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Musto Skiff Class Members Vote to Adopt the New Mainsail Design

by International Musto Skiff Class Association 8 May 09:33 BST
The new mainsail for the Muso Skiff © Alexander Greil and Viviane Mouron

For nearly six years, the Musto Skiff class has been exploring and debating whether to adopt a new mainsail design or maintain the existing design. Various prototypes were developed and trialled by the class over this period, and in April 2023 the class members were asked to vote on the future of the mainsail.

After five weeks of voting, the results are now in, and the international committee can now confirm that the class has voted by majority in favour of the new design. Plans will now be put in motion to produce and implement the new mainsail in time for the 2024 Worlds, which will be hosted at Weymouth in the UK.

The current mainsail has served the class well for over 20 years since the Musto Skiff class was established in 2000. However, the project was viewed as an opportunity to take advantage of new sail technologies and design expertise, and to keep the class in line with current mainsail trends.

On behalf of the class, International Chairman, Danny Boatman said: "Exciting times ahead; not only do we have the Garda Worlds to look forward to, but a new sail to master. This gives the class a lift, which will ensure other keen sailors see our class as exciting and happy to evolve. The new challenge will encourage past and new sailors to join our terrific class."

The project was conducted in conjunction with class boat builder, Ovington Boats, and class sailmaker, Hyde Sails, who followed a brief from the class to develop a new mainsail design. The project included considerations for multiple factors from sail performance and cloth to product cost and optimum roll out schedules.

Ovington Boats Managing Director, Chris Turner said: "I'm glad the International Community have pulled together to finally put the question of a new design sail to bed in a positive vote. With the question mark removed we can now move forward, growing the fleet globally and putting on fantastic events."

The mainsail vote, which was for class members only, was open for 5 weeks over 27th March to 30th April 2023. It attracted 123 votes in total, representing fleets in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA. The global majority voted conclusively to adopt the new mainsail design with a share of 60% voting for new and 40% voting to maintain the existing sail.

At the time of this announcement, Ovington confirmed that the pricing of the new mainsail will be in line with that of the existing, with plans to make it available before the end of this year.

The class association will now work closely with Ovington on the roll out of the new mainsail, with the intention of having it readied and embedded globally within the class in time for the 2024 Worlds to be hosted at WPNSA in Weymouth next July. Once confirmed, further details on the roll out will be shared with the class members.

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