RYA Issue New Class Rules (Rule C.8 rudders)
The RYA have issued new Merlin Rocket rules valid until 31/12/2020 The RYA will issue a briefing note by Wednesday 4th March 2020 to explain the reason for the amendment to rule C.8 The current Winder “Fenced” rudder complies with rule C.8 these rudders can be used in any race until 31/12/2020 as can any other rudder that is compliant with this rule. The class membership can vote to accept rule C.8 at the next AGM in July or they can vote not to accept rule C.8. If the first option is adopted rule C.8 as published on 28/02/2020 will remain beyond 31/12/2020 If the second option is adopted rule C.8 will revert to the version published on 07/11/2019 at 0001hrs 01/01/2021.
that's great Martin, thanks for the clarification
Martin, could you please supply a URL for the text of the new rule(s)? e.g I can't find the rules under the 'rules' tab on the MROA website.
The link works for me Keith, but I've copied and pasted. Hopefully that will help. C.8.2.1 Daggerboards, bilgeboards and multiple rudders are prohibited. C.8.2.2 The Transom Datum Point is defined as the intersection of the planes of the outer faces of the garboard planks at the transom, projected to the hull centreplane. C.8.2.3 The rudder in any normal sailing position, no foils or similar contrivances shall extend below the transom datum point. C.8.2.4 Foils or similar contrivances with a total wingspan greater than 80mm, and/or any such device that is the limiting component in the rotation of the rudder, and/or extend further aft than the trailing edge of the rudder, are prohibited. C.8.2.5 With the rudder in its any normal sailing position, no part of the rudder above the transom datum point shall extend more than 400mm aft of the transom.
Thanks for that, Matt 3494, but can you supply the actual URL? Your pasted text had no bold words so presumably no ERS definitions apply?
Ah! I have now found the Rules text and can confirm that no bold word appear - so how is 'rudder' defined, for example? Does it include the stock or just the blade?
At the risk of this post putting me in the same category as the proverbial "rattlesnake in the lucky dip" I offer this comment on the " new" rule. I sail at Portchester and Warsash SC s who sail on Weds. and Fri. evenings throughout the summer. These races often give a situation where we are running with a gentle breeze back up the harbour/river dodging the tide so are hugging the bank with c/b tucked up in its case and the rudder angled back at some 60 degrees to skip over the mud in about 2 feet of water. No doubt many river sailors play the same game. Solos , lasers and OK s all doing likewise while RS400s thrash backwards and forwards gybing in the channel. Suddenly --realization! trailing edge of rudder is far more than 400mm. aft of datum point so boat is out of class despite rudder being in perfectly "normal" position for the conditions. Perhaps scorer will grant a dispensation to rule C82.5!
Roger, can't help you with the new rule (bit beyond me). but we do the same on our river. You need to have a chat with the lasers (not sure about the solos') as they are not allowed to sail with their rudders raised, the Laser class rules only allow it for launch and recovery. Our laser fleet used to do it, so i had a chat with them after a race to tell them it was not allowed! our results improved after that!
I think I'm with Roger on this. One reason the Merlin Rocket has thrived over more than 70 years is that you can sail it virtually anywhere. I began my MR sailing in the upper reaches of a tidal river and being able to raise the rudder when cheating the evening ebb was a distinct plus. These days our rudders are much deeper, which would make the imposition of 'fixed' rudders even more of a problem. Sail at somewhere like Walton Backwaters, Aldeburgh or (of course) Salcombe and you would be up the creek.
Thanks for the clarification ,Chris. Quite right--I had forgotten that OK rules insist that lifting rudders are fixed down whilst racing. I will remind folks of this but suspect that pins will be removed anyway to save transom being removed from boat in the scenario illustrated ! Good job OK rudders are pretty short anyway, but I don't really get the point of preventing Merlin helms sailing the boat however they please----its not quite a one design class yet.
Briefing note available after speaking to the RYA and them having to chase the class for permission to publish. https://www.rya.org.uk/racing/measurement/Pages/national-class-rule-interpretations.aspx It leaves more questions than answers but that seems to be a common theme of the subject and I doubt we will ever know facts and figures. Still waiting for a coherent reason the committee asked for a rule change for 40 people. While most boats and people understood the rule.