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An ISAF "International" windsurfing class
& founder member of the International Windsurfing Association

Rules & Regulations/Measuring Guide

INTERNATIONAL FUNBOARD CLASS MEASUREMENT RULES (IFCM) - May 2004

THE ROLE OF THE MEASURER.

 

1. PRINCIPLES:

When taking on the role of official measurer, be it at a small local regatta or a world championships, it is important to understand why one is taking on this sometimes onerous, but  very important, task.

The principle of Production Board racing is that all the boards of one design are identical in construction, and that they are freely available. That means available to any competitor any where in the world, providing local import regulations do not prevent it. So called ‘Limited Editions’ must not be so limited that only the ‘factory racer’ gets one. Manufacturers do cheat. So do sailors. This undermines the class philosophy and discourages competitors from taking part in events. The measurer’s job is to stop that.

To do his job fully, the measurer requires

(a).  A clear understanding of why we register and  measure Production Funboards.

(b) Basic understanding of the Registration process, by which a new design of board is registered with the ISAF  and IFCA.

(c ) simple equipment to measure boards, including

            two tape measures. 3m and 5m

            One set square.

            One special tool to measure widths up to 750mm (see illustration)

            Set of scales to measure up to 20 kg.

            One clipboard to hold measurement forms.

            Ball point pen and felt tipped waterproof ink pen.

            A Carbon Fibre detector (cable & pipe detector).

(d) The most up to date list of ISAF/IFCA Registered Production Funboards, as well as some previous ones.

(e) A basic understanding of the construction of a board and its directly attached equipment 

(f) As many manufacturers current brochures as can be obtained (optional).

(g) this guide and the current ISAF Funboard Racing Rules (FRR) including the Funboard Class Measurement (IFCM) rules.

2. ISAF REGISTRATION PROCESS

Before a board is officially allowed to race in International Funboard Class events, it must first be registered with the ISAF.  This process can be divided into to parts.

Stage 1. Production Commences.

The manufacturer, upon commencing production (board no.1) notifies the ISAF, that he intends to produce a quantity of boards in accordance with Rule 4 of the IFCM rules. This is done on a form Part Ia and 1b together with a registration fee.   The ISAF logo must be incorporated in the board’s graphics/striping/branding.

Provided the manufacturer has a record of honouring the intention he makes with Part I, the board will be approved by IFCA to race in National events which may be used to qualify a competitor for IFCA recognised International events.

The board will be entered on the IFCA lists of Registered Production Funboards with the limitation ‘National Racing Approved(NRA)’ which means the board may not, at this stage, race in IFCA recognised International events.

Stage 2.  Production reaches ISAF required number of boards.

The manufacturer has a period of three months in which to produce the first batch of boards , and distribute them internationally.  He can then complete ISAF registration forms Part II , and sends these together to ISAF.

Note: As of 1st January 2000, the minimum quantities manufactured and delivered must be: Race boards..150, Slalom..80, Wave and Freestyle..200.

Stage 3. Checking

The ISAF may then carry out checks to ensure that the boards have been produced identically and that they are ‘freely available’ to any person wishing to race on the board,

Stage 4. Registration.

When the ISAF is is assured that the board complies with the rules, the board becomes fully registered and will appear on the ISAF published list. On the IFCA published list, the board moves from NRA to Fully Registered and the measurement details are included on the list. The list will also appear on the IFCA Web Site and new registrations are published in the IFCA Newsletter.

The board, once fully registered, remains on the approved list for all time, but ISAF and IFCA only publish lists limited to the last three or so years. The records of older boards are held by ISAF and IFCA.

At least once every six months, the list of registered boards is published by IFCA and circulated to all National Associations, Production Funboard Manufacturers, the Media, ISAF Windsurfing Committee members and a limited number of international Funboard competitors.  It is the duty of every National Association to regularly publish the List for their members. Before each IFCA International Championship, a list of boards which have been fully registered within the time limit set by the rules (30 or 60 days prior to the first race). This list is circulated to all National Associations and interested National Authorities.

3. MEASUREMENT AT AN EVENT/REGATTA

Measurement takes three forms:

Spot Check Measuring ,  Full Measurement & Investigative Measurement.

a. SPOT CHECK MEASURING

This is the simplest form and can be conducted quickly and without any disturbance to the competitor. But it is probably the most important, and will more likely reveal deliberate breaches of the rules than any other form of measurement.

The measurer simply walks around the race site just before racing commences and visually checks each boards for the following:

1. Does it have an ISAF  Logo?

2. Is it on the List of Registered Production Funboards.

3. In the case of limited equipment events (Formula 25 and Production Speed events), is it the equipment registered by the competitor. In the case of standard events, is the board the same brand as that entered by the competitor.

4. Does the sail number and sponsors advertising agree with the Sailing Instructions (SI’s) and the FRR’s.

5. Has the board been modified in any way.

6. Does the Carbon Fibre content appear to be greater than other boards of the same design.

7. Is a weight jacket (forbidden) or a life jacket (sometimes compulsory) being worn.

The same checks should be carried out when the competitors return to the beach. The amount of checking depends upon the time available to the measurer. Generally, the competitors should never be quite sure when a measurer is going to be on the beach waiting for him or her. So an erratic pattern is far better than say, first day of competition and then doing another race committee job so the cheats can get out their weight jackets and illegal boards.

If the measurer is unhappy about any of the above checks, he should report this to the race committee or the Jury as appropriate. Never enter into an argument with a competitor. You may request that he correct something, but do not order him to correct it. That is the duty of the Protest Committee. A request may be in the form of a measurer’s warning published on the Official Notice Board (ONB). This will state that failure to comply with the request will be reported to the Protest Committee.

A measurer NEVER disqualifies a competitor. Competitors should look upon the measurer as someone who is there to help him comply with the rules, not someone who is helping his rivals win the regatta! Having said that, a measurer must never put remaining popular above doing the job properly.

ISAF/IFCA Registered Production Funboard List:

A board not on the list may be allowed to race in a national regatta provided:

1. It bears an IYRU Logo and,

2. The competitor has a certificate (letter) from the manufacturer stating that he has applied for ISAF registration. A copy of the Part I or Part II form is sufficient for this.

The measurer should immediately report this back to IFCA, faxing the documents presented by the competitor.

Sail Numbering:

This is the one area where diplomacy is most required. The policy of sail numbering must be decided by a National Association, and the measurer is then clear what is required. The IFCM and FRR rules are clear. But many race officers and juries allow latitude. This presents problems when the competitor arrives at a World championships. One thing is very clear. The chief requirement is that the sail numbers are legible. This means they must be large enough, of a contrasting material to the sail cloth (not white on clear film!) and, most importantly, if they are only on one side, simple to read. e.g. F1 is not a problem. F2523 cannot be read easily from the other side of the sail. The opinion of the race officer should be taken as final in these cases.

Modifications: This can take several forms, some allowed and some not.

1. Toe Straps: There are no rules specifically governing toe straps. We therefore allow a competitor to move the toe straps if he wishes.

2. Skeg Boxes: These do get damaged and need replacing. They must be replaced by the same system as the original (Tuttle/Power/etc) and must also be carefully fitted in the same position.

3. Mast steps/tracks: The same as Skeg Boxes.

4. Centreboards and cases: The same as for skeg boxes but only the board manufacturer’s centreboard  shall be used.

5. Skegs: There are no limitations.

6. Hull shape: If a repair has changed the hull shape, it is illegal. This includes removal of flanges and other constructional points built into the board by the manufacturer. Round edges cannot be ground into sharp edges, and vice versa.

The measurer can take one of two actions. If he thinks the modification does not effect performance at all, he may warn the competitor, asking him to change the modification back to the original shape before the next event.

If the measurer thinks performance has been improved, even by a infinitesimal amount, he must report it to the Protest Committee/Jury if the competitor has used the board in a race. If the competitor has not used the board, and agrees not to race the board until the modification has been rectified, no further action is required. The problem should be recorded so that should the same problem arise again with the same competitor, that fact can be reported to the Protest Committee. 

7. Branding/Graphics/Striping. The graphics on a board must be the normal production graphics for that design. In 1995, some competitors ‘striped’ a Copello board with Fanatic graphics and entered it as a Fanatic board. This is very rare and quite illegal. Always check that leading sailors are using the board and sail  brands they register, because if they do well, the results published will indicate the wrong brand and mislead the windsurfing public into thinking that brand is a winning brand. Imagine a BMW disguised as a Skoda winning a motor race!

Carbon Fibre (CF):

This is more easily checked than you may think. We use a Cable and Pipe detector, which can be bought, in many countries for around $20-30 in a tool/Do It Yourself shop. It is a small hand held plastic tool with a simple electronic circuit and a small battery. When it detects metal up to 2-4 cm away, it sounds a signal. Carbon Fibre reacts similarly to metal. Passing the detector over the surface of the board is a quickly acquired art. Experience will teach the measurer what his detector will discover. Some boards will produce a signal in every area where the boards’ skin includes CF throughout. Other boards advertised as CF incorporated may only produce a signal in the area of the toe straps, skeg box or mast step, indicating that the manufacturer only reinforced certain points of the board. What the measurer is looking for is consistency in construction. We have found a single board with CF throughout, while the rest of the same design boards had CF in limited areas only. That board was not allowed to race. This serious case of cheating must be reported, both to the Protest Committee and to IFCA/ISAF without fail.

b. FULL MEASUREMENT

A few boards at each event may be fully measured. A windless area is best with a couple of tables to lay the board on. Alternatively, they can be measured on the ground but if hard, use a board bag or something soft to lay the board on. When confidence is gained, performing a ‘measuring session’ during a no wind day can be an entertainment. Set up the tables in the main tent/club house with chairs around so that an audience can enjoy the fun. Then announce the boards you wish to measure, and with a helper, proceed to check one board after the other. The look on some competitor’s faces when they realise that the board they thought was all CF, merely has a little reinforcing for the skeg box, it makes measuring worthwhile. 

The attached diagram show you the measurements required. The sample form indicates the order of procedure working from left to right

Make, Model, Competitor and sail number are all straight forward.

Serial number: This is sometimes (very rarely) absent. Use a waterproof, spirit based, felt pen to put your own number or mark on the board so that you can identify it later in the regatta.

Weight: Weigh the board with as many fittings removed as reasonably possible. If the skeg and straps are still fitted, weigh a similar set separately and put the weight in the strap/skeg space. Similar deductions can be made for other boards. If the board is close to the minimum allowed, it will have to be weighed with all the fittings removed.

Note that the minimum allowed is 95% of the registered weight. As everyone is interested to know how close to the registered weight his or her board is, check the list and tell him.

Mast slot: With an assistant holding a set square against the extreme aft end of the board and the end of a metal tape measure against the set square, measure both aft and forward ends of the slot itself. Mast tracks should be measured using the extreme ends of travel of the centre of the pin, which the mast locates with.

Overall: Measure the straight line distance from the aft end to the most forward part of the bow.

Width: Find the widest point of the board and measure it.

Carry out a Carbon Fibre check of the deck.

Record the CF check by either ticking each box if all areas contain carbon fibre. If an area only contains partial CF, say for toe strap reinforcement; write ‘toe straps’ in the ‘Deck Aft’ box.

Turn the board over.

With the metal tape only, measure the distance from the aft end of the board to the aft and forward ends of the skeg box.

Rocker: For the purposes of Funboard measurement, this is the length of the curved skin of the bottom (hull). This measurement is always longer than the straight overall length measurement. Several manufacturers use the rocker size to describe the model, while others use the straight line length, which is more ‘correct’.

Simply pull the tape across the bottom from the aft end to the forward end.

Carry out the CF check of the bottom (hull)   

Thank the competitor for presenting his board. Tell him you will check the measurements against the records later and that you will contact him only if there is a problem.

Start on the next board.

c.  INVESTIGATIVE MEASUREMENT

This should only be carried out in extreme cases, and only after consultation with the Jury and the Race Committee. It involves drilling holes into the hull to check the construction. Normally, we would recommend that the competitor is offered the choice of voluntarily allowing this to be carried out on the basis that all damage will be put right by the event organiser should nothing illegal be found.  This was carried out by the German Association who bought a standard board so that they could compare the construction of the two boards.

Consult with the International Measurer where possible, in advance.

4. INTERNATIONAL EVENTS

The same procedures apply, but are usually more rigorously carried out.

It is very important to note that in International events, only boards listed are allowed, excluding those detailed as ‘NRA’ and having no measurement included on the published list.  The presentation by the manufacturer of a certificate/part III form has no relevance, as IFCM Rule 3.3 does not apply to International events.

The rules specify that boards have to be registered 30 days before Continental championships and 60 days before the Worlds. This is to allow publication of the list so that competitors throughout the world are aware of which equipment can be used. Gone are the days when a board turned up at an IFCA worlds that no one had seen before, and yet the ISAF had fully registered it.   

THAT IS WHY WE ARE MEASURING! 

5. ADVICE:

With modern communications, the International Measurer is usually readily available. There are two contact points England and Belgium:

England: Tel: ++44 23 9246 3595. Fax: ++44 23 92460824

E-mail: Steven_IFCA@compuserve.co

Belgium: Tel/Fax: +32 59 32 00 21.      E-mail: bruno.ifca@pandora.be

6. ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS:

Sample Check Measurement Diagram and form are obtainable from International Measurer.

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