Fat Bottomed Girl had nothing to do with Mike - she is my project. She was never going to take off in Garda, as she doesn't have hydrofoils. I did take her there though, for a play and she goes really nicely. For more info, check out the next edition of Dinghy Sailing Magazine (not the one that goes on sale now-ish, but the one after), as I wrote an article all about it....
I don't think that slagging off other classes is the way forward here. The fact of the matter is that this is a situation of 'horses for courses' - some people enjoy sailing what you call plastic fantastics, and there is no need for us to have a go at them. It certainly won't encourage those people to then have a go in class that will end up looking like a bunch of snobs.
Personally I loved sailing 12s for a good few years. However, I am not doing a lot of sailing currently for various reasons - one of which is a severe lack of time - but if I were to find myself with more time I would probably be engagaing in club sailing (another reason for lack of sailing is lack of money and open meetings cost more!). In order to get the most out of club sailing, I probably wouldn't be in a 12, simply because it is only on rare occasions that other 12s make appearences at the club.
However, this does not mean that I do not like the 12, it simply means that in my particular circumstances it is not the mot appealing boat right now. I would like to think I could return to the 12 fleet on occasion without being scolded for having sailed in "a plastic fantastic" which may or may not have had a "spinachmaker".
So, to sum up - having a go at other people because they sail something different from you is not a good advert for the class. It is also not a good advert for yourself. The world is made up of a lot of different types of people, some of whom enjoy sailing and some of whom do not. Some of those people may currently enjoy sailing in something that is not a 12 - this does not make them wrong, it merely makes them different from you. In order to increase the appeal of the 12 to those people, it is not a good idea to put down what they do. Maybe it would be more productive to say "Fair enough, but would you like to have a go in my boat to see if you like it?".
My point was nothing to do with weight-changes - to be honest this doesn't effect me as I am not doing a whole lot of sailing at the moment, so I didn't want to put my opinion across on that one.
My point was that the class should not be asking Antony alone what his opinions are, as his are no more or less valid than anybody else's.
If the majority opinion is that a rule should not be changed, fair enough. But this should be explained in terms of a majority decision, not shown on this website to be a decision made by the chairman and the chairman alone.