Boring Bit about Rules
Last time I e-mailed you the Footy forums were being beset by an argumentative idiot. He now seems to have gone away. Since every fool generally has at least some logic on his side, the class organisation has made some changes. You were balloted on the more formal ones and the proposed amendments to the Footy Class Charter were passed with only two votes against. You can find the amended Charter on the website. For the average person who just wants a little fun from sailing a Footy, there is little or no practical effect. For those who want to be bored by it again, a summary of what the changes mean is attached further down this document.
As part of the same process, certain parts of the measurement rule were clarified by an ad hoc working party and previous clarifications were listed in one place -- together with two articles on the intent of the rule by Roger Stollery. These can be found variously at Clarifications, Rudder Rules, Intentions and Roger's Marine Modelling article.
What's going on
Britain's first Footy open regatta is being held at Bourneville (Birmingham) on 16 June 2007. All are welcome and the more the merrier. For details contact Bill Green (0121 705 4478) or Mike Harris (01384 262 585) of the Bourneville club. And remember , it's not all that far -- even Southwater is only 2¾ hours away by car and Poole just over 3. There will be a junior prize and I am told there are likely to be at least two contenders -- one from Sweden.
Remember the UK Championship in Gosport on Sunday 29th July. Contact Robert Hobbs on 02380 255 896 for details.
HEATS OF THE NEW ZEALAND POSTAL CLASSIC were held in Colwyn Bay and Bourneville on 22 April. The results were pretty disastrous in UK. The event in Colwyn Bay did attract John McAssey from Southport and Keven Jackson of Burnley and his son Adam -- but produced no finishers because of high winds on the exposed lake at West Shore, Llandudno, and poor boat preparation (not betraying any secrets here: generally agreed that ‘big boat' people have a lot to learn about model boats). In Bourneville, only Bill Green's Heron Lajabless design managed to drift round the course for a bit in force -1 but ultimately gave up in boredom and despair!
Elsewhere in the world things went better. The event was won (to his great embarrassment) by Brett McCormack of New Zealand with his son Robert (even greater embarrassment) taking second place. A full report on the competition can be found here.
What was intended to be the first (informally) international Footy regatta abruptly became national when John McAssey and I were denied boarding in Manchester on our way to Chicago. American Airlines maintained that the state of my arthritis was such that they could not guarantee to get me safely to my seat in Manchester or (more to the point) off their aeroplane in Chicago. However, a fine time was had all round despite (because of?) our absence. You can find a thread with some photographs and a short video clip at this RC Sailing Forum thread. Interesting that Bill Korgard, who came second, drove for about 6 hours across the state of Wisconsin to get there having stated publicly only a few months ago that as far as he was concerned 1 ½ hours was the furthest anyone was ever going to drive to sail a Footy. The winner by a wide margin was Graham McAllister sailing his new SiREN development of the successful Kittiwake. Whether this becomes a production boat or remains Graham's ‘secret weapon' remains to be seen.
Kits and Just Add Water
More or less by definition, in the current state of the art I am talking to people who have gone to a fair bit of trouble (blank piece of paper, flat piece of wood...) to get themselves a Footy and to whom building and/or designing the boat is at least as much fun as sailing it. Fortunately or unfortunately people like you are in the minority and if the class is to grow as it deserves it needs easy-build kits and even ‘just-add-water' boats. Fortunately these are beginning to appear. A list of them appears on the LINKS page. Very new is the Victor Model Products V-12, from the people who brought you the Soling 1m, America's most successful RC sailing boat. It can be found at www.victor-model.com.
Unfortunately all these boats are currently American/Australian at present. However, I am aware of plans to produce UK-based Footys in the near future. The builder is hoping that a pre-production prototype will be sailing at the Bournemouth Regatta.
If anyone else has any production projects in the pipeline, please let us know and we'll announce them in further issues of this news-sheet and on the international class website.
Brett McCormack, never a man to let the grass grow under his feet, has produced a new bendy una rig that appears to be of dazzling simplicity and effectiveness. For details, see this RC Sailing Forum thread. Certainly deserves looking at.
Any other business?
Is anyone out there doing anything that might be of interest to anyone else? Let me know and we'll publicise it.
The practical effects are twofold: technical administration of the rule and day-to-day administration of the class are now split across different people. This is because of ill-founded but potentially correct accusations that the class management committee were running the rule for their own benefit. In future no national registrar (i.e. member of the class management committee) should normally be a member of the Technical Team that interprets the rules. Two eminent gentlemen, Roger Stollery (UK) and Earl Boebert (USA) have kindly agreed to act as the core of the technical team. Neither has any day-to-day involvement in Footys but their experience, knowledge and general reputation for integrity should lend tremendous authority to their opinions.
Obviously, they are busy people with many other commitments. If you have any gripes/queries about the rule, could you please initially channel them through me. If it is something fairly obvious, I will do my best to resolve the matter reasonably informally. Otherwise I will act as a post-box that places no more strain on the technical team than necessary.
The other practical effect of the changes to the Charter is on the appointment of national Registrars. The argumentative idiot had a pressing desire to be National Registrar for Australia. Given that his desire took the form (among other things) of mail-shotting members of the class committee with extracts from the New Zealand Incorporated Associations Act of 1907 and threats of litigation, it seemed a little unwise, to put it mildly, to accept his kind offer! It also became apparent that we ran the risk of somebody who was more interested in forums than in sailing trying the same trick again. In principle, national registrars will therefore need at least the tacit backing of their own national authority by way of a reference. Where this cannot be obtained for sensible reasons (national association policy...), there are mechanisms for appointment that can be terminated by the class as a whole.