International 12 foot dinghy

zondag 2 december 2012

All dinghies equal slow

All dinghies equal slow: The opinion of Duuk Dudok van Heel, member of the technical committee in the Netherlands. See the picture. In the past four times world champion in the Flying junior class and one time Dutch Champion in the 12footdinghy class. Some Italians have sent us unpleasant emails: the Dutch are troublemakers, bad losers, Italian dinghies are superior, it is just the helmsman who make the difference, we live in 2012 etc. But also, explain what do you want. That is a good one. What should the Italians change if they don't want to have the situation that the dinghy class will be divided in a modern and a classic part. Here some personal suggestions.

At first and all wooden dinghy lovers should say it loudly: "we are lovers of classic dinghies in the spirit George Cockshott has designed the 12footdinghy"
Second, all dinghies should have the same slowness. That is something different as a rat race for more speed. Especially in slow wind circumstances.

What are the consequences if the Italians accept these principles.
1 To make holes in holy dinghy wood to save weight is forbidden
2 Take the Dutch gaff and sail
3 The same trimming lines as the Dutch (and that is not much)
4 Keep everything original in the 1914 spirit, cheap and as simple as possible.

I would not advise the Italians to take the heavy original rudder with the big iron stripes. It is a brake. Personally I think the Dutch should take the Italian rudder: max 4 kg without the helm. It is also a cheaper solution.
The loose footed sail of the Italians...why not. Some Dutch have no objections to change this rule, but of course the real Dutch purist hate this idea.
The possibility to change the foot of the mast before the race a bit with a small wooden block. Why not. A cheap solution.
The Italian rule concerning the crew is also not a bad idea in important races. You sail the whole series alone or you sail the whole series with two persons. I like that idea.

The next step for the wooden dinghy owners in Italy and Holland...Talk with each other and not about each other. And most important, look to the past. Why are there no more dinghies in the UK? Because Morgan Giles had the idea in the twenties to modernize the dinghy. The original 12footdinghy has survived, the "modern" Morgan Giles dinghy not. So..who takes the first step for a good talk about standardization of the wooden dinghy to make them all equal slow? The alternative is a separation.