a Council Meeting simply would not work. This way, each NCA has time to consider and discuss with their members.

Thank you for your patience and support,

Don Findlay
Sec. General IF18CA