CARBON MASTS - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS "UPDATED"03 Jul 2017
In recent years, the International 470 Class Association has discussed the introduction of a carbon mast and at the 2016 470 General Assembly Meeting on 13 November 2016 in Barcelona, Spain a proposal was put to delegates.
At that meeting, there was much discussion regarding the changes to the class rules to permit a two-piece carbon mast for the 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition. Whilst the change received a majority approval, it did not achieve the two-thirds majority required to implement a change to the class rules. At that time, it was felt that more information was required to address queries from NCAs and sailors, with a further proposal to change the class rules coming for the 2017 General Assembly.
The 470 Class Technical Committee together with the spar manufacturers have prepared a Questions and Answers, and further testing has taken place through 2017. This file was updated at the end of June 2017.
Carbon masts had been available since Trofeo Princesa Sofia for testing by teams, either in their own boats or in a test boat, and manufacturers were also present at many of these events. Meetings between class representatives, manufacturers, sailors and coaches took place on Friday 24 March at Club Nautic Arenal and also in Monaco during the 2017 European Championships, with the aim to have an open discussion and answers all questions, as well as consider the timing of introduction; for the 2020 or 2024 Olympics, with the latter being the more realistic choice.
Carbon masts have been used for Olympic class yachts for over 20 years now. All classes using carbon have proven that they can last longer and are a lot harder to break. The 470 has used the experiences of these classes to ensure that the new proposed 470 mast rule will produce the most cost effective, reliable and consistent carbon mast possible.