The Summary of the IM24CA Open Technical Committee Meeting and Revised Submissions
October 27, 2023 - Following the IM24CA Open Technical Committee meeting on October 21 and the discussions held on all received submissions for the Annual General Meeting to be held on November 11, the Technical Committee and US Melges 24 Class have slightly amended the submissions and revised versions with the summary of the meeting and Tech Comm comments and reasons have been published on the AGM website.
REVISED submissions published after the Ope Technical Committee Meeting on October 21
- DEN - Restriction of proposals regarding weight limit changes
- USA 1 - Eliminate Melges 24 Class Crew Weight Limit - revised
- USA 2 - Group 3 Participants Must Be Class Members - revised
- Technical Committee - C.10.2 - LIMITATIONS - Clarification - revised, housekeeping
- Technical Committee - C.11.3 - BOAT HANDLING RULES - Clarification and housekeeping - revised, housekeeping
- Technical Committee - C.2.1 - LIMITATIONS - Added submission for voting
- Technical Committee - INTRODUCTION - Added submission, housekeeping
Below are the cover letter and comments from our Tech Comm Chair Mike Gozzard.
MELGES 24 CLASS RULE CHANGE PROPOSALS 2023
Technical Committee Chair Comments:
I want first to take this opportunity to share with you some new changes from World Sailing concerning how the International Melges 24 Class Association can conduct itself. This year, for the first time, we are allowed to carry out our own internal housekeeping regarding updating and clarifying class rules. This means we can adjust a rule’s wording as long as we do not change the intent without it being submitted for voting at our annual AGM. However, any changes made still have to be submitted to World Sailing and ratified there before being made official.
This year, we have 7 new rule change proposals. Of these, only the latest versions of C.2.1, B.2 and C.2.2 will require voting at the AGM. The rest are all considered housekeeping and have been reviewed and approved by the technical committee on your behalf. Of course, if there are any questions or comments on any of these housekeeping proposals, they are encouraged and would be welcomed at any time.
I would also like to try and help explain some of the details and nuances that were discussed at the well-attended Open Technical Committee meeting hosted on October 21 with respect to the USNCA’s new weight rule proposal. You may think that you already know all about this proposal, but I can assure you that this year’s version is different. One of the goals of the open TC meeting was to sort out how a new rule might affect and work in concert with other current rules, and this proposal needed a lot of additional thinking to make it workable.
The new “wrinkle” with this new proposal is something that happened a few years ago when the class voted and ratified to delete Rule C.2.2 H3 which, as you may recall, was the random spot check during an event to make sure teams were not sailing in contravention of C.2.2’s weight limit of 375kg. As it turns out, that, was a mistake which must now be corrected as the class most certainly has boats being sailed in championship level events in breach of C.2.2. It is without question that if a team crash diets to barely make it under the registration weight limit, then only hours later, that team’s real weight will start to bounce back, and then that team is no longer at or under 375kgs. Without a means to police and penalize this infraction as described in C.2.2 H3, the current 2022 version of C.2.2 is untenable. World Sailing will not permit this to continue now this has been brought to our attention.
There are two ways to fix this situation. One option would be to re-instate the unpopular H3 spot check and penalty system, and the other option would be to delete the weight limit. So, to be clear, this proposal turns out to be a one or the other vote when broken down to its most basic level.
There were many good reasons to delete that H3 rule, not the least of which was the very serious health and safety concerns. When you have a rule that encourages teams to starve and dehydrate themselves to be at the most competitive sailing weight, then you open our events and the class to on-water emergencies where sailors have to be medevac’d ashore. And make no mistake – this has already happened. Not been able to eat and drink freely is not fun or enjoyable so we understand why this rule was not very popular. However, we can not have it both ways.
Considering these factors, we noticed a shift in opinion and attitude towards this proposal. The manufacturer has also declared support for this initiative. But as I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t end there. Removing the weight limit might mean to some that you would see a boat with 10 people on it. That would obviously be dangerous and might end up damaging the boat. However, this would be controlled by the boat’s declared capacity which is submitted to governing bodies such as CE and USCG (and others) before the boat can be certified for use and sold in their jurisdiction. This is the reason behind the TC’s Proposal “INTRODUCTION” where we will remind users in the introduction section of the class rules, that they must adhere to the vessel’s capacity plate.
Further consideration then had to be made to control the crew that made a team (C.2.1) which would stand alone regardless. With C.2.1 the number of sailors is now limited to 6 (again related to the stated capacity by the manufacturer) and control of crew substitutions including a maximum and minimum weight variance. And finally, in concert with B.2, we introduced the registration of crew members, not just helmspersons and owner/skippers. As you can see it gets complicated.
If you or your NCA’s have any questions you want to ask before you decide how you will vote, please feel free to contact myself, Arto or Branko.