Reply To: Olympic Classes and the OK Dinghy
Planning the mast to have the correct mast bend at the required point along the lenght of the mast, was essential to good racing performance, in the same way that carbon masts are layed up differently, ie with more or less layers of carbon to control mast bend and therefore in turn control sail shape. It all depends whether you consider first place as essential in racing or are you happy to come second? These skills have now been forgotten now that the cottage industrial of sailing/boat building has moved into the modern age. Sailors now only have boat handling skills and the wider skills which included boat building ect have been increasing left exclusively to boat builders. Sailing now has a much narrower skills focus.
I take your point about the 505 verses the 49er though I do feel that the 505 is the better sea boat in general.
It is interesting to note the according to the Class reports listed on the ISFA website the 49er Class only has 1300 boats built to date. The 49er Class has been going for years and should have done better. In comparison the 505 has, (according to the ISAF’s 505 Class report) as many as 9085 sail numbers, issued since 1954 and about 2500 boats still racing. In turn the 505 can be compared to the Snipe with 31060 sail numbers issued since 1931.
There are some real questions to be answered about the type of skills tested by these Olympic Classes, their sailing performance and there true popularity.
I would much rather see established International Classes used in the Olympics after 2016.