I agree and I support lifted restrictions on materals. Adding a weight requirement is like using new materials to build a race car but overbuilding to make sure it weighs what it would have weighed 30 years before. I get it technically - I just don't think it's wise.
While I understand the OD point, I think the fleet needs to consider whether unlimited material is framed as an unfair advantage boat-for-boat or an advantage to draw more potential boat owners into the fleet. Bigger fleet = better OD health and possibilities.
The tactics re: how to test are good suggestions, BTW. This example has been used in Tasars and is now showing up in Moths with wings compared to softsails.
It seems to me that this is ultimately needs to be looked at as a class/boat longevity issue. I believe that relaxing material restrictions will make the boat (and class) more attractive, make it more competitive in handicap fleets, expand the addressable pool and pull in more owners, make the boat a little more "sexy" (did I just say that????!), and continue into the next 25 years. Otherwise, restricting for those that want (or need) both OD and handicap sailing could make the boat a nonstarter for some potential owners and boats on the course.
My worry isn't about that other J/30 sailor that has a "weapon" of a mainsail. I'm worried about the crew on other boats in handicap distance races - maybe a few years from buying a boat - that see a dacron main and bottom of fleet results and say, "why would anyone buy that boat?"
That's my $.02.
Last edited by JBro; 03/01/11 03:34 PM.