Asymmetrical Spinnaker is it class legal

Asymmetrical Spinnaker is it class legal

Postby santana20 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:57 am

Postby gree2056 » Sat May 01, 2010 9:06 pm
This is just a theory question!

My club's wednesday night races end up being reaches up and back the lake alot of the time since we used fixed marks no matter what the wind is. The angle that we run tends to be a little to tight for our spinnaker. There are several boats in our handicap fleet that fly asymmetrical spins off their traditional spinnaker pole and they always have better speed and can carry their chutes higher.

Would it be class legal for me to fly an asymmetrical spinnaker? I wouldn't be buying a new spinnaker but I might look for a used spin from another boat to fly? Would it measure under our class rules? If I pulled it out at a class regatta would I be protested?


Postby Derek Martin » Sat May 01, 2010 10:23 pm
Howdy Gree2056,

Wish I had better news for you, and I will of course defer to our esteemed Class Measurer. The short answer for your question is no. Asymmetrical spinnakers are not Class legal for One Design Racing against other Santana 20s. I have no experience in the PHRF world (so take this with a grain of salt), but if you are racing PHRF, you could also be protested as well because your rating of 222 is based on a symmetrical chute. Wish I could tell you how an A-sail would affect your rating, one way or another, but we don't have a whole lot of boats out there that fly them. Doesn't mean that you can't for cruising, as I know of one of our boats here in San Diego (Dave Wright, #783, "Wright Way II") flies one. Perhaps some of our PHRF racers could chime in on this subject.

You might want to look and see if the ratings for those boats you're sailing against were based on A-sails or symmetrical sails . . . .

Your pole height basically equals your halyard tension, so having your pole a little higher will give you a finer entry and better pointing, but will require more attention to trim since the groove is narrower. Your sailmaker could also cut your S20-legal chute to be a little flatter so that it might help on the reaches. Anybody have some good gouge here to give our friend to help him carry his chute higher?

Derek Martin
#926 / "Gratitude"
Mission Bay YC / Fleet 7

Postby gree2056 » Sun May 02, 2010 7:43 am
Thanks Derek,
That was what I feared, and I figured our rating was based on our one design class rules. Cancel that plan!

Postby Edith Collins » Tue May 04, 2010 8:13 am
Hey there.
When you are racing PHRF, then PHRF is your "class", not the Santana 20 "Class". Derek is correct that our rating of 222 (mileage may vary) is based on a "stock" boat.
I was on our PHRF committee decades ago. The procedure was to go to them and tell them what changes from the standard rated model you were contemplating and see how your rating would get "dinged".

Realize that the A spin would NOT be class legal if you were racing one design, but it is "class" legal for the PHRF "class".
Hope that this helps.
S20130 "Swampfox"
Lake Lanier, GA

Postby Edith Collins » Tue May 04, 2010 8:31 am
As a followup,
This was posted on this morning's "look to windward" rules blog:

Buttercup, a J/24, raced in the handicapped class. Did the J/24 Class Rules or the handicap system rules apply to her?

Answer 4

The rules of the handicap system applied to Buttercup (see paragraph (d) in the definition Rule). If her handicap was explicitly based on the assumption that she race in compliance with some, or all, of the J/24 class rules, then those J/24 class rules, or all the J/24 class rules, applied to her.

However, if Buttercup’s handicap was not based on such an assumption, then none of the J/24 class rules applied to her.

Your declaration of a different sail makes your PHRF rating based on the assumption that the S20 Class rules pertaining to sails do not apply to you.
Make sure that the scorer uses the "base PHRF rating" when you are using the regular spin in a race.
(That ought to buy you new friends)

I am a US Sailing Senior judge. I LIVE for questions like this!
Your geeky friend (with all apologies to geeks everywhere)

Postby gree2056 » Wed May 05, 2010 9:13 pm
It wasn't to serious of a question but thanks all for the answers. We won our club series last year without it so I am not horribly worried but I thought it would be fun.


Postby mforrest » Fri May 07, 2010 10:33 pm
Thanks for pointing out the "Look to Windward" blog, Edith. There are some interesting situations to think about on that site. I notice there are a lot of rule issues for match and team racing when taking marks to starboard, which we almost never do in fleet racing. Rounding to port seems pretty straight forward, although someone always seems to end up tacking in the zone and stirring up controversy anyway.


Postby Alan » Mon May 17, 2010 1:58 pm
To be clear, just as everyone else has said, we are NOT talking about changing class rules or suggesting that A sails would be used in class events. However, if you race PHRF, you can go by their rules and ratings.

Unfortunately, there is little standardization between PHRF fleets. Even within the same region of the country you will see significant variations in ratings and in rating corrections. In the mid to late 80's Lake Lanier's PHRF committee attempted to bring some standardization to the process and overcome some bad press about gift ratings, frequent changes, inconsistent procedures, etc. It was a contentious process and some people were really pissed but ultimately it was good for the "game".

Growing out of that process was a standardized list of rating adjustments. In general, the adjustments were large - the thinking was no one would modify their boats to make them slower and other than making measurements to confirm the changes, the committee was not in a position to model the boat to determine the actual impact - want to play that game then there are other rating rules for you.

Last page lists a 6-second/mile penalty for use of an asymmetrical chute on a boat that was designed for a symmetric chute. At least this is one data point and a starting place. You will need to talk with your own PHRF governing body that may come up with a different number or not allow it.

Is it worth 6 seconds? Hard to say. You carry that penalty all the time upwind and down. Most PHRF groups won't let you declare sails and change your rating for each event. If you always sail a lot of reaching legs - it might be worth it. I know a guy with an Olson 30 that converted to asymmetric and took the rating hit because it allowed him to sail short-handed with his family giving him more use of the boat.
Good luck.
Alan Shedd
S20 #568
Fleet 26, Lake Lanier, GA
Site Admin
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker is it class legal

Postby Skiemele » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:13 pm

I flirted with the idea of buying a J-92 for a while - which has an asym standard. I learned that PHRF ratings go lower if you use a symetrical spinnaker, the thought being that the symetrical can sail deeper.
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker is it class legal

Postby mckeever » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:33 am

Two comments:
1. A quick perusal of the class rules produced maximum dimensions and restrictions on the material that a spinnaker can be made of. I did not encounter anything that required the sail to be symmetrical, so an A-sail that measured within those maximums _should_ be class legal ???
2. I have a specially ordered, flatter-than-VMG spinnaker that we use pretty much all the time. Here in Colorado, the wind is shifty enough that the consistent dead-downwind leg is extremely rare.
| Mike McKeever - Santana 20 #713 "Feisty!" - Boulder, Colorado
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Re: Asymmetrical Spinnaker is it class legal

Postby AZExpedition » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:20 pm

In our backwater lake in AZ, my club measurer gave no penalty for using an asym vs a sym chute. We sail square corses, but I like the ease of the asym.
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