Less pain = More fun

Published on March 2nd, 2014

The Lightning class is seeking to heighten the ‘pleasure index’ at its 2014 North American Championship to be held August 9-15 in Sheboygan, WI. This is their idea

Up here in Wisconsin, we are always on the lookout for ways to make attending the North American Championship Regattas more enticing. An important component in that is an ongoing effort to ferret out annoyances that often accompany any out-of-town regatta. Our thinking is that the more little pains we can remove, the more fun we’ll all have. It’s a simple idea. Now to execute it well…

One thing that has always been a little annoying about the NAs is boat measurement. As a class we’ve made big strides in making that very necessary process less painful. And this year we’re going to make one more. We will not be measuring every boat’s sails.

Let me say that again: We will not be measuring every boat’s sails in Sheboygan.

Measuring boats goes pretty quickly. If you keep your crew with the boat and the crew knows where everything is, the measurement hosts help keep the process going in a pretty- ahem- ‘measured’ fashion. But sail measurement requires one or two crew to carry the sails to the measurement floor…

Removing them from the boat right when they are really needed to pull out safety gear or fold up a travel cover. In addition, measuring 5 sails per boat takes exactly as long as it takes to do it right…which can be awhile. Bottom line: for a lot of effort, very very few sails fail to measure.

Chief Measurer Clausen is willing to think progressively. He has agreed that this year we will inspect each sail for an ILCA royalty and distinctively mark the 1 main, 2 jibs and 2 spinnakers each boat is permitted to use in the regatta. Every sail being used in the event must display the ILCA royalty and the regatta mark. Any boat using a sail that doesn’t have those two marks is assuming a risk that can lead to disqualification. During the regatta, the sail mylars will be in place to allow Chief Measurer Clausen to spot check any sail he requests.

Please remember, as a competitor, you remain responsible for using legal sails…just as you have always been. The number on your sails must still match a boat you own. The number on the main must match the number on the spinnaker And all numbers must be rendered in colors that contrast their backgrounds so they may be easily read. None of that changes. If you have concerns that your sails might be living near the edge, you can request a measurement, although clearly the Association doesn’t think that is roundly necessary.

We hope this little change helps stamp out hassle and squeezes in a few ounces more fun. The same level of measurement compliance–less aggravation…FUN! And MORE FUN is what we’re up here in the arctic section of balmy Wisconsin scheming (obsessing?) about.

Editor’s note: We are eager to hear of any other suggestions, ideas, plans, etc. that may also heighten the ‘pleasure index’.

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