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Many people, including myself, sail a National Twelve, because: it is a development class. We have a set of rules around which we can produce something a bit different. It seems a great shame to me, and to many others, that ideas which bend these rules without breaking them should be outlawed.

I was extremely disappointed in the decision to ban daggerboards. I believe it was narrow-minded, to say the least, especially as the rules did not forbid it. To pass a rule banning a development is contrary, to the spirit of any development class. I would be disgusted to see any more retrograde steps taken. On the daggerboard issue, all the publicity available on the subject was somewhat biased against them (read the items in the last Newsletter if you do not believe me) and was calculated to influence the gullible. Interesting points such as Dave Peacock's overweight boat being reduced by around 30 lbs. were laughed aside! Complaints by owners of old boats about the weight reduction could have been negated with a bit more forethought. The whole business was hurriedly mishandled.

So what next ? No doubt progressive thinkers will come up with something new which will raise comment. So what will we do ? No doubt, clamp down on the rules, till we have a Scooter /Cheshire Cat /Pipedream/ Bouncer one-design.
I suggest not. I think we should be broad-minded and consider any such innovations as a Godsend. For instance, I believe we should really consider the rules. What do we need ? Length, rise-of-floor, sail area and that's about it. Double curvature, bilge keels, fore-triangle height, keel rules, double-skin rules, battens, mast rotation, weight, all should be reconsidered. If David East wishes to drop his transom into the boat we should let him. If anyone wants a double-skinned boat, good for them. I shall not have one yet !

We should all look at what we want from the Class. We are sailing in a development class and as such should be prepared to accept and even welcome major changes, If not, we are not sailing in the right class.

Robert Peebles  

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