The World Sailing Evaluation Panel has concluded that there are two suitable items of equipment for the 2024 Men’s and Women’s One Person Dinghy Event:
The RS Aero equipment presented by RS Sailing and the Laser equipment presented by ILCA.
The World Sailing Equipment Committee will now discuss the Evaluation Report and make a recommendation to Council, for its selection decision, at the Mid-Year meeting on May 18/19.
The Evaluation Panel developed a scoring matrix against which the equipment options were scored based on the evaluation criteria for the event.
The overall matrix scores are:
Evaluation Panel overview of the presented equipment.
RS Aero by RS Sailing
RS Aero – Evaluation Panel:
The equipment is deemed suitable for Olympic competition. The boat was described as fun, fast and appealing with simple and well executed concepts which were appreciated by the MNA sailors.
The light hull (30kg) requires sensitive boat handling and was considered by the sailors as having the potential to reward higher sailing skills.
The design is simple and well thoughtoutfor shipping, saving space when stacking hulls for transport. Its light weight and its size make it attractive and suitable for the youth pathway.
The hull is engineered with modern materials and production methods. All fiber is CNC cut, the quantity of material is optimized and proven to be effective and there are strict controls on the building processes monitoring the production to a high level of standardization.
Mass production is already established with a high-end quality product. Quality was recognized by the MNA sailors and considered among the highest in terms of value for money. The builder is in a satisfactory position to produce and deliver boats in a reasonable timescale.
The boat pricing information is credible, proposing an open book pricing, where the price is driven by a formula to be monitored by World Sailing accounting for all factors.
Laser by ILCA
Laser – Evaluation Panel:
MNA sailors acknowledged their experience and familiarity with the boat and felt comfortableailing it. The boat is considered reliable and all around well suited for selection.
Having been the Olympic equipment for many cycles, the boat has become available around the world and is actively sailed in emerging nations. However, challenges and issues with distribution remain unresolved.
The class representatives acknowledged challenges regarding warranty and supply issues in Africa and South America and communicated to the panel that with the current market situation they remain unable to resolve this. The rig and sails are the least satisfactory parts of the boat.
For the associated price, they are low in quality requiring many replacements during one season. The hull is durable beyond its competitive life making cheap boats available to many sailors. There is a pathway established from the 4.7 to the Radial and to the Standard, however the hull remains less suited for youth and light sailors.
Since 2014, ILCA has increased efforts to monitor the standardization of equipment, but the introduction of upgrades and cooperation with all builders remains a challenge.
Melges 14 – Evaluation Panel:
The boat is simple, easy to rig and visually appealing on land and in the water. MNA sailors considered the boat big and too powerful with both men’s and women’s rig better suited to larger persons.
Although there is a smaller rig and sail for youth, the hull size remains too big and unsuitable for smaller rig sizes and youth.
The brand has expanded beyond the original builder and has agreements in place to open production in different parts of the world. There would be some time required for new builders to begin.
The building manuals are in place and transfer experience has been gained with the addition of two builders.
Devoti D-Zero – Evaluation Panel:
Presented as a measurement-controlled class with control methods under development where worldwide distribution would be achieved by local builders being licensed based on demand.
The intended plan to control quality among manufacturers to ensure standardization was evaluated, however the implications of having multiple new builders is unknown since the measurement controls are yet to be developed.
This leaves significant work to develop full quality control procedures and manuals for builders to ensure the produced equipment is the same worldwide.
With a mainsheet traveler and multiple options to adjust the mast rake the boat was considered the option where in addition to athletic superiority, success would be more related to the technical knowledge of the equipment