In our inaugural International Class Association world council meeting, John Tushingham provided this insightful perspective on the class rules:
One of the founding principles of the rules is that when you purchase a stock boat, pull it out of the box, rig it according to the instructions, then you should be able to go to any event and be competitive and class legal. What we also don’t want to see is an environment were people feel they need to do extra changes to be competitive. The rules aim to ensure that a standard specification boat is always completely competitive. The rules are there, in part, to help support our inclusive founding principles.John Tushingham
Many of you will be aware of the various social media groups for the classes and how there are many people who try hard to help a newcomer with a rules enquiry but often only succeed in getting lots of other people involved with the usual outcome being somewhat unsatisfactory for all.
The purpose of this page is to give everyone an easy to access to offical class rules interpretations, and outline the procedure that should be used to seek guidance and clarification on current rules.
The ICA Class Rules Sub-committee is responsible for issuing class rules interpretations. The Interpretations are published below.
14th June 2021 – New DF65 and DF95 class rules issued. No current interpretations pending.
28th May 2021 – Clarification on Repairs to Hulls
So, it seems that there has been some confusion on the issue of repairing DF hulls that have broken and how that repair might affect the use of that repaired hull in another event in the future. Rather than have a million opinions on it and have everyone’s blood pressure rise unnecessarily we’ve had a chat to the DF Rules committee as it is currently and they have issued the following Rule interpretation for everyone to digest. The interpretation will also apply to the DF65 rules and more definition of what constitutes a legal repair will be detailed in upcoming rule revisions.
I don’t need to say any more than this, the rules committee statement below speaks for itself.
” The DF Rules committee have been made aware of a published interpretation by the American DF95 Executive of Rule A.7 ‘Repairs’ in the current DF95 Class Rules (Version 1.2). Their interpretation was never presented to the rules committee and does not reflect the original intention of the rule.
It is evident that in a minority of hulls there is an issue of cracking around the keel box, this is most likely due to inertia of the keel bulb during a collision or rough handling of the boat. In some instances it may be due to variations during the manufacturing process resulting in a thinner skin in this area. Rule A.7 allows for repairs to be made “provided they are not intended to enhance the original function or performance of the damaged items”. The Rules Committee and the rules author consider that a localised, internal repair around the base of the keel box is acceptable and will not enhance performance or change the original function of the hull. However, if the repair extends beyond this area or introduces additional structure, such as stiffening ribs or bulkheads, then it would clearly be a breach of rules A.5, A.6 & A.7.
Joysway have made several modifications to the moulding process to try and rectify this issue and are working with the designers on new ways to overcome this issue. In the next versions of the class rules, which will be published shortly, we will try to clarify the extent of what is considered a legitimate repair to the keel box area and there will be no time limit placed on the life of such a repair. In most class rules repairs are allowed, the DF classes should be no different provided they comply with any definitions in the class rules. Replacement hulls are available at a very reasonable cost but we feel that an owner should have the option to undertake a class legal repair and continue sailing their boat.
Requesting an Interpretation
The DF ICA Regulations document outlines the process for requesting a rules interpretation. Head to section 9 and check out section 9.1.1 which gives you the correct way to get in touch with the Rules Sub-Committee and also tells you how your enquiry will be dealt with. It does not give you a timescale, however it might be reasonable for the sub-committee to meet once a month and issue interpretations as they are made.
The usual route to the Rules Sub-committee is in the first instance via your country body, secretary, or world-council member (NCA, DNM NCA, or NCS), who will then follow the procedure set out in the regulations to request an interpretation.
Section 9.2 is for emergency use only and is very much at the discretion of the committee as to whether they accept your personal approach to them. An appropriate example may be the need for a quick clarification during a major event.