2010 TP52 rule teething problems

TeamOrigin winglets and Matador's 'large' mainsail brought into question at the Audi MedCup in Cascais
With a new set of rules for this year, including the abandonment of spinnaker poles in favour of A-sails and bowsprits plus single backstays replaced by twin backstays, so the first regatta of the Audi MedCup in Cascais is causing a fair share of headaches for the rules arbitrators. The areas of controversy that have emerged are the winglets on the keel bulb of TeamOrigin’s brand new TP52, which was designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian, himself no stranger to pushing rules to their limits. But Kouyoumdjian is not alone, for the mainsail on the Judel-Vrolijk designed Matador is also under scrutiny as it is slightly larger than everyone else’s thanks to the team spotting a loophole in the mainsail measurement procedure. The winglet issue is fairly contentious. The bulb on the TeamOrigin TP52 is longer than on the other boats and is fitted with winglets, similar but smaller, than those found on Cup boats, fitted at the aft end of the bulb. The TP52 rule allows a keel’s bulb to have a maximum width of 800mm, so TeamOrigin argue that as clearly a bulb would never be 0.8m across, it would seem that this rule, by implication, allows winglets of some sort. However this conflicts with a rule that Juan K has more than once found himself up against. Rob Weiland, who manages the TP52 Class and who is also its Chief Measurer explains: “We try to keep a unity in the class and the class rule says you can play with dimensions, but you have to stay within what is written within the class rules and the class rule doesn’t say you can have wings on a bulb.” So if this is the case, then why did TeamOrigin’s TP52 pass measurement for the Audi MedCup’s first regatta in Cascais? Weiland says he only