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TOPIC: Cirrus email published on the Yahoo Forum

Cirrus email published on the Yahoo Forum 5 years 10 months ago #717

  • paulsailing
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A certain amount of debate/concern is always inevitable .. and healthy within any class. As a racer myself I will stay pretty much neutral and will race the Blaze whatever ... and will be happy whatever the vote goes ... in the short term.

However as manufacturer and looking ahead I do have concerns. We need to spend a lot of money periodically replacing hull / foil tooling and have to plan financially for it every year. It is expensive to say the least and we really have to look beyond the UK to recoup the cost. The UK market is very important to us but is simply not large enough on its own. We must broaden the Blaze appeal beyond the UK. In simple terms this means selling more new boats overseas and just possibly more within the UK. If I do not run Cirrus in a conventional business manner the company will eventually be unable to maintain further replacement / maintenance expenditure.

I am not particularly concerned if the AGM decides not to allow the full carbon mast option immediately. We will be supplying carbon masts for the Blaze anyway from 1/1/13 for overseas bound boats and as an option in the UK. It would be better in my opinion to allow them soon but if some restriction on say travellers Opens and Blaze Championship use for the 2013 season was in place that could be a good compromise. Some proposals I have read would not allow them unfettered until the 2014 Nationals - that is for a full 20 months from now. There would be no reason for anyone to purchase a new mast until at least that time - even if they believed it offered a worthwhile racing advantage.

Long term I would not wish to see a 'Euro Blaze' develop seperately from a 'UK Blaze' .. and one day I'd even like to see a proper European Championship.

We (both the CA and Cirrus) do position the boat in 'marketing speak' terms as a 'singlehander performance boat'. The Blaze must be one of the very last to make this transition - possibly a good thing as we can end up now with a very good option to my mind having let the real pioneers sort them out first ! However we should accept that technology has moved on now and The Blaze can be left behind if we are not careful. It is increasingly difficult to persuade potential Blaze purchasers already used to carbon rigs in other classes to switch to the Blaze ... and it not just from performance classes either - even the British Moth allows the option today !

I'm old enough to recall similar debates when classes switched from wooden masts to alloy ones many years ago. All the same arguments were made both pro and against. Similarly when hull materials switched from wood to GRP and then later to 'sandwich' construction. We'd all switch tomorrow if carbon masts were free of course. But as later technology emerges we do have to periodically bite the bullet.

PN changes ? If the boat does prove faster around the clubs the system then automatically adjusts its PN based on recorded resuls. I am not convinced that a significant advantage is the point here but if recorded results determine PN change it will change.

To answer a few details at this stage - prior to the AGM report.

1) The mast option being offered is for a 50mm round section mast with 1.8m taper. It is relatively simple to repair and fewer masts will be written off in future.
2) The section can take existing standard spreaders and standard rigging - to keep the switching costs a bit lower - ie common spares.
3) The mast has bend characteristics shared with the Icon mast - ie the current STANDARD Blaze mainsail can be used and the sail will NOT be changed.
4) It can be supplied 'clear' for those who like the look or epoxy coated theoretically in virtually any colour - white as default.
5) The tube is 39% lighter - not particularly light for carbon but it goes with the curve required / sought.
6) There is a distinct difference between 'bend' and 'responce' characteristics - The bend character will be very similar the 'responce' however will be faster - translation: much easier to use particularly when gusty BUT the current crew weight distribution should be unchanged.
7) The mast option on offer is not a 1st generation 'black tube' - it is highly developed and very suited to the Blaze.

In summary:

1) Carbon is 'better' but it carries a cost with it.
2) Accepting a plan for adoption does not necessarily mean 'now'or possibly even 'next year' but there are strong arguments for setting a certain timetable now.
3) We all share in wanting further class growth.

Mike L. (Cirrus Raceboats Limited)
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