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New 2020 Classic trial rules.

Introduction of the new definition of Classics for 2020

Prior to Christmas the class Presidents all recieved a copy of a proposal from the USA association regarding the Classic trial rules. We are aware of 10 countries that conveyed a positive response to its acceptance. As you are aware the trial rules were framed from the findings of the Classic sub committee formed at the Hervey Bay Worlds in 2018 and put in place under the 2 year trial rule period granted to us by World Sailing. The trial rules are really in two parts. The measurable rules (board depth, chord radius etc.) and the “classic racing rules” (5 boat lengths). The USA proposal was to delete these measurable rules and offer an alternative to the “classic racing” rules. It should be noted that the constitution does not cover the above situation and any permanent rules for the classics will need to be approved in terms of Rule 11. With this in mind the IACA committee is now acting in terms of Constitution rule 2 after consultation with the Technical Committee.


The Technical Committee made the following comments:

Neither the chief measurer nor the Technical Committee see any issues in measuring foils under the existing rule to the standards by which all other measurements are taken. The Technical Committee believe simply that removing the existing foil dimension limits and allowing more curvature and/or span will allow the classics to generate more lift. From our perspective this means that the classics will push harder against the difficult to police definition of what is foiling and what isn’t. This can only lead to conflict. We don’t believe that the prospect of on water judging is appealing to anyone.

This covers IACA’s thoughts on the issue as well. If at this stage measurement rules are removed, the doors are open and very difficult to close. A major decision like this needs to be a members vote and we have concerns that not all members and countries are aware of the ramifications if this happens. Regarding the second part of the USA proposal the “classic racing rules” are well researched and written in line with the current RRS rule 42. The inclusion of the proposed Basic Rule 5.1: “Except when permitted by Rule 5.2, a boat shall keep one hull in the water at all times.” appear to be the magic words that a lot of our classic sailors wish to see.

The trial rules below have been changed accordingly. We thank the USA association for their proposal and once addressed to IACA will fit all the requirements of Constitution Rule 11 and will be tabled at the WGM for voting. Any country is also welcome to submit their own proposal (Refer Constitution Rule 11.1).


Definition of Classics for 2020

Classic Statement

The discipline is a means to continue the tradition of non-foiling A Class catamarans, which formed the basis of the great class we have today. Its philosophy is to meet all current A Class rules with only minimal restrictions in place to eliminate the boat’s foiling ability, without limiting its open development nature. The discipline is built on the base of trust and ethics from the competitors involved to ensure the criterion is met and for all to enjoy fair racing in a non-foiling mode.


Definition of a classic boat

1. The "classic discipline" A Class must fit all the current class rules.

2. Dagger boards are to have either a straight leading and trailing edge or be of a constant “C” curved shape with a minimum chord radius of 1190mm. All other requirements of Rule E.3 & E.4 apply.

3. The dagger board flush with the bottom of the hull and in all positions after exiting this point until fully down must fit within 780mm of the imaginary line drawn between the bottom of the hull at the leading edge of the dagger board on each hull. This measurement is to be taken parallel to boat centreplane. It shall be measured through the full range of motion (i.e. extension/retraction, cant and rake) permitted by the daggerboard case configuration and without taking into account the daggerboard deformation produced by forces expected during its normal use while racing.

4. Rudder rake adjustment whilst racing is not allowed. All other requirements of Rule E.5 (a), (b), & (c) apply.

5. 5.1 Basic Rule

Except when permitted by Rule 5.2, a boat shall keep at least one hull in the water at all times.

5.2 Exceptions

Without limiting the application of Rule 5.1, the following actions are permitted:

(a) Intermittent jumping over wave troughs, upwind or downwind.

(b) Intermittent jumping due to sharp changes in wind velocity or direction.

(c) Any means of sailing may be used to help a person or another vessel in danger.



 Jumping: The movement of the boat in which both hulls are above the water completely for a brief period of time, usually between waves, or due to a sharp increase in wind.

 Intermittent: Occurring at irregular intervals; not continuous, or steady.



We believe the majority of classic boats will fit these proposed “trial rules” and it is not our wish to penalize any boat that holds a valid measurement certificate issued prior to the original trial rules implementation date. The following dispensations will apply:

 All boats measured prior to 1st March 2019 shall comply with : “Trial Rules” 1, 4 & 5 and have daggerboards restricted to either a straight or constant curve axis.

 All boats measured from 1st March 2019 shall comply with : “Trial Rules” 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5


Validity and coverage of these rules

The only class rules that can be approved are in terms of the constitution, firstly needing a president’s vote to go forward and then a world ballot of all members. What IACA has approved above are “trial rules” in terms of our approval from World Sailing.

This version of the “trial rules” are valid for Cadiz/ESP and St-Petersburg/USA.

IACA, 14.2.2020