I'm sorry... I couldn't find that rule in the by-laws about only voting every three or four years. Is that under main sail material or is that a general rule for every by law.
But back to being serious and statistical; 6 folks responded that they only race OD... and 4 said they race mostly OD. That means that 80% of the respondants race mostly PHRF - a rather substantial majority. Then if the non-dacron main is better (as Bob says), isn't it a bit unfair to restrict the majority of the fleet from being competitive where they do most of their racing.
Bob makes reference to "convincing satisfied one-design sailors to purcahse more expensive mainsails than they need". I'm not exactly sure what that relates too in that if there is a one design fleet that is only interested in one design, then make all the sails as inexpensive as possible. Apparently there was some arguement for upgrading the headsail material that trancended one-design racing because there is no logic for upgrading any material if one-design is the only objective. And unfortunately that leads us back to the fact that today, only 20% are racing mostly or only OD.
There was also reference made that there are a dozen alternative one-design keelboats racing. To those classes that have significant numbers racing mostly one-design, restrict the "H" out of the sail material. When I bought wildcat in 1986 and sailed in Newport - there would be 10-15 j/30's in most races. And every mid-week race had a j/30 one design group. When there are those kind of numbers, so long as everyone is the same - I would agree; what difference does it make what the sail material is.
The J/30 Class
is now over 30 years old and the majority of j/30 sailors (by a large margin) race mostly PHRF or don't race OD at all. It seems to me that if one wants to build the J/30 fleet, first make the boat competitive in the largest racing venue (PHRF). Encourage and build the racing fleet of J/30's and then give those sailors reason to come race OD.