Stephen Crosbie Speaks on the Silver Sail Number….!!

The problem with racing a silver fleet boat with a 3400 cap on sail numbers is that the majority of silver fleet boats will be not be competitive within their own fleet.If the helms are of equal ability it is reasonable to assume that a MKIX should finish in front of the Windebank’s forming the bulk of the fleet.As things are it does not make any sense for the majority of silver fleet boats to travel.In addition it is very difficult to see why a sub 3400 MKIX is silver fleet and one above is not.

The change in performance of boats through age is not going to be as significant as performance changes through improved design so it makes more sense to base the silver fleet upper sail number limit where the design took a leap forward.If you wished to avoid to many divisions the alternatives might include:

1/Revert back to the 3200 Silver limit but also include specific Windebank’s and equivalents above this sail number,much as the 2700 Classic limit works.This would put everyone back on a level playing field again.

2/Use the 3200 limit as above as a classic limit to include all the Windebank 4’s,which would allow the silver fleet limit to be set at a much higher limit than 3400,possibly at 10 years old or even newer.

Option one would be simple and remain fair to the existing classics,however option two would be much more progressive and there is always the option to have a vintage class if numbers warranted it to look after those rapid wooden boats like Bobby Salmond’s!


Stephen Crosbie

One thought on “Stephen Crosbie Speaks on the Silver Sail Number….!!

  1. Differences In Windebank MKIV

    I would like to point out that the boats in the 3200 3400 catagory are made up of quite a few Windebank MK IX and as a previous owner of one of these possibly the first 3213 I would say that quality is the main issue when compared to a Ovi MK IX or even Windebank IV and certainly the main reason I upgraded to 3385 which is an Ovi. My windebank had 13mm difference in shroud length to keep the mast staight which I believe is not uncommon and the shroud anchors were made up of ply laminated into the gunwhales which had gone soft and had to be dug out and replaced with carbon blocks as It was becoming difficult to get consistent rig tension settings.
    In Shetland we have a large Silver fleet of about 15 boats made up of all makes Coryn, Windebank IV, VIII and IX OVI IX, Amos and Naylor which covers most of the significant builders and all of the boats are competitive in fleet conditions, we also sail in a mixed fleet made up of mainly Fireballs all of which are wide bow winders and sailed very competitively and Albacores again speeds and ovingtons which are fully up to date. When we sailed on the general Fifteen handicap we struggled to be competitive and in the last couple of years we have adopted the Silver fleet handicap for the mixed fleet racing which we feel proves to be about right and evens everyones chances we have also backed this up with sailwave which is giving us numbers just about the same as we are sailing on.
    Therefore to say that up to 3200 is fair is misleadind as there are many quick boats within this catagory which are not OVI’s just as there are many boats who through design, mainteance or build quality are not competitive it is just a case of being careful what you buy as with anything.

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