The most significant of the revisions centres around the treatment of existing boats - almost the entire fleet at the moment - with a small reduction in age allowance accompanied by a general review of grandfathering. The RORC plans to publish full details of IRM racing for the 2001 season soon, along with outline plans for succeeding seasons. We will have to wait and see if that means they intend to try and push it into the Admiral's Cup for 2003!
In the meantime, here're the main changes, full details are available at the RORC website. At a glance the one that will fire the sailmakers up is the allowance of carbon fibre in sails. Some have been saying for a while that it doesn't make any sense for IMS to allow PBO but not carbon, it will be interesting to see if IMS follows this lead during the November review of the rule. We will be bringing you more detailed response to the changes from designers and sailors real soon.
1. Age Allowance for boats with an Age Date before 01 June 1999 is reduced to 3/4%.
2. Grandfathered Length is reviewed with more account taken of varying hullform, but with a slight reduction in effect.
3. Any headsail may now have some roach up to a permitted maximum half height width (HHW) of 55% of LP. The previous restriction limiting this to sails of LP less than 0.41 * L is removed.
4. The rating tax for using sails containing carbon fibres is removed.
5. Runner Factor (RUF) is reviewed, increasing the encouragement to simple rig configurations.
6. Engine requirements are simplified to ensure that manufacturer recommendations are met.
7. Maximum permitted rudder draft, without penalty, is increased from 75% of keel draft to 80% of keel draft.
8. Downwind Sail Factor (DSF) is reviewed to broaden the choice of spinnaker area.
9. Weight Factor (WF) is reviewed to reduce the penalty for larger light displacement designs.
10. There are other detailed changes relating to ISAF Racing Rules Of Sailing and Equipment Rules Of Sailing, as well as inclusions of various detail Interpretations from 2000.
11. The process of requesting Interpretations and Dispensations is given in more detail.