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Started by daryl_wilkinson, January 31, 2010, 03:47:27 PM

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This from 'Sailing Anarchy' item....

' The 29erXX was nearly selected for the upcoming Olympics despite the fact that, at present, it is not widely sailed nor widely available. Both advisory committees that are meant to choose the Olympic boats chose the 29erXX, and it was only the executive committee that overruled them by merely one vote. '

Was that really the way it played out? Be interesting to hear from them that was at the trials.


Yes I saw this too.

That's not what I remember, nor what is found in the various minutes of the various committees which met to discuss the topic.

The trials were not held to choose a womens olympic high performance doublehander class. They were held to assess whether the equipment existed for there to be a high performance womens event at the 2012 games. The answer from the organising committee was 'yes'. The ISAF technical committee passed this on to ISAF, but the womens high performance event was never adopted for the 2012. There was quite an outcry at the time.

No event, and therefore no vote on which class to choose.


So this is spin?

Nice touch with the pinks sails though, they sure are making a concerted effort to bag that place at 2016.


Could be spin. It has the air of advertorial, which is exactly the kind of thing that SA was set up to get away from.


Both committees selected the 29erXX!  That stinks of spin that would even make Alistair Campbell blush.  Perhaps they'd like to publish any such document to back it up?  As I recall the only thing the 29er did consistently was break and get towed in.


It was the 29erXX which broke on two days. One was a gnav problem. Don't remember the other problem.


Well those 9er boys and girls don't seem to have the same memory of the events that you guys have....


Probably because I don't think that anyone writing that report or sailing that regatta was at the trials.  A case of SMOD Chinese whispers, if porkies are told on a global scale there is always someone who will believe it or pass it on with embelishment.  The marine folk mythological equiv of the dog that choked on the burglars fingers. 

If the class is soooo successful what do the new boat sales and national numbers look like or how many bring their own boats to the nationals?  It doesn't take much to scratch below that micro vaneer of marketing.


Ahh, now I get it.  Would this have anything to do with marketing departments blagging event sponsors?


Is this driven by a pocket of the class! in the states or the builders?

Thinking back to the original concept of having a womens 2 person skiff in the olympics if the cherub was sellected the sailors could be required to build at least 60% of their boat. That would create a good ballance between construction time, sailing time and reliability and bring the dinghy park to life with the sound of drills and the smell of resin after racing.


Quote from: phil_kirk on February 01, 2010, 01:15:48 PM
Is this driven by a pocket of the class! in the states or the builders?

As far as I can see there are no significant pockets of the class anywhere... About all they've managed to do so far is flog off second hand rigs cheap after publicity events. So presumably it must be the builders and their mates. 

Ben Howett


This what Julian B said on Sailing Anarchy...

"Hi Guys, the facts, (don't let them get in the way of a good story)


If you go to ISAF ( and pull down the minutes of the Madrid 2009 conference you will find that:-

Women's Committee, 4. (a), (ii) you will see it's recommendation for a number of "disciplines" one being double handed women and its recommendation is the 29erXX over the 470 (interestingly the chairwoman (Adrian Greenwood NZL) asked one delegated not to vote due to conflict of interest)

Events Committee, agenda item 3. (a) is the report from the various committees, inc the Events and Equipment working parties and the recommendation is the 29erXX over the 470W, The Events committee's vote/decision 3. (cool.gif recommends to council a number of classes, the class it recommends for the double handed women's slot is the 29erXX.

Then at Council, 15. (e) (ii) Vote #2 they voted for the 470 over the 29erXX 19-16 thereby staying with the status quo and over turning the decision of all their previous committees.

This is not new, and they have every right to do so, it's happened before and it will happen again.


Re the 29erXX outside ISAF, last year every rig from the Garda Worlds event was pre-sold that was 15+ rigs
The subsequent Garda event in Sept (?) due to the success of the Worlds again all the rigs where pre-sold, think that was 10+.
Most of these rigs have gone to Germany, the rest are scattered across Europe, Italy, Spain, France and Scandinavia, 2 went to USA
There is an event on now in Miami, my understanding is most of those rigs are also spoken for (another 10)

There have been around 80 rigs sold, (1/2, as above, last year) all but 2-3 of those have been people upgrading std 29ers. Interestingly the 29erXXs sold as 29erXXs (not upgrades) sold into interesting places like Turkey, Singapore and China.

Why the slow start! Now some of you are really going to dis-agree with me here, but I happen to be male! After Hyeres we had a lot of interest, (those rigs all went also) but a group of those girls got together and asked us if we could do a number of things to the boat to make it better, to make it more user friendly to women, and made the point that "I was good, but I was not female". It was a very interesting form of "pull marketing". One of the biggest proponents of this was Jen Morgan-Glass from Seattle who is now the president of the 29er World Class Association! She sailed both 470s and 29erXX in Miami (along with 5o5s in SFO a few months back). And there are now a raft of Olympic women literally defying their coaches and in some cases sneaking out to sail a 29erXX.

I could list all of those requests those girls made, but if I had to pick one, probably the most interesting is that 29er is in fact a tad bigger than an I14 but it's perceived as being tiny. When we looked at this very carefully to find out why, the tube gunwale extension did not have enough mass and the tiller projecting into the cockpit were deemed big issues, so we changed the tubes to FRP laminates and had a couple of goes at rudder frames till we got it right. Some like it, some do not, but the perception that it is too small has gone away!

An interesting aside to that is people are asking if they can modify their 29er so they can switch between the 2 modes fast, making the rudder frame more pin on, pin off, faster. Had a long conversation with a man in Spain this morning, about just that, boat is getting used 6-8 hours a day, he is switching between the 2 so his older daughter can sail XX while his younger boy is still doing 29ers. Love it!

But what we all need to remember is boat size/length is very dependant on crew weight, if you have a big boat, you need a big crew, little boat you need a little crew or dare I say little all up weight. 49er floats 290kgs, 29er floats 224kgs and a moth floats 110kgs. And yes a Laser floats 160kgs, but a Laser cant handle the power or the rigging loads that a 29er (or a moth) can, regardless of whether it is rigged with a 29er Std rig or a 29erXX rig.

So the 29erXX is for people of a given stature, not of a given sex. All up combined weight I'm guessing of 120-135kgs (265-300lbs). In short, the 29erXX is for lighter crews that want to play in skiffs. Male or female!

The boys in the 49er class are hoping for a lot of females, but they are boys and I'm married so I'm not allowed an opinion! In Miami its very mixed, FF, FM and MM. (go and see 49er class wants to adopt the 29erXX class, so has Seiko, the 49ers sponsor! They are actively scheduling XX events with every 49er event. Most of the 49er boys carry the girls' 29erXXs to regattas, its great.

So where we are today is that we are making 1 final change that will hold the price down, we have substituted an expensive component for one that we already use on the 49er/29er which has proven itself (you sometimes wonder why you do these stupid things)! I expect a report some time today on that and am poised to push the button. 99% of you wont even pick it other than the boat will remain very cost effective.

We have quite a few 29erXX rigs presently on order, some of the rigs from Miami may fill those slots, some will be new rigs going to new regions like South America. I am aware that some clubs in the US want to buy a couple, again, I'm expecting Miami to fill some of those, but like the Garda situation, we will run out of charter rigs pretty damn fast.

Someone before alluded to the fact that 29er's last! This is intentional, it's our design philosophy, and now some of the big European MNA's have picked up on this and asked quite specific requests of us WRT the 29er and the 29erXX as part of their plans.

2010 or dare I say - 20X - I expect to be a big year for the XX, lots of events are happening, and I expect a lot of conversions."

Julian Bethwaite


So they decided they needed a pinned gantry. humm! where have we seen those before?

The marketing benifit is obviously a common hull as is most of the kit. 

With support of the 49ers who appear to have realised that this is the only way to get a mixed class, they should do ok.


We should keep an eye on 29er XX developments though.

The 'halo' effect could be good for us? Exposing more lightweight sailors to 2 strings with the opportunity of migration to a similar class for those into 'development'. I would countenance that with caution though. It could drag 'wavering' class membership in there direction. To a more sail-able class. So I think we should be keeping an eye on our on development to make sure we don't push new ideas to extreme's, making the boats even harder to sail. With the resultant bad rep. Consolidation is the name of the game.

And yes I have said that we shouldn't be banning 'Fully foiling' and this could be classed as extreme development. But the lessons learned from the 'R's would suggest that it makes the boats easier to sail. Given that the launch and recovery hurdle can be dealt with it.

Which leads me to the E6. The extreme fine bows suggest to me a very difficult boat to sail in any breeze, in a conventional sailing form. Which would in my view start to take us toward the wrong end of difficulty spectrum, if class growth is an ultimate goal. Given the specter of the 29erXX. On the other hand if the intention with the E6 is to 'fully foil' ( and given the boats lines and Kevin and Mikes involvement in that area it's a reasonable assumption to make ) this could be a perfect solution to the looming class competition posed by the 29erXX....