Important new proposal for a 'Classic' variant within the World Sailing Regulations

A proposal for a Classic division at our World Championships

Dear sailors,

During the world-wide poll conducted in November 2016, more than half of the answers came from people with floating boats and not being sure if they want to buy a flying boat. The same majority asked for a "floating" category.

We have listened to your opinions and have now submitted a proposal to establish a "classic" discipline, within the World Sailing regulations. I recommend you to read the attached letter to understand the details of our proposal.

Your presidents have been informed about this possibility, it is now your turn to act: show support by e-mailing your presidents and requesting support of the proposal.

Kind regards,

Charles Bueche
IACA president
+41 79 330 00 70


It reads -

IACA, 25.4.2017

Dear Presidents of National Associations,

This year has seen a number of initiatives with rewrites of our class rules and championship rules. In the background the IACA committee has been looking at ways to keep our core “classic” members within the class.

Since the advent of the foiling boats, we have witnessed a decline in their numbers who have had many years in the class. A number of factors have contributed to this, cost of boats, rapid development and change, age and a desire to continue to sail the boat in a non-foiling mode (classic). We have seen breakaway classic groups formed, notably in Italy & France and many simply moving to other classes. We are a development class and we are at the forefront in the sailing world but we would not be here without these long term members.

Graeme Harbour has done a great bunch of work to identify the possibilities we have. A perusal of the World Sailing regulations and a number of emails to World Sailing has confirmed that it is possible for us to run a separate classic division on the basis of another class discipline (Regulation 25.2.5 (c)) within our World titles that is recognised in its own right and carries the title “ World Champion”.

There are some catches though:

  1. They must sail as a separate fleet.
  2. They must meet the minimum participation levels at World Championships i.e. Number of

    entries 25. Number of countries 5. Number of Continents 2. These numbers need to be met or exceeded in at least two of the next three championships for this division to continue and the minimum of 2 continents must be met each time.

The regulations state a separate fleet, nothing about a separate race. We see several possibilities to organize the fleets, here are a few examples how we could proceed, that could be adapted depending on the numbers. The important fact being, we do have 2 divisions racing.

  • Sub 100 boat fleet : the foilers start first, the classics say 5 minutes after with possibly less laps. No different to now, the same numbers of boats are on the course.
  • Over 100 boats (say 90 foilers, 40 classics) : two separate courses.
  • Over 100 boats (say 110 foilers, 30 classics) : qualifying series as now, classics start as one fleet in qualifying races then join onto silver fleet for remainder of series starting say 5 minutes after with possibly less laps.
  • From a logistic point of view very little extra work from what already required.
  • We cannot do anything about Sopot this year but will certainly recognise the classic boats at this regatta. Going forward over the following three years we have Australia, England & USA. Australia has confirmed that they are in a position to try this new format.
  • World Sailing has effectively agreed to a three year trial from the Australian Worlds. It’s now up to our Classic members to support this initiative for it to be able to continue. Without the participation numbers listed above it will not continue past this point.

It is proposed in terms of the IACA constitution rule 7.1.3 for this to be placed on the WGM agenda for discussion and a vote called by the Presidents at this time for the instigation of a three year trial basis.

Support of the proposal or questions should be addressed to Charles Bueche <>.

I hope you will support us on this very important project for the class ! Kind regards,

Signed : Charles for the IACA committee.

P.S. Some technical details about the implementation of the new division, that will need to be agreed upon in case the WGM agrees to the three year trial :

  • What constitutes a “classic” boat needs to be defined. It may be by an adaptation of the rules, e.g. “daggerboards should be of straight or constant curve section”, or a simple declaration signed at registration.
  • The naming of the divisions is as well worth a debate, but be aware that trying to change names from this involves changing everything, rules, constitution, championship rules, etc.
  • The boats might as well be marked by a specific sign in the clew of the sail, to allow competitors and official to distinguish them.

    In case of a positive vote during the WGM, a sub-committee will be nominated to define how to implement these aspects. We can go over the three year trial and refine the division details over time if needed.