Photo by Benoit Donne
Last weekend the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) measurers congregated in Antigua for their annual review meeting in advance of the 2013 racing season. The managers of the CSA rating rule travelled from Barbados, St. Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, Grenada and St. Thomas to agree on their approach to the 2013 season with respect to any concerns with the rating rule. Their objective is to ensure the written rule effectively takes account of new technology and changes in boat configurations and to assess the interpretation of the rule to be certain that it is the same across all islands to ensure continuity as boats race in regattas across the region.
Over the next three months CSA measurers will be reviewing the rule to accommodate changes in new sail cuts and designs, carbon standing rigging, swing keels and asymmetric dagger boards and will amend the rule as necessary prior to the start of the season. Following the meeting, discussion among measurers, boat designers and high profile sailors will continue to ensure the adjustments made are well thought through.
Having been in use for more than 50 years, the CSA rating rule, first developed by Al Rapier from Trinidad, has continued to work well as a measurement rule throughout the Caribbean. During the season measurers continue to network with boat designers and actively assess any changes to local boats to ensure there are no misnomers and that ratings are adjusted as equipment and configurations change. Because the measurers are on the ground at each regatta they can easily deal with any issues that arise and assess and measure boats regularly. During the 2011/12 racing season 350 certificates were issued.
Within the measurement team there are literally years of experience from both within and outside of the Caribbean. David de Vries, international judge and chief measurer for some years, has now returned from the 2012 Olympics to focus once again on management of the CSA rating rule. The 2013 season also sees the return of Dick Stout in Barbados, a former chief measurer with years of measurement experience.
Changes made ahead of the 2013 season will be uploaded to the official CSA website at www.caribbean-sailing.com.