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Date:             Middelfart, DENMARK, 22 November 2021
To:                Hobie Class Members
From:            IHCA Rules Committee
Subject:       Comment period on new General Class Rule 18.2 and Hobie Cat Tiger / Wild Cat Rule C.4.3 (c)

Dear all,

Rule 50.1 (c) of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS), which govern our rules in racing, are as of 1 January 2023 requiring all trapeze harnesses to be of the quick release (QR) variety complying with ISO 10862. This is unless the class rules permit a trapeze harness that is not QR trapeze harnesses variety.

It is difficult to disagree with the intended safety aspects behind the ruling. Nevertheless, 50.1 (c) is unfortunately not that well-conceived and leaves us with some challenges:

  1. To the knowledge of the IHCA Rules Committee, there are as of this time, not any ISO certified QR trapeze harnesses available on the market. We know at least one manufacturer is working on the ISO certification, but it remains unknown when the certification process can be accomplished. The good question is will there be any ISO certified QR harnesses ready for 1 January 2023? And if yes, how many, and how will the availability be?
  2. RRS 50.1 (c) contains no grandfathering clause, which means existing and not ISO certified QR systems will be illegal as of 1 January 2023.
  3. There are no public published procedures for verifying ISO 10862 compliance through labelling, whitelist etc.

RRS 50.1 (c) full text:
“A trapeze harness worn by a competitor which may be used to support the competitor on a trapeze shall be of the quick release variety complying with ISO 10862 which allows the competitor to detach from the hook or other method of attachment at any time. A class rule may change this rule to permit trapeze harnesses that are not of the quick release variety, but a class rule may not change the requirement that a quick release harness comply with ISO 10862.Note: Rule 50.1(c) does not take effect until 1 January 2023.”

Although recommending the use of QR trapeze harnesses the Rules Committee finds under the given circumstances no other way than to propose our class rules changed to permit non-QR trapeze harnesses as provided for in Rule 50.1(c). This is to avoid most existing trapeze harnesses will be illegal as of 1 January 2023.

New General Rule 18.2
As allowed under RRS 50.1(c), any trapeze harness used does not have to be a quick release variety.”

New Tiger and Wild Cat Rule C.4.3 TRAPEZE HARNESS (b)
As allowed under RRS 50.1(c), any trapeze harness used does not have to be a quick release variety.

Clearing up the less ideal situation Rule 50.1(c) has left us with and to avoid most existing trapeze harnesses becoming illegal as of 1 January 2023.

This is your class and your opportunity to express your opinion.

The link to vote and comment is here. Deadline:  3 January 2022 23:59 UTC.

The proposed changes are supposed to go into effect after the approval of the IHCA Council followed by review and approval of the World Sailing Equipment Rules Sub-committee. This is expected to happen no later than the end of May 2022.

Erik Olsen
IHCA Rules Committee Chair

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