VANCOUVER – Dear Nacra 17 Sailors, In response to a class executive committee request regarding the bearing recall, here is an update from Nacra Sailing: "Nacra Sailing answer: Sailing the Full Foiling Nacra 17 is allowed up until 15 knots of wind using the original bearing. When a team has fit the new 'active bearing,' all limitations are removed. With the root cause of the failures found and the solution on its way, this is just a temporarily measure until further notice. We hope that teams can train to make their hours within the wind frame mentioned above and prepare themselves. For us too, it would be great if we can leave this behind soon and move on to build a strong fleet with enthusiastic sailors and coaches." -- From Nacra Sailing. Please take this notice as valid from the moment recieved. Regards, Nacra 17 Executive Committee. –Email to Nacra 17 class members Friday morning from class manager Ben Remocker (CAN, Vancouver).
Sounds like until the new tires come to replace the faulty ones, I can only drive my car 35mph. But I guess that's better than not being able to drive it at all. Or is it?
With the 2017 World Championship of this Olympic Class in France in only two weeks, you gotta wonder what order competitors are going to receive the new "active bearing" so that they can train in all conditions. This crucial, new part is being designed, manufactured and fitted to existing boats in less than three weeks, and, obviously, will be untested on a broad basis before the Worlds. Read the update from the manufacturer and class association from earlier this week here. Read our previous article on this sorry state of affairs here.
Bottom line – what was World Sailing thinking when they broke their own five-year rule (to be Olympic a class must be well established at least five years before the Olympics in which it will be used) by justifying the Foiling Nacra 17 as the same class as the non-foiler used at the 2016 Olympics in Rio? Obviously, it is a very different boat with many different major parts. You gotta feel some sympathy for the sailors and class officers who are trying to get through this mess.
Photo: Sven Jürgensen for the Nordeuttscher Regatta Verein via the Nacra 17 Facebook Page.