Held at Royal London Yacht Club
19 July 2015
27 members in Attendance
David Gower as Class Captain chaired the meeting and introduced the “Expert Panel” consisting of Jamie Clarke, John Corby, Brian Hardy, Carron Snagge, Theo Rye, Laurie Boarer and Sir Richard Ottaway. He introduced the discussion firstly in relation to the weight issue by saying that there had been no upper or lower weight limit for a Daring in the Class Rules for the last 50 years or so until introduced with the D2 builds in 2010. The proposition to be discussed is “do we increase the minimum weight of a Daring to 2,200 kg and maintain a maximum weight in the Rules?” A lively discussion ensued with Mike Fox wanting to know the criteria for how the weight of a Daring would be fixed. Jamie Clarke noted that the only way of increasing weight was by inserting correctors into the boat, not at the ends but at the quarter and three quarter positions. Magnus Wheatley made it plain that he was strongly against applying correctors or weights to existing boats, and Richard Ottaway questioned why have a maximum weight at all. The discussion moved to when boats should or could be weighed, with Diana Christie noting that it was not fair to weigh the boats at the end of the season when they had been sailed, Laurie Boarer noted that it was logistically difficult to carry out weight tests at the end of the season and that some of the older boats take on more water during the season and therefore the differential would be greater.
John Corby stated that he had recently added 20 kilos to the weight of Doublet and was not happy about adding weight to Daring’s, especially when certain members of the class have had their boats built to the minimum weight.
The Chairman then suggested discussion on the following question “is lower weight an advantage or not?”
Mark McNeil suggested that existing boats should remain as they are, but any new boats built should be built to 2,200 kg. Giles Peckham noted that the weight of the keel is the key. Some keels are lighter than others, and it was difficult to talk about overall weight until the keel weight issue had been resolved. Richard Ottaway noted that Decoy was the heaviest of the Daring’s and questioned the problem that the class was trying to solve. Was it a problem between the D1s, D2s and the fact that the centre of gravity had been raised in D2s? Roger Marwood noted that the D2s were noticeably quicker downwind and there was a discussion between various members as to which boats were faster upwind and/or downwind. After 50 minutes of debate the Chairman put the proposal “does any member wish to change the current weight rule relating to Daring’s?” On a show of hands the proposal was rejected unanimously and the Chairman noted that after listening to the debate it was quite clear that there was no enthusiasm for a change of rule. In relation to the second question “do you wish the Committee to reconsider the minimum weight of a Daring?” that proposal was also rejected save for one vote. The Chairman also noted at this point of the debate that the most vociferous proponents of a rule change were not in attendance at the Forum.
The Chairman opened the discussion by suggesting a definition of fairing, to mean “long boarding to achieve a symmetrical hull”.
Laurie Boarer noted that when he has been repairing damage to the hulls of Daring’s that is all that that has been done and no more. He has not carried out any fairing on them. Theo Rye explained the technical position regarding fairing and Jamie Clarke made the point that rough anti-fouling made all boats equal. To spend a fortune on fairing would be a waste of time. Richard Ottaway agreed and said that changing the rule would simply create an arms race. A discussion took place between John Hackman and Theo Rye about the rippling effect of the hull, with Jamie Clarke noting that the rippling of the hull does not matter, it was only the wetted surface that counted. Doug Harckham commented that if boats were sailing in flat water and less than 8 knots fairing probably matters. In the Solent with 4 feet seas in his opinion it didn’t. In response to a question from Giles Peckham, Laurie Boarer explained how he removed existing anti fouling to fill in the ripples when he is re anti-fouling a Daring.
At the conclusion of the discussion the Chairman asked whether those present wished a new rule to be put to the AGM to allow fairing. There was only one vote in favour, the majority voting against. The Chairman indicated that the views of the meeting would be discussed by the Committee but in the light of the very clear opinions of those present who represented 22 of the boats in the fleet it was highly unlikely that there would be any change in either rule relating to weight or fairing. The meeting concluded at 18.15.