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Home >> General Discussion >> Equalisation Rule Change Vote!
18/12/2015 22:01:32

Clare Sargent
Posts: 674
All International and UK RS700 Class Association Members are being asked to vote whether they would like to adopt the proposed adjustment to the equalisation method rules.  Each RS700 Class Association member will be sent an individual email to ask them to vote.

You can only vote if you are an RS700 Class Association member. To become an RS700 Class Association member join online at: http://uk.rs700.org/index.asp?selection=Membership&Fleet=RS700

Please find attached three documents which you should read in order to reach an informed decision on whether the rules need to be changed.

The first document is a background explanation by your RS700 Class Association Chairman Richard Wadsworth:

The second document is the argument for the proposed change:

The third document is the argument for no change:

A "yes" vote is a vote to implement the proposed changes to the equalisation method rules. So it is "yes" for change.

A "no" vote is a vote to keep the current equalisation method rules and make no change. So it is "no" for no change.

RS700 Class Association members need to email me Clare Sargent their decision stating "yes" or "no" by Monday 18 January 2016 to: [email protected]

In order for change to be made to the RS700 equalisation system an amendment has to be made to the RS700 rules. This requires a majority vote of the relevant members of the Class Association who return written replies within one month of the circulation of the proposed rule change.

The proposed rule change is being circulated today Friday 18 December 2015. The closing date for the written reply is therefore Monday 18 January 2016. An email response counts as a written reply.

Please see RS Class Association Rules at: http://www.rssailing.org/docs/Class%20Rules%20V%202%207_11.pdf
Please see RS700 Class Association Rules at: http://www.rssailing.org/docs/RS700%20Class%20Rules%20-%20v6_3%2011.pdf

If you are a member please vote. If you are not a member but want to influence the future of the RS700 fleet please take out RS700 Class Association membership and go ahead and vote.

I look forward to reading your decision and then publishing the RS700 Class Association decision.

Best wishes

18/12/2015 22:11:01

Posts: 0
Maybe when people vote they should express their intentions if they intend to stay in the class or go to events if it doesn't go the way they voted. I just wonder if there is a chance that the class is about to shoot itself in the foot.

19/12/2015 19:35:13

Posts: 25

Hi all,


I’ve read the proposal and documents, both for, and against a rule change to the equalization system. Speaking as a light weight at 70Kg, I consider myself a little light for the boat but really enjoy the 700 and I’m lucky enough to have Jerry to sail against (gain tips from – greatly appreciated) so can judge my performance. I’m currently sailing on hole 7, should be hole 8 but need to buy new inner rack tubes as my boat 811 is older and doesn’t have a hole 8. I also sail with intermediate bars and 6kg of corrector weights.


At my weight I’m always going to have to depower first upwind in the stronger pressure but don’t want to see a rule change as I don’t think it will be good for the class as a whole and I certainly don’t want to have to carry an additional 3Kg making 12Kg total. Has there ever been a suggestion that we shouldn’t carry corrector weights at all? The lighter people in the class outside the equalization are always going to be disadvantaged with the righting moment, will always be depowering first but we have to lug around dead weight as well……just a thought.



20/12/2015 13:07:57

Posts: 0
Shoot itself in the foot?  Can you explain.

20/12/2015 13:09:37

Posts: 0
For you it would be no change.  Hole 8 and 12kg of correctors as per the current rules. 

21/12/2015 16:14:13

Posts: 0
If the vote goes through, then the heavyweights will be sailing on hole zero, with less speed, less height and less fun. I've tried hole zero at the weekend and I can't get the stable 'one foot in' position and its not a boat I want to sail. It's uncomfortable. Let's call it a RS700-0
I didn't realise when i joined the class it was possible for a proposed vote to radically change my sailing experience of the boat to something horrible. The vote seems to be in place to make a few people at the top the fleet on both sides of the argument happy. I feel that the vote that benefits mainly the top mid-weights is in danger of alienating all the heavyweight sailors in the wider class and rule the class out for anyone over 100kg as they won't want to sail the RS700-0.
Why would anyone pick a RS700-0 as a class to join? Does the RS700 start at hole 1 as the designers though this was the best place? So yes, the 'yes' vote will make it fairer not by making the boat more inclusive but by excluding the heavyweights who will leave the class or not attend events as it is so horrible to sail the RS700-0. Then of course, all club racers, who don't attend events and are not even RS members, who didn't witness some of the personality arguments at successive AGMs, will also now be subjected to the new rules to be able to compete in handicaps in their RS700-0. Is anyone new in the RS700 going to bring a RS700-0 to an event? I suggest unlikely.
It is well known I am not a serious racer and not a great sailor but maybe that let's me see the whole class without thinking about how I can personally increase my racing results to the detriment of the enjoyment of others in the wider class. I really, really, don't care if I am disadvantaged in races by any changes but as you may have worked out, I am very upset that the bickering at the top of the fleet could change my enjoyment of the class if I am forced to sail a RS7000 to attend events.

21/12/2015 18:08:57

Matt Conner
Posts: 18
I also agree that the boat wouldn't be as good to sail on a narrower setting than the current hole 1.    
Having sailed my boat on hole 1 for racing and occasionally holes 2 and 3 for fun, I know that the narrower the wings get the less skiff like the boat feels to sail, it trips over itself more and digs the rear quarters on tacks.  I'm not sure why, perhaps the elevation the wider racks gives makes a difference. 
Whilst sailing yesterday I had hole 0 on my mind and I believe it would accentuate this and even worse, make it difficult to put one foot on the gunwhale when you need it for stability or in marginal conditions.  It would also make sitting on the rack awkward, you'd have your feet on the other side of the boat.  When sailing in wave your feet will also be closer to the water.  As Adrian points out the boat was designed with a minimum rack position and I'm sure ergonomics would have played a part in this.
Whilst the current equalisation has it's boundaries, it does cater for a pretty broad range.  Historically people of all weight ranges did well.  They were united by practice more than pies.  We've had some bigger boys doing well recently, but they do happen to be talented and well practiced. 

21/12/2015 19:05:51

Posts: 0
Thanks Matt.
I think you captured it when you said that the RS7000 just isn't very skiff like. Like you, I tend to sail on Hole 2 if I'm not racing just because it vastly more fun than hole 1 especially upwind although I do worry about the top of the mast in big gusts.
The change in the RS7000 is more radical than just being out on the rack. I have only just got the trick of landing on the rack to pump the boat away from irons on a tack in gusty weather. The landing target in the RS7000 is now significantly decreases and so is the leverage for the pump (I haven't seen any calculations for anyone inboard of the boat). The RS700 on hole 1 was pretty narrow for a lump like me anyway but now, i have to crunch up to sit on the rack; in waves, I'm more likely to fall out of the boat; the nice bum locking  gap is now missing; you pretty much have to step out in one go which is just about Ok for me as I'm 6'4" but there are going to be a few RS7000 sailors with shorter legs; there is no sensible marginal trapezing stance - you have to be in or out of the boat etc,etc.
If the little people want to try hole 0, remember us big people tend to have big feet and thick legs so I can't wire anywhere near flat and get more than my heel on the side of the boat. It just isn't going to work in waves.


21/12/2015 20:45:40

Hamish Griffiths
Posts: 37

Have we seen the proposed rack position chart? Could someone post a link if I have missed it?


21/12/2015 21:00:40

Posts: 0
I've assumed since all the distances of the other holes are equal that Rack hole 0 is the same distance from hole 1 as hole 1 is from hole 2. 

21/12/2015 22:21:17

Richard Wadsworth
Posts: 64
Adrian, Hamish,
It's my understanding that Hole zero would be the same distance in as hole 1 is to hole 2.  I've asked Alex if he can post the proposed tables.

21/12/2015 22:30:01

Posts: 0
Richard, I also assume that someone big like yourself or Alex S has actually be out and done some proper sailing with the racks on hole zero?
Assuming that everyone wants fairer racing, is there anyone that will fall in hole zero that likes the idea of sailing such a different boat?

21/12/2015 23:52:08

Posts: 25
If you'd like to see out of control come down to Cornwall when it's blowing 18+kts ( or even 13) and watch me as a lightweight downwind with the kite! just leave me enough room to have a swim at the gybe!! 

Maybe I could expand my racks even further.....hole 10??? I'm thinking of taking up long distance running in preparation for tacking!!

Chris ;) 

22/12/2015 07:15:51

Posts: 25

22/12/2015 09:42:00

Posts: 0
I do agree it would be good to hear from any of those that were involved in trying the various options that led to these proposals.

22/12/2015 13:07:25

Alex Reid
Posts: 31
I would certainly think it would not be much fun sailing the boat upwind in waves with hole zero and also intermediately downwind with one foot on the hull etc as previously mentioned. With hole 1 upwind in waves (maybe it's just me!) I find that the odd large wave tugs on my feet/ankles every now and then and hole zero would be a nightmare! I think gybing/tacking would be significantly harder in big breeze as well with landing on the new windward rack and not having as much leverage.
Agree with previous comments, need to have some facts sailing with hole zero.

22/12/2015 14:28:16

Posts: 0



Interesting to hear the different view points on this.
I sail on rack 1 at the moment. I am 6'3" and 90+kg (probably nearer 100 after Xmas!). I agree that even on hole 1 it can be quite difficult to get one foot on the side of the hull and sailing on rack 0 would bring even further issues. From my experience of sailing all boats, sailing at minimum weight is always preferable to sailing with extra weight. Now I appreciate the addition of lead weights negates this advantage to a degree and this is probably why the 700 is appealing to heavier sailors as they are not at a disadvantage as much in lighter winds. All boats will have an optimum weight range and the weight equalisation system widens this range in the 700. I would say between 70-100kg and you are going to be competitive. The fact is lighter sailors will have an advantage in light winds and heavy sailors in heavy winds. Anything above about 15knts of breeze and it becomes more about boat handling and getting round the corners without swimming and weight becomes less relevant. We all come in different sizes and we will all have favourable conditions for our size. I cant actually see the need to change anything. If you are too light for the boat, changing the boat to compensate will upset others, if you are too heavy the same applies. When I first got the 700 I looked at the Musto Skiff as well but was put off by the fact that it seemed to favour a lighter person. I bought the boat that best suited me. Changing that now seems to be removing its USP. As you will gather I am not in favour of any change, it is what it is and it does a pretty good job at it. Why try to turn it into something else?  

22/12/2015 17:27:56

Posts: 4
Simon Letten sailed on hole 0 vs me (Ian Swann) on hole 4 (85kg) and Richard Kennedy (75kg) on hole 10.  Simon was equal speed and reported no major issues in being 100mm inboard of his native hole 1.  We also had a well sailed MPS as a benchmark and the performance was very equal.
We subsequently shelved the hole 9, 10 & 11 proposal due to technical and marketing constraints.
Please remember that the proposal is to apply the same formula to the widest range of sailors.  This is not an anti heavy weight witch hunt.
Those sailing on hole 0 will still have 33% more leverage than the difference in their height / weight ration to lighter sailors.
Ian S.

22/12/2015 17:41:04

Posts: 4
Hi Chris
The basic philosophy of the RS700 is that we have adjustable width to compenesate lighter / shorter sailors for less corrected righting moment (CRM) by allowing them to sail a wider boat.  The flip side of the coin is that we ask lighter sailors to carry lead proportional to the additional righting moment and to bridge the gap to the heavier sailors who form the weight datum.
This is Perfomance Compensation.
 - without an equal balance of width and weight you would unfairly advantage the lighter sailors in sub design winds (about 9 knots)
The RS800 has a 100% model where you carry equal weight to the heaviest crew in the datum range and go wider until all crews have the same nominal CRM.  This is called Weight Equalisation and is well accepted to work very effectively for the RS800.
Ian S.

22/12/2015 18:15:18

Posts: 0


Firstly, I am going to declare my personal interest in this discussion.  I donít have an axe to grind in either direction, Iím cool which ever way this goes, over the years the equalisation system has worked for me. However, my observations are that I am more likely to enjoy the company of the heavier folk while on the race course than the lightweights.

 Alex or RS do not really want to steer this rule change in a particular direction but Alex has said he will respond following the concerns about the practicality of sailing off hole 0. I understand that this option had been fully tested over the 2013/14 winter (by a number of people including Alex) and before these proposals were put to the meeting in Weymouth. It was considered fine. From memory I think he said that he did not really notice the difference. While you are considering how sailing off hole 0 might effect you consider for a second those folk who sail off hole 7 or 8.
 The USP of the RS700 apart from the fact itís a fine boat is that the performance equalisation or compensation system (or whatever is your preferred description) creates a reasonably level playing field for those folk within the 75 -93kg range (apologies for repeating what you may already have read). However, for those folk above 93kg the equalisation system fails to work in the same way, and the heavier you are the more ineffective the system becomes.
 What this proposal is about is making the system effective for all those that currently sail the boat (or as many as possible). Its not about turning it into something else, its about bringing it back to what it was when it all started and when it was the preferred choice in its category.
 The changes being proposed are relatively small, its just a hole in either direction and 3kg more lead (I acknowledge added weight is not a good thing, but its in the interest of fairness). I am guessing in terms of how these changes would effect each of us individually we will not notice the difference, but bringing everyone within the equalisation range will bring us all a little closer at least in term of the physics. Having said that I tries hole 3 last week (normally on hole 2) and I fell through the gap twice Ė donkey!
 Actually I was wrong, I do do have personal interest. I want the RS700 to appeal to as many people as possible regardless of how these changes (or not) might effect me personally. If the majority like it the way it is and more importantly think its good for the class then that is the way it should stay.


23/12/2015 09:52:45

Posts: 0
First of all, thanks for putting up with me. I apologise for getting rather carried away and silly. I hope I havenít offended anyone and Iíve moderated my previous posts..

This has brought out some useful opinions rather than just the equalisation proposals and counter etc which are rather chewy. I know those sort of things are very hard to write.

I fully understand what Jerry, Ian, Simon and by proxy Alex are saying about hole 0 and added lead. Iím sure for the top 10 boats in the class, every cm on the rack and kg of lead make the difference in places. But I feel that you donít actually represent the majority of RS700 sailors at a club level. You are the top 10, national champions, european champions, boat designers etc.

There seems to be incredible focus on making another inch on the boat in front and that it is so sure that just the righting effect and weight that makes all the difference between every boat in the class other than sailing skill. It also seems to assume that every RS700 sailor that wants to race wants a fairer playing field regardless of how that affects the sailing experience of the class we chose to join.

I would understand it all more if there were many RS700 only races at lots of clubs but of course, as a class we are struggling with numbers to just to run events. The vast majority of racing is in club handicap racing. If the proposal goes through, there will be many of us if we chose to apply the rules that will suddenly be handicapped further against other classes we race against week in and week out and we will be out in boats that are less exciting to sail, more difficult to sail or carrying yet more lead.

I think the RS700 will continue to be is very bias to the heavyweights in a blow if you are not in the top division, just like every other sailing dinghy with a bit of power in the rig. Righting the the thing without extended racks to climb over;not having hole 8 racks dragging in the water if you heel; getting back in; being able to right it with most of the kite up or with a mast full of water; the additional stability a pile of pies gives when hosting or dropping the kite; gives us big boys an advantage when things start to get exciting.

Then at the club level, when lightweights in lasers are winning in a zephyr, what do we do in the RS700? We give our lightweight helms more lead to carry. We slow the lightweights down so again they are less competitive in club handicap racing when the vast majority of classes find a degree of equalisation by the variance in sailing conditions.

And finally back to hole zero, yes, if you are in the top of fleet and possibly the closest we get to in the fleet to being a professional sailor, i guess you donít need to find a position to cling onto in a swell. That you can constantly adjust your trapeze height while sailing so you can accommodate the lack of marginal trapezing positions. And your tacks and gybes are spot on you donít need to throw yourself on the rack.

So maybe we are now at a point to vote and everyone needs to decide if they are interested in the absolute fairness between RS700 boats at the top of the fleet at class events or if the existing rule represent the best we do without affecting the weekly sailing experience of a range of club sailors while still making it an attractive and exciting class to a mixture of potential RS700 sailors.

24/12/2015 17:04:36

Richard Wadsworth
Posts: 64
Adrian, Hamish,
It's my understanding that Hole zero would be the same distance in as hole 1 is to hole 2.  I've asked Alex if he can post the proposed tables.

29/12/2015 18:03:45

Posts: 0
Those in favour of the change seem to be keeping quiet - so I will share my thoughts.
I would absolutely love to take my boat to Garda and race there, but won't as the way things stand, feel I will not be competitive with those outside of the equalisation system - which is a significant percentage of the fleet (in my view anyway). In the prevailing breezes in Garda, the disadvantage to me, is just so overwhelming.
I also feel significantly disadvantaged when it is over 10 knots though advantaged (to a lesser extent) under 10 knots. So for me it makes complete sense to extend the equalisation to cover more of the fleet. 
Re sailing the boat on hole zero, I think it would be much more preferable than sailing it on hole 8, however I am not on either ends of the spectrum.
Re putting in extra lead - it seems a small price to pay to extend the level playing field to extend the equalisation to the vast majority of the fleet, especially as it is probably a maximum 2% of the all up weight and will only cover a very small minority.
Anyway, please don't take offence at my comments they are my very personal view, which I understand will probably differ to those adversely affected by the rules.

30/12/2015 11:27:00

Alex Newton-southon
Posts: 11
Hi all hope you had a good christmas and preparing for the new year.
Attached is a link for the proposed equalisation chart on http://www.rssailing.org/docs/Revised_rack_position_Dec_2015.pdf
For most, there is not a significant change. This is very much evoluation rather than revoulution!
The reason why we were down this route is because of the concensus at this years AGM.  In the past this has always been a heated topic due to the change in demographic of the sailors over recent years, so the equalisation system should be brought in line to mirror this. 
Personally I see the change as quite minor, and pehaps towards the correct direction of todays demographic however, with both proposals it will be clear after this vote where the concensous lies.
I have sailed the boat on hole 0,  I personally felt the ergonmics was fine, in fact, we even experimented on hole -1 which was also fine. However, we felt this was step too far (no pun intended!!). For your info the hole spacing going in is equal as the holes going out.
Any questions please drop me a line.
Have a good New Year all

31/12/2015 14:26:29

Posts: 0
I hope you had a good Christmas and all looks good for the new year.
I hear what you say.  I just thought it was worth pointing out that the only reason we are having this discussion is because this topic has been raised many times over the years and the majority at the meeting in Plymouth two years ago thought that it was worth spending time and effort to trial some options, so trails were untaken.  The majority of those at the meeting at Weymouth in August thought it was worth putting a proposal to a vote, so time and effort was spent getting to this point.
It's not about what I, Simon or Ian think, its about the class association responding to the wishes of the class meeting (see AGM minutes). 
My out-take from the class meeting was that the majority agreed that the weight equalisation system was a very good thing and the "principle" of it being adjusted to cover the current sailing population also had to be a good thing.  Had the majority said we like it the way it is, that would have been the end of it (at least for another year).
I accept that when folk consider how the changes will effect them, views change and I respect that.
This is all about creating a level playing field for class racing (as opposed to handicrap racing) and I don't think the class association should be apologetic about that.
The class association is simply trying to ensure (as asked for by the class meeting) that the class appeals to as many people as possible.  Maybe, ask not what the class can do for you but what you can do for the class - just a thought.

31/12/2015 15:29:32

Posts: 0
Thanks Jerry.
I don't think we disagree and i've apologised for getting carried away. I take the point about class racing vs handicap. As far as pure equalisation, I probably have the least to moan about as I think i'll still be outside the equalisation even on hole0. I just think it takes away some of the character of the boat that i joined the class to sail. I will also agree that if I was anywhere near the front then maybe I would be voting to make racing fairer and hence more fun for that set of sailors.
I take on board what you mean about the 'good of the class' but it will come down whether the changes are something each individual is happy to continue with. I bet if you map the individual votes against the equalisation of each member they will correlate with the no votes on the the ends of the distribution. 
I suspect that anyone who was going to vote has already done so. Whatever the vote is then fine, that is what the class wants to do and no one can argue about it any longer. One can put up with it, change class or just sulk in a boat if we don't like the results.

06/01/2016 00:13:24

Ian Nolan
Posts: 143
I have to say my concerns are more about the motivation behind the changes and the impact of the proposed implementation. I'd personally be very happy to be in range again. 

Happy New Year to you all. 


07/01/2016 19:31:21

Michal Kotek
Posts: 2
Opinion of Czech RS700 fleet on the proposed adjustment to the equalization method rules:
Dear Sailors and Representatives of the RS700 Association,
The RS700 fleet is successfully growing in the Czech Republic as youth sailors join the class. Currently we have 30 boats, 17 of which took part in the last national cup regatta and 20 in the last Czech national championship. The Europeans in Carnac last year it was too difficult for us to reach as the regatta was organized too early in the season.
As for our sailors, they have already participated in international regattas such as the 2013 Europeans in Aquavitasee and the 2012 Europeans at Garda lake. (David Krizek, Milan Hajek, Radek Dlouhy, Jakub Kosvica). During that winter 6 new sailors joined the  RS700 class. They are interested in sailing in a large fleet and also competing with our top Czech sailors. They especially enjoy sailing on our fast and light performance skiff - RS700. As for the proposed rule change, we are worried because we want to keep them called ďlightĒ skiffs. 
Members of Czech RS700 association discussed the proposed changes and came to a unanimous conclusion which are as follows:
First of all, we highly dislike the idea of adding weight correctors to the boats. We have amazing boats which we are supposed to voluntarily hinder? Leave the lead for the weight lifters and keel boats! Adjust the bar instead of putting the weight correctors. It is more fair for everybody.  Iíve read the same opinion also from some UK sailors. Our entire fleet supports this idea.
Adding the hole 0 Ė only one or two sailors in our fleet race are sailing with racks on hole 1. They would probably fit the 96kg limit so they would not be forced to sail at hole 0. But who knows what winter will do with theirs body weight. Winter is the main reason why we are not able to test sailing on hole 0. When we read the comments from colleagues in the UK who tested this set up we worry that  their enjoying sailing on RS700 did not grow. It looks conversely. We cannot allow that, if we want to help our class to be open for all weight types. We are more afraid of the shift of the rack table to heavier weights. Our fleet contains many sailors who weigh 74kg to 79kg. We cannot imagine it because their equalization will be almost out. We need present 	range of the equalization to keep fair racing for the main part of our fleet, especially for young newcomers.
We appreciate the efforts by the international association to keep our boats attractive, fun, pleasant and fair for each and every sailor. We are also glad about the discussion being opened up to other countries in which we can get their ideas for proposed changes.We understand that the profile of UK sailors could be a different from our Czech sailors, or from sailors in other countries, where we are trying to expand our class. (Germany, Austria, Italy, Netherland, etc.) Heavier sailors will always benefit from strong wind while light sailors benefit from a light wind. Present equalization method for racks setting more or less corrects that premise. The proposed change might cause more problems than it solves. Maybe a couple of sailors would feel less disadvantaged with the new rules, but this change would also destroy the fun of sailing for heavy sailors on hole 0. As we mentioned above, change would not help to our younger and lighter sailors. They will have minimal compensation on the low weight range. And they would be forced to make breakneck maneuvers on extremely retracted racks. That will not attract them to enter our fleet. If we were to add leaden correctors we would have to sail a tugboat instead of our already perfect skiff. No one is interested in it. Due to this, people will start to use the RS700ís rival, the Musto skiff instead. Your proposed method may create a disadvantage for our class. We do not want to be just negating. We would like to be more involved in the association management and influence class growth! We would like to offer to the RS700 worldwide sailors to organize the European championship 2017 in the Czech republic!
On behalf of the Czech RS700 fleet
Michal Kotek
Czech RS700 sailor
Vaclav Brabec
President of Czech RS association
Jan Myslik

07/01/2016 19:55:17

Posts: 1
Please allow me to add my input from Dubai.
I know Alex and co from the days of the 600 (had two of them) and over the past 15 years have really enjoyed two Mustos and two 700s- both of which I have raced at Garda, etc. 
The Musto and the 700s have different strengths in different conditions - lets leave that for a different thread.
Regarding weight equalisation we all know that the 700, 800, 4000, etc are all "partially" equalised. The advantage is that it SOMEWHAT equalises the difference in morphology between different drivers. It is well known that 100% equalisation is just impractical.
The rule change will slightly extend the partial equalisation range, but at a cost - extra weight for the light sailors, and narrower wings for the tall sailors.
Personally, I really enjoy sailing the 700 with no weight (I still cannot  understand why any sane person would add lead to a carbon masterpiece?) 
More importantly, for the lighter sailors, the wider and wider wing settings are, in themselves, quite a penalty. In tacks or gybes it is quite simply a longer way to travel and  requires much more effort getting in and out. I have experimented with various wing settings over here, and the optimum width for blasting around the Gulf seems to be about hole 4.
Anyway I would like to suggest that LDC undertake a serious study of the current equalisation. My personal feeling is that the advantages of equalisation may be over rated, and the 700 would be a much better sail / race for all with only wing settings adjustments.

13/01/2016 11:52:34

Cedric Fraboulet
Posts: 1
Dear RS700 Sailors,
Over the last few days, on the breizhskiff.com website forum where the French RS skiff sailors meet we’ve been discussing the proposed vote on the weight equalisation system. Every French skiff sailors, RS or not, every French RS700 sailors (even those who are not members of the international class association) have been able to give their opinion. Then I asked the RS700 French sailors who were in Carnac and who are members of the international class association to vote.

The result is the following:
Yes: 3
Abstain: 1
No: 2

We can make further comments on this vote:
    •    Everybody debated but only the class association members voted. However like our Czech counterparts we wish we could be more involved in the management of the RS700 class association. We’ll try to convince all the French RS700 sailors to become member of the class association because that’s the only way to do it. That’s why for the moment only the class association members vote must be taken into account.
    •    To vote on the proposed evolution of the equalisation rule change, we do think it is important to take into account and respect the former decisions of the class association: we can understand the sailors who would like to give up the weight equalisation and to only keep the righting moment equalisation through the wings adjustment but this is not the question for the moment. It could be an option in the future (who knows) but this is absolutely not what we are asked to vote for. We are asked to vote for an evolution of the equalisation rule not a radical change, we are asked to adapt our boat to the evolution the morphologic characteristics of the population, not only the morphologic characteristics of the RS700 sailors but also the entire population.  And if we consider the former decisions of the class association there was a majority in favour to keep the weight equalisation and the CRM equalisation. Then how can we be against the proposed evolution?
    •    Although there are 2 votes in France against the proposed vote, it has to be noticed that every French RS Sailors want to keep the equalisation system in the class. At the moment it’s not an option for the French RS 700 Sailors to imagine an RS700 without this system. It’s part of the philosophy of the boat, this is why some us elected to sail this boat instead of the Musto.
    •    As a consequence those in favour of the proposed equalisation rule change would like to mention, it could be dangerous for the development of the boat if the RS700 would only be a 90 kilos and over sailors boat. This is why some of us think it’s important to vote yes.
    •    Even if there is a majority in France among the class association members to vote yes, we would like to point out the price of the corrector weight: it’s just incredible and unacceptable to pay 140 Euros for 3 kilos of lead. Is there a mistake on the RS Sailing online store??? Is it a joke?

This was the result of the French vote and its explanation.
I’d like then to give my personal point of view and why I’m going to vote yes!

I’ve been sailing the RS700 for 10 years now and I still enjoy it a lot. Having sailed the Laser 4000 before I must admit I’m a big fan of the crew weight and righting moment compensation system. Although it will never be perfect, all others things being equal (boat handling, tactic, strategy etc.) a compensation system really reduces the morphologic aspects.
- A combined crew weight and righting moment compensation is also a philosophy and not only a scientist dream: it aims at having the largest audience possible in a class. It’s a conception of equity and fair racing. It’s an inclusive philosophy not an exclusive one where sailing should only be a question of morphology. If we really want to develop the class we have to base our strategy on an inclusive mentality not an exclusive one.
- That’s why I do think when it technically possible the compensation system has to be improved. We shouldn’t leave anybody outside it all the more than it was said hole 0 was not a major problem whereas it is a technical problem to continue extending the wings for the lighter sailors. That doesn’t mean we should not think about a way to include lighter skiff sailors in the future (see below).
- If we don’t like this compensation system, nothing prevents us from moving to the other singlehanded skiff on the market. Besides I’m sure the RS700 won’t be the winner of the competition if the RS700 was to be an imitation of the other singlehanded on the market we all know. We need diversity on the market, not the same product for all from different builders.
- It would the same, a bad thing for the RS 700 development, if the RS700 was to be seen only as a big guys boat. I’m sure it is unfounded but when you look at the results and the sailors weight it’s hard to believe you can perform when you’re under let’s say 90 kilos. The compensation might be just an illusion but sometimes illusion is better than reality to build things.
- Some sailors opposed to the equalisation rule change told us the evolution of the compensation system would not change anything in the results. I’m sure they are right and that’s why they shouldn’t be afraid: just show us you’re the best whatever the compensation table is. Show us how false our illusions are.
- I could talk about my personal results in the Europeans I have entered over the last few years (4-3-4-5) and compare them to the weight of the men in front of me. I could, but I won’t, because it could give the impression I’m a frustrated by not being at least 8 kilos bigger and not being able to stay in contact upwind as soon as it’s over 10 knots even when I take the best start and would normally just have to control.
-I could just say I don’t want to take weight and I could remind you obesity is bad for health but some people could think I’m not kidding saying that.

As a conclusion, I am really convinced that we need to vote yes if we want to promote and develop the RS700 in the future. We have to keep and improve the compensation system to the evolution of the population rather than criticize it. It’s the identity and the specificity of the RS700.
An to finish by a dream : I would love RS Sailing to think about a major evolution of the RS700 in the future to take into account the light skiff sailors. I do think equalisation or compensation (a much more adapted word) is a good philosophy so why not think about extending it with a smaller mainsail to the 60-80 kilos sailors range with the same hull, the same mast etc. The RS Aero has shown the way and how fun it is to have a large diversity of sailors among a class. That’s only a dream for the moment. One class, 2 rigs, 2 equalisation systems and a range of sailors between 60 to 96 kilos.

PS. Please forgive my English.

14/01/2016 11:42:15

Clare Sargent
Posts: 674
Hello this is Clare the RS700 UK Class Association Secretary.
Thank you so much everyone from across the globe for your carefully considered views on the equalisation vote. 
Thank you to those RS700 Class Association members who have already voted.  If you haven't already voted please do so because I would really like everyone to have their say here. 
If you're not a member please do consider joining up so that your vote can be counted.
Very best wishes

22/01/2016 13:25:33

Clare Sargent
Posts: 674

RS700 Weight Equalisation System Vote Results


The RS700 Weight Equalisation System vote closed on 18 Jan 16. The “yes” vote was to accept the proposed changes to the weight equalisation system. The “no” vote was to continue with the current system. There was a 72% turnout of eligible voting members with the following result recorded:

Yes – 26% No – 74%


The full results are displayed at: http://www.rssailing.org/docs/RS700piechartpage.jpg


This means that the proposed change to the weight equalisation system was not supported and the current system as described in the Class Rules remains in force. All 2016 RS700 Calendar Events will therefore be raced using the existing system.


I would like to thank Ian Swann, Jerry Wales and Alex Newton-Southon for their considerable work developing the new proposal and to Clare Sargent for coordinating and administering the vote. Whilst I appreciate that a quarter of the fleet will be disappointed with this result, we need to recognise that we had a high turnout and a decisive result. I believe that the aspiration to bring more of the sailors within the weight equalisation system is still valid and certainly wasn’t the reason for its rejection. I suspect the proposed increase in boat weight and reduced rack width was unappealing to the majority of the Fleet. Whilst I don’t want to see an immediate re-run of the vote with a hastily modified proposal, I’ll be open to suggestions which may be more palatable for future consideration.


Cédric Fraboulet’s feedback from the French fleet mentioned that the system isn’t a “Weight Equalisation System”, but rather a “Weight Compensation System”. Having discussed this with Alex Newton-Southon (Builders Rep), we propose to start referring to the system as a “Weight Compensation System” from now on. While this won’t change anything physically, it will at least provide some “expectation management” as to what the system actually does.


I’d like to thank everyone for their engagement and careful consideration of this matter, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the water over the coming season. I’ll be releasing some good news shortly about the 2016 Calendar.



Richard Wadsworth

UK RS700 Class Association Chairman

21 Jan 16

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