Composite lower mast to be class-legal for racing after 1 September 2020.
The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) is pleased to announce the release of a class-legal composite lower mast, for use on the ILCA 6/Radial class boat.
Sold under the ILCA brand, the new masts are expected to be available for purchase through class approved builders in early 2020. However, they will not be legal for class sanctioned racing until after 1 September in order to avoid any issues with the Olympics or Olympic qualification.
Because the new mast was designed with the same bend and performance characteristics as the existing aluminum masts, it will not provide a performance advantage but instead will eliminate the permanent bending problems associated with the aluminum spars.
“ILCA’s policy regarding the introduction of new equipment is that it should have the same characteristics as the existing equipment and can be raced side-by-side,” says ILCA Executive Secretary, Eric Faust. “The spar has been tested by some of the top sailors in the world and they all agree that the composite mast meets the design objectives.”
According to ILCA Technical Officer, Clive Humphris, “The new lower mast has been developed and extensively tested to ensure that it is ready for the rigors of competition. The advantage is that the new mast will be much more durable and will therefore provide a better value over the long run versus the aluminum spar.”
“Sailors should make sure they are buying a genuine, class approved spar,” adds Humphris. “All class-legal composite lower masts will have attached an ‘ILCA Authorized’ QR coded label. As long as you see that label you know that the mast will be legal for all ILCA sanctioned events after the first of September.”
ILCA does not anticipate any issues with the production and release of this new product, but reserves the right to restrict the use of the composite lower mast on an event-by-event basis after September 1st by notice in the race documents.