Experimental Class Rules


In the interest of enhancing the safety, total cost effectiveness or the longevity of Albacores, the IRC may form time-to-time, issue experimental rules. These rules modify the normal class rules during the time of the experiment and allow those participating in the experiment to use equipment which comply with the conditions laid out in the experimental rule, but not otherwise allowed by the class rules. While the IRC intends to allow experimental equipment to be used in all events, a national Albacore organization may place limits on use at certain events under their jurisdiction.

At the end of the experimental period, the class may amend its rules to incorporate the experiment for permanent use, develop and adopt a modified rule to allow some aspects of the experiment, or it may do nothing in which case the experiment ends and the published class rules take precedence. Unless specifically allowed in a revision to class rules, non-conforming boats and equipment used during the experiment must not continue to be used after the experimental period expires. No experimental deviations shall be "grandfathered" or endorsed as an "acceptable non-compliance" on a measurement certificate. Owners who participate in an experiment bear all the cost and risk of the experiment

Current Experimental Class Rules

There are no current experimental rules.

Previous Experimental Class Rules

Experimental #1 Increase Jib Window Area

  1. Purpose of Experimental Jib Development To determine whether boat safety can be enhanced by increasing window area without increasing the sail cost or reducing sail life in any substantial way.
  2. Limitations on Development
    • 2.1 The IRC believes that the sail must be made of a soft, single ply woven material as the current rules permit. Mylar, carbon fibre material and batons are not permitted.
    • 2.2 The window material should not be closer than 150 mm to any edge of the sail. This follows the current rule.
    • 2.3 The IRC believes that the direction for development should be to relax the maximum on permitted window area and on the number of windows in the existing rules. It is recognized that typical jib window areas in currently produced sails are much smaller than currently permitted. Presumably this was the result of attempting to maintain sail shape with the window materials available. For the present experiments we think that the maximum combined window area should not exceed double the current maximum, 2 x 0.19 = 0.38 m2. Given the purpose of the experiments, it does not made sense to specify a minimum sail area at the moment but advice on this would be useful when the results of the experiments are considered. Existing sails must not be made obsolete by any rule change.
  3. Measurements and Documentation
    • 3.1 The sails built for these experiments shall be fully measured and satisfy the current rules except for the window provisions. Preferably, all these experimental sails should be measured by the same person who will keep the records.
    • 3.2 The experimental sails must be clearly marked near the clew with an X, not smaller than 100 mm in height, and signed and dated as usual but not endorsed on the owner's measurement certificate.
    • 3.3 A log book should be kept by the owner to record dates of sail usage, length of time and wind conditions.
    • 3.4 If any repairs or modifications are made to any of these experimental sails, these must be recorded on the measurement records or log book of the sail.
  4. Participation
    • 4.1 It is envisaged that there should be no limitations on the number of sailmakers or sails used in this study, commensurate with providing sufficient usage time for each sail to measure durability.
    • 4.2 The increased window area should have no effect on a sail's initial aerodynamic performance. Thus, experimental sails may be used in sanctioned events provided permission is requested and granted by the local organizing committee in advance of the event. The intent here is to publicize the experimental test program and maximize sail use while maintaining fair sailing.
  5. Evaluation of Experiments
    • 5.1 The sail makers, sail owners, measurers and the IRC shall be involved in the evaluation of the experiments.
    • 5.2 The sails must be re-measured with the results recorded and compared with the original measurements. Ideally, similar before and after measurements should be provided for current standard production sails to provide a baseline.
    • 5.3 The sail makers should provide their quantitative and qualitative evaluations of their experimental sails, make recommendations about preferred rule changes, and specify their sale price for the preferred design as compared with the price charged for current sails.
    • 5.4 The sail users should provide a written evaluation of the experimental sails, their performance and increased visibility in the sail log book.
    • 5.5 The reports of the sail makers, users and measurers should be forwarded to the IRC for study. After due consideration and discussion with individuals involved in the experiments as felt appropriate, the IRC will make recommendations for any required rule changes for approval as required by the IAA Constitution.

Note: It seems impractical to think that full testing, evaluation and the appropriate rule change recommendations can be completed before all of the AGMs in 2007. It is probably better to use the entire sailing season for the evaluation process unless the results become clear at an earlier stage.

Link to Discussion of Increase Jib Window Area

Effective Date: May 27, 2007

Expiration Date: December 31, 2008

Issued by: International Rules Committee, David S. Weaver, Chairman