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ECA Governing Committee Requests Your Input on Wei...
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I started this discussion on crew number and weight at the National meeting in Cedarville in 2017. I have been actively sailing in Ensigns since 1969.

As in some other classes that are aging, the Ensign class needs to be All Inclusive. This means as a class we have to reach out and bring in younger sailors, like high school sailing team members, collegiate  sailors, family members, and also consider that many in our Ensign class are aging and have limited mobility. Meaning, they often sail from one position and do not change to the high side when tacking (they need offsetting crew weight to be competitive).

 In several cases, as I have seen here in our local fleet, we are recruiting lighter weight crew. The fact is, the lighter crews are just not as competitive with regards to flattening the boat in heavy and puffy conditions (I will pick 15 knots as the deal breaker).

In a sanctioned regatta, like a regionals or nationals, there is not the need to weigh/scale in. I propose, If you sail with 4 total, there is no weight restrictions imposed. If you sail with 5 total, then the registration/waiver will include a line for the crew to enter their weight and the crew and skipper must sign off as to the validity of this weight. It would be an honor system. You have to start a regatta with the same crew total as you finish the regatta. There should be a proviso for substitutions in the event of an injury or sickness or whatever. A substitute crew would have to be within the weight range of the crew that dropped out.

 
I have some thoughts on this subject also but haven't had time to put it down yet. We have been discussing it for a couple of years and it now is where it should haven been 2 years ago, to hear from the membership. 
Only thing I think its important to see Scott Mason's original proposal for discussion. 
I will be weighing in as soon as I have some time to put down my thoughts. Its more then just keeping boats strict one design. 
Its simple and pretty strait forward. 

Zeke



Thank you and please let me know how I can assist in the upcoming forum? I looked this past weekend and did not see anything as yet on the E site.

 

My idea on a rule change or amendment would be something like this:

 

Allow a max of a skipper and 4 crew= 5 total persons.

Only for boats sailing with total 5: would “file” at Registry desk, weights of their crews with a sign off form from the Skipper and the crew, attesting to the weights. No scales

Boats with a total of the usual 4 (Skipper and 3 crew) would not have to file any weights.

Rule of consistent crew for duration of regatta still in force.

 

While on this subject and related to rules that govern a regatta…… We have Ensign starts in several one design regattas around the country. Should some of these be “sanctioned” regattas, giving them the same weight for application of the rules as the Regionals and Nationals (and thereby bringing to bear the rule for crew #)?

To name some I am familiar with but probably not all:

E Mid-Winter Regatta

Cleveland Race Week

Annapolis NOOD

Newport Regatta

Atlantic Coast Championship

 

 

Warm Regards,

 

Scott Mason, Fleet 5, Newport Sec.


On Fri, Oct 5, 2018 at 12:13 PM Ensign Sailing Forum <ensignsailing@ensignclass.com> wrote:



Just succeeded at registering on the forum. Hope it works and I apologize in advance for my poor forum and typing skills on my tiny phone screen. Ya ho at least I am hear.

 I have not given the crew weight issue much thought so my comments areaybe Abit preliminary.

 As a veteran national competitor which I have attended about every third year since 1980, I have been mainly happy with the existing crew rules.  The few times the RC allowed crews to go to five has been ok with me. How ever if it's a frequent request then it's tough for the board to deal with time wise. So I am not opposed to refineing the rule based upon what the board has had to deal and knows about that the rest of the general competitors are not aware of.
 I do not want weight limits and weigh ins, it's a hassle that's beyond our level of competition. We are ensign sailors and not the elite of our sport. Weigh ins will scare the casual away. 

 A Max of 4 total is my choice. If you want five you should have to ask for an exception and if granted the total weight should be less than a heavy crew of four. Let's say 850 pounds.   
 The number of crew should stay the same. If a crew change is needed it should be allowed if it's not solely for the purpose of adjusting total crew weight. Crew changes should be requested and approved by RC or regatta authority.

 Lets make it easy to compete in nationals. More folks will show.  I feel minimum boat weight and correct sail dimensions are more important than crew weight.
 Full Sails

Jim Knape


 
Just succeeded at registering on the forum. Hope it works and I apologize in advance for my poor forum and typing skills on my tiny phone screen. Ya ho at least I am hear.

I have not given the crew weight issue much thought so my comments areaybe Abit preliminary.

As a veteran national competitor which I have attended about every third year since 1980, I have been mainly happy with the existing crew rules.  The few times the RC allowed crews to go to five has been ok with me. How ever if it's a frequent request then it's tough for the board to deal with time wise. So I am not opposed to refineing the rule based upon what the board has had to deal and knows about that the rest of the general competitors are not aware of.
I do not want weight limits and weigh ins, it's a hassle that's beyond our level of competition. We are ensign sailors and not the elite of our sport. Weigh ins will scare the casual away. 

A Max of 4 total is my choice. If you want five you should have to ask for an exception and if granted the total weight should be less than a heavy crew of four. Let's say 850 pounds.   
The number of crew should stay the same. If a crew change is needed it should be allowed if it's not solely for the purpose of adjusting total crew weight. Crew changes should be requested and approved by RC or regatta authority.

Lets make it easy to compete in nationals. More folks will show.  I feel minimum boat weight and correct sail dimensions are more important than crew weight.
Full Sails
Jim Knape


 
Hello All, I join the side of increasing the number of crew to a max of 5, and no weight limit. Keeping in the provision of not being able to change your crew.
In my view the skippers wanting 5 crew members are asking for reasons other than weight, and if you hadn’t noticed it’s hard getting around on an Ensign with 5 crew members.

 

Fran,

 

Bravo!  What a great message.

 

I support your concerns about the proposal to weigh crews, believing, as Bud said, that this may lead to people deciding to not participate.  I had not made my opinion known before because I don’t race in the Nationals or even regional regattas. When I do race it is more for fun and participation in a group activity.

 

Vic Roberts

#2032 - Journey

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> On Behalf Of Ensign Sailing Forum
Sent: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 8:35 PM
To: vic@victorroberts.com
Subject: re: [Ensign Sailing] ECA Governing Committee Requests Your Input on Weight and Crew Limits <<$215187297646$>>

 

Wow, there is a lot in to consider in that post with proposed rule change and rationale.  Unfortunately, I think some of the basic assumptions need to be reassessed before rules are changed. (I will not address all of the assumptions that I see as problems)

 

“• ‘Ideal Weight’ for an Ensign team is somewhere between 600 and 800 pounds. Both ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ teams have won the National Championship.”

If both ‘Light’ and ‘Heavy” teams have won the National Championship, then the logical conclusion from that statement is that weight is not a determining factor or put another weight does not give one boat an advantage over another boat.

Next, we have

“• Weight Limits - The weighing of teams is a hassle and can be a personal intrusion at registrations. Other classes have experienced drop-offs in participation after weight limits were imposed. However, imposing a weight limit would maintain the fairness of competition.”

IMHO (In my humble opinion), this assumption is very much understated and incorrect.  First, if other classes have seen a drop off after imposing weight restrictions, can we afford a drop off in participation?  Second, and equally important is “weighing teams . . . can be a personal intrusion.”  Again, IMHO, “weighing crew at competitions” is not just a hassle, it is an extreme intrusion into the individual’s privacy.  As to the rest of the statement, finally, if it does not matter how does it “maintain the fairness of competition.”

In law school, we frequently took issues to the extreme in order to test the validity of an assumption.

Here is perhaps an equally valid consideration as weight. 

Assumption:  No all women crews have won the Nationals; all male crews have won the Nationals; mixed sex teams have won the Nationals.   

Perhaps we should consider mandating mixed sex crews “to maintain fairness in competition.”  In order to enforce the rule, we can check the genitalia of crew at competitions.  (I am told they do that at the Olympics, “gender verification”).  We could make a similar argument regarding the total age of the crews.  Remember, both heavy and light, mixed and men, young and old have won so, all of this is pretty much irrelevant.

For those that think the sex and/or age argument is absurd, you are correct but so is weight.   We all know that adding a fat sailor on a heavy day may flatten the boat, and thus, perhaps give the overweight sailor’s boat an advantage in heavy air.  Do we think that a 40-year-old fit male crew member (who is a good sailor) will give a boat an advantage over another boat where, all other things are equal, instead of the 40-year-old fit male crew it has a 70-year-old fat woman crew (who is also good sailor)?  Of course, we do.  Again, we could always legislate age and sex as well as weight in order “to maintain fairness in competition.” The question is –should we!

This nearly 70-year-old overweight woman votes NO to weight.  Now you know my approximate age and my sex, I am not showing you my driver’s license or pulling up my skirt to prove it; and, gentlemen, I am not getting on scales to compete.

But wait! the problem that brought all of this up is not the weight but the number of crew and request for a waiver from the current rule.  Well, address the problem of number of crew and request for waiver, don’t create another problem.

Finally, we don’t weigh boats presumably because we think light boats do not have an advantage, yet we want to weigh sailors? 

My 2 cents!

 

 

 

Wow, there is a lot in to consider in that post with proposed rule change and rationale.  Unfortunately, I think some of the basic assumptions need to be reassessed before rules are changed. (I will not address all of the assumptions that I see as problems)

 

“• ‘Ideal Weight’ for an Ensign team is somewhere between 600 and 800 pounds. Both ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ teams have won the National Championship.”

If both ‘Light’ and ‘Heavy” teams have won the National Championship, then the logical conclusion from that statement is that weight is not a determining factor or put another weight does not give one boat an advantage over another boat.

Next, we have

“• Weight Limits - The weighing of teams is a hassle and can be a personal intrusion at registrations. Other classes have experienced drop-offs in participation after weight limits were imposed. However, imposing a weight limit would maintain the fairness of competition.”

IMHO (In my humble opinion), this assumption is very much understated and incorrect.  First, if other classes have seen a drop off after imposing weight restrictions, can we afford a drop off in participation?  Second, and equally important is “weighing teams . . . can be a personal intrusion.”  Again, IMHO, “weighing crew at competitions” is not just a hassle, it is an extreme intrusion into the individual’s privacy.  As to the rest of the statement, finally, if it does not matter how does it “maintain the fairness of competition.”

In law school, we frequently took issues to the extreme in order to test the validity of an assumption.

Here is perhaps an equally valid consideration as weight. 

Assumption:  No all women crews have won the Nationals; all male crews have won the Nationals; mixed sex teams have won the Nationals.   

Perhaps we should consider mandating mixed sex crews “to maintain fairness in competition.”  In order to enforce the rule, we can check the genitalia of crew at competitions.  (I am told they do that at the Olympics, “gender verification”).  We could make a similar argument regarding the total age of the crews.  Remember, both heavy and light, mixed and men, young and old have won so, all of this is pretty much irrelevant.

For those that think the sex and/or age argument is absurd, you are correct but so is weight.   We all know that adding a fat sailor on a heavy day may flatten the boat, and thus, perhaps give the overweight sailor’s boat an advantage in heavy air.  Do we think that a 40-year-old fit male crew member (who is a good sailor) will give a boat an advantage over another boat where, all other things are equal, instead of the 40-year-old fit male crew it has a 70-year-old fat woman crew (who is also good sailor)?  Of course, we do.  Again, we could always legislate age and sex as well as weight in order “to maintain fairness in competition.” The question is –should we!

This nearly 70-year-old overweight woman votes NO to weight.  Now you know my approximate age and my sex, I am not showing you my driver’s license or pulling up my skirt to prove it; and, gentlemen, I am not getting on scales to compete.

But wait! the problem that brought all of this up is not the weight but the number of crew and request for a waiver from the current rule.  Well, address the problem of number of crew and request for waiver, don’t create another problem.

Finally, we don’t weigh boats presumably because we think light boats do not have an advantage, yet we want to weigh sailors? 

My 2 cents!

 

 

 
I agree with James. I'd be fine with getting rid of crew limits and weight limits altogether. The advantage of additional crew on heavy wind days may be a disadvantage on light wind days and is also somewhat offset by the disadvantage of  overcrowding. It seems like it would all more or less even out, and if it gets more people sailing, then great.

Steve Heinzelman
Ensign 612, Elmo
Canandaigua Yacht Club
 
A boat should sail with the same crew for all the races, a registered crew.  Raise the weight limit to 900# and have no limits on crew numbers up to the safe capacity of the Ensign.  I personally can do well with just two people and often single had the boat,  so let's also consider racing with just two people total, also.


James Bland
Ensign 2021, SPIRIT
Austin Yacht Club, Fleet 30
USNA class of '78
 

Topic of Discussion: Altering Current Crew Restrictions

Please Note:   This discussion has been introduced to inspire and gather feedback from the Ensign Class Membership for a potential change to the Class Rules. The opinions, thoughts and ideas expressed in this discussion will not be used as a "vote", but only as feedback to the Rules and Governing Committees. The "Current Proposed Rule Change" (see below) can be influenced or altered through the thoughts, ideas and insights presented by the membership in this thread, and is not necessarily in its final state or wording. After this discussion closes, the wording of the proposed rule may change to suit the feedback, and an informal poll may follow to gauge class-wide approval and/or the need for change.

Originally Submitted by: Scott Mason

Date of Submission: September 28, 2018

Date of Discussion Close: November 9, 2018 

Motivation: 

There have been an increasing number of discussions for increasing the number of crew so that:

  • Lighter crew members can form competitive teams.
  • Families can race together
  • Younger, older, or less physically able people can be included on a team.
  • Teams that race with five at the Fleet Level can compete at the Championship levels (Regional and National).


These discussions had the ECA leadership discussing Ensign philosophy, reputation and tradition, the pros and cons of weight limits, crew limits, the possible introduction of a waiver process, 'ideal' crew weight for Ensign racing, cockpit size, safety, crew substitutions and a host of other considerable, interesting thoughts and ideas.

A summary of these discussions:

  • Philosophy - The generally accepted philosophy of the Ensign Class is that the Ensign is a great family day sailor, which we choose to race. It is not as tweaky as a Star, J70, or an Etchells, but like all sailboats, it is responsive to sail shape changes and racing techniques. In addition, the Ensign Class does not, in general, attract professionals, or extreme, high dollar efforts like the Etchells or J70 classes (where multiple boat campaigns, unlimited budgets, paid professional crews are considered by some to be required for victory at the highest levels of competition). The Ensign is one of those great classes where everyday folks have a fair chance of success without breaking a middle class budget. One of the goals of the ECA should be to preserve this aspect of the class in every way necessary, because amateur sailing is a strength of the Ensign Class and is in alignment with the philosophy and reputation of the ECA.

    Weight Limits - The weighing of teams is a hassle and can be a personal intrusion at registrations. Other classes have experienced drop-offs in participation after weight limits were imposed. However, imposing a weight limit would maintain the fairness of competition. 

    Crew Limits - For safety, Ensigns that are racing should have at least three aboard (total). Four is generally ideal. Raising the maximum to five (total) could potentially increase disparity between teams. That disparity could be curtailed with a weight limit.

    Waiver Process - Waiver requests to a current rule are likely indicative of a poorly written rule, the evolution of the sport, or its membership. Specifying conditions for waivers are either complicated or subjective.

    ‘Ideal Weight’ for an Ensign team is somewhere between 600 and 800 pounds. Both ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ teams have won the National Championship.

    Cockpit - The cockpit space is ideally suited for a maximum of four people while racing. Any more than that, and the cockpit starts to get crowded.

    Substitutions - Crew substitutions at Championships should perhaps require approval.

After much discussion, the Governing Committee (2018 Annual Meeting in Rochester), voted to keep Part III, 9. Races and Rules: C. and D. ‘as is’, with no provision for rule waivers. That decision is being reopened by this discussion thread.

Whatever the result of this discussion, it is imperative that the outcome enhance the attractiveness of the class, is in alignment with the philosophies of the Ensign Class, and maintains the fairness of competition. Many believe an important goal is to maintain our one design class as one where good, everyday people gather to race a fabulous sailboat in affordable, amateur competition.

Current Rule Being Discussed:

Part III, 9. Races and Rules: 

C. In addition to the contestant, there must be a crew consisting of not less than two, nor more than three persons.


Current Proposed Rule Change:

Part III, 9. Races and Rules: 

C. In addition to the contestant, there shall be a crew consisting of not less than two, nor more than four persons. In the case where a team’s crew is four persons, the entire team shall be weighed at registration with a total team weight not to exceed 850 pounds.




Bud Brown, Vice Commodore Rules

 

 
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