Sailing is a sport that relies heavily on equipment. Sure, it’s the athletes that do the hard work on the race course. But if their gear is inferior compared to their competitors’ stuff, it is next to impossible to succeed on the Olympic level.
For London 2012, WB-Sails made a big research & development effort, mostly centered on Star sails. With the Star out of the Olympics, our R&D focus between 2012-2016 has been much on the Finn, but also on the 470. These two are the only Olympic classes left for which independent sailmakers are still allowed to design sails.
A peak inside a professional sailor’s mind during an important race. The author, Jonathan Lobert, is an olympic medalist, and both European Champion and Silver medalist in World Championships in 2017. I write here to share my feelings during the Medal Race of the Finn Gold Cup, which was held in Balaton, Hungary in September…
In part 1, we looked at the two different one-design approaches, single manufacturer one-design SMOD and the measurement controlled MCOD. In this part 2 we look at how the opening of single manufacturer classes could be conducted, with benefits to the sailors in mind.
Six of the current eight Olympic classes are “single manufacturer one-designs”, in practice monopolies of their rightsholders. Only two classes, the Finn and the 470 are measurement controlled one-designs, open for anyone to build and sell, as long as they comply with the rules.