ILCA Interpretations to the Class Rules

Some of the new Interpretations help and offer much needed liberalization of the rules, but some make no logical sense. What's really bad is that THEY ARE TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE!

After making us wait for them for more than nineteen months (yes, they were first made aware of the many ambiguities, conflicts and loopholes back on 17 Apr 2002), ILCA has not been able to address many of the uncertainties we face. The fact of the matter is, we have held and at this rate will continue to hold World Championships (and Olympics, if they let us) where many of the competitors' boats will be illegally rigged (with their new OEM rigging kits) just because ILCA can't bring herself to say "Sorry, we goofed up in the Rules, we wrote X, but we should have written Y to make these new kits legal."

The 2003 Interpretations should themselves be accompanied by a "Sorry, we goofed up once more, we wrote X, but we should have written Y", since they do not close many of the loopholes they intended to close.

Dr. Shevy Gunter
Editor, drLaser
I'm surprised that there has been so little respomse to this thread.

It's perplexing that the interpretation about the outhaul says that the control line must move through the fairlead (as opposed to a fixed line passing through the fairlead). The reasoning behind this interpretation is incomprehensible to me. What possible purpose does it serve? It makes the set up harder to adjust due to additional friction. Surely the intent of the original change to allow more flexibility in rigging sail controls was to make the sail easier to adjust. The new interpretation is a retrograde step in my opinion.

I think ILCA should issue a note explaining the reasoning behind the interpretations. What do others think?

Yeah that's one that has been bugging me all day. (thanks for pointing it out; it is effecting my work). I have an 8:1 outhaul from basement development and then the dr laser site. My understanding from reading 3 (f)ii was that it had to pass through it and count as a turning point. Well I did that. It does not RUN through the fairlead. It does slip a little when not rigged perfect. Maybe that's good enough. Funny cause my outhaul passed at the Masters in Hyannis... but the bungee for my water bottle did not.... What a can of worms!

Steve McBride
Steve wrote
> It does slip a little when not rigged perfect. Maybe that's good enough.

Now it has to slip and slide and move more. So, sliping a little is not good enough.

> it had to ... count as a turning point.

There is no such an expression in the 2001 Rules.
And there is no such a requirement added by the 2003 Interpretations.
READ! Doin't interpret or guess. Just read! This is not a "constitution" to necessitate dwelling on the "intent" of the founding fathers. This is LAW. Whatever it says, IS.

Only a new Interpretation (or new rule) can now REQUIRE the fairlead to be a turning point.

> Funny cause my outhaul passed at the Masters in Hyannis...

You are not the only one! The drLaser authaul has in fact passed many Measurer inspections in many nationals in many countries around the world.

But no more as it is currently rigged. But yes, if you modify the boom-end portion of the rig.

There are "how to" details provided on the ILCA NA Mailing List.

Noob here, Hi Everyone! I notice there's a typo on the website version of the interpretations... #7 on outhauls refers you back to #5 on cunninghams instead of #6 which is the one under discussion here... the line moving through the outhaul fairlead. I just tripped over this while I was thinking of outhaul options... My idea was to use the tail of the 2nd control line to tie a block to the outhaul fairlead (passing through it of course) and then go from the clew though the block to a real system like all the other dinghy sailors get to use. It would appear they don't want us doing that, ergo the interpretation!
Which one is the "2nd" (as opposed to "1st") control line?
What is a "real" (as opposed to "unreal") system?

If you explain in sufficient detail your suggested rig (using appropriate and accepted nautical terminology), we can then dare to comment on it.

Thanks for the heads up about the typo error.

Shevy Gunter
Shevy, Yeah, it's tough to 'say' line and tackle things, and I wasn't going to try and post a pic when it's relatively clear that we're not allowed to do what I was thinking of anyway... But at the risk of not making it any clearer, a 'real' system would be one with all blocks, as opposed to one where rule-makers arbitrarily force us to incorporate a rope sliding over a plastic fairlead as a component of our otherwise state of the art ball bearing equiped outhaul systems. The 1st vs 2nd control line nomenclature was arbitrary... the concept I was exploring was that of tying a proper turning block onto the outhaul fairlead and using it instead of the fairlead. I thought that by using the tail of one of the 2 permitted 'control lines' to tie the turning block onto the fairlead that I would have fulfilled the 'one control line must pass through the fairlead' part of the rules. Looking at the Interpretations it would seem that it must be a running part of the system so the idea doesn't fly. Oh well! By the way, thanks for the response... I'm not sure why there isn't more traffic here, it's a great forum, but not too many players... The motorcycle sites I go to have way more activity...
Hugh Wainman-Wood wrote:

> I thought that by using the tail of one of the 2 permitted 'control lines' to
> tie the turning block onto the fairlead that I would have fulfilled the 'one
> control line must pass through the fairlead' part of the rules.

Such a system was designed and published in 2001, and was used until now by various sailors around the World. It's called the "drLaser Outhaul". :) It's pictured and explained in detail on the drLaser website. Yes, as it is shown, it is rendered illegal with the new 2003 Rules (sorry! new "Interpretations").

Hugh added:
> Looking at the Interpretations it would seem that it must be a running
> part of the system so the idea doesn't fly.

It DOES fly! You can make a line run through the fairlead - under NO load- and STILL have the control line under load go through a block attached to the boom-end fairlead. The new Rules (sorry! new "Interpretations") allow this.

Too bad (maybe "Thank God") all those intelligent members of the World Council could not come up with the right words that would require the boom-end fairlead to be a REQUIRED TURNING POINT for the outhaul system.

So, we can probably look for a new rule change related to this in 2004 (which will again be called an "interpretation" to get around the ILCA Constitution requirement that all Rule changes must be approved by the membership).


> I'm not sure why there isn't more traffic here, it's a great forum...

Yes, it is a great forum! But the last ILCA NA administration has killed BOTH the NA Mailing List and this Forum.
Thanks for the words of wisdom Shevy! Off to check out the dr. laser outhaul system so I can use it until the 'interpretation' comes out. BTW, what do you mean by 'killed' the forum?
It looks like I was not sufficiently clear:
The drLaser system currently shown on the website is NOT legal under the new Interpretations.

However, slight design changes can make such a rig legal under the 2003 Interpretations. Some hints were offered on the NA Mailing List on Wed, 10 Dec 2003 and Thu, 11 Dec 2003.

The NA List archives should be available at



PS. Regarding the footnote in my last post and Hugh's related question above: A drLaser website series titled "ILCA NA's Minth Leadership Flunks" provides some insight. An analysis of the seasonally adjusted weekly time series of the frequency of posts on the NA List during the period spanned by that drLaser series may provide some insight into how and exactly when participation in such public media declined.


Staff member
Also, As of right now they will not give either the forum or the list any highly visable links from You have to dig pretty deep in the site to find them both. I have managed to get this site listed on the home page for periods of time, but it is always later removed and replaced as new news comes out. They also want to charge me for an ad in the class magazine.

Hopefully the new administration will bring about some changes. We shall see.
Bradley, I know this is probably nothing you don't already know/ haven't already done, but in an abundance of caution, on the off-chance you haven't, you can make an application to to list your site and if it's not a commercial site they will do it for free. It would help the site if a search on 'laser+sail' had this site and/or dr. laser come up somewhere near the top of the list if ILCA won't give you a link...


Staff member
Actually I have and am always working to make sure my site is ranked as high as possible by and others. Currently if you do a search for "Laser Forum" we are the second website to come up. Also, if you search on google for certain terms discussed in a thread it will take you right to that page. However, we do not show up at all under "Laser" or "Laser Sailing". Having the google powered ads keeps the bots on the site though and keeps there database up-to-date with our pages. There isn't much I can do to get listed on Laser or Laser Sailing because not enough important websites link to this one. If I could get a link for vanguard, the NA class, a few foreign sites, and the continued link on drLaser we may have a chance. I have talked to the Brits and others about a link and so far I haven't found any takers, some of them even provide a link to drLaser but are uninterested in this website.

--If enough people visit the sponsor's websites (they are pay per click btw) we will soon have enough money to buy advertising in The Laser Sailor, which I have been considering. Maybe DrLaser and I could go in together on a full page ad?

Over the years, I haven't had a problem getting "ads" on "The Laser Sailor" magazine of ILCA-NA, nor on the newsletters of other countries. In fact, in certain cases, I had to ask some to "cease and desist" from making references to "drLaser".

The point is, Brad, you should not view this as "advertising your forum." This is not a commercial enterprise. We are not selling anything. This is a public service! When others understand the importance of the service you are offering, and if your service does provide some VALUE ADDED to their own membership or local Lasering community, ILCA Districts will offer links to The Forum. Any attempts to circumvent that "value added requirement" via advertising or promotion would either be ignored or would backfire (as it happened before).

Whether you show up as 2nd or 22nd in google or altavista search is totally irrelevant. These should not even be a "goal". What will determine the succes of your "site" will simply be who posts what messages here! So, if I were you, I would simply correspond with some Lasering gurus to ask for their help in addressing some of the tough questions raised here by some of your subscribers.

Best regards,

Dr. Shevy Gunter
Editor, drLaser