NAB Interpretation #1-2005

(Passed May 9th, 2005)

Under-deck cross-powered jib-sheet winches are in violation of the Express 27 Class Rules. This type of system allows the crew to operate or power the leeward winch from the weather side of the boat, with control lines that run under the deck. This type of system is hereby deemed “Exotic and potentially expensive equipment” which “will be prohibited as specified in II. General Clause." Such winching systems materially affect the manner in which the yacht is tacked, enabling a much quicker and efficient change of tacks. It also allows more convenient and efficient upwind jib trim alterations compared to other approaches. This constitutes an unfair competitive advantage, which is contrary to the intent of the one-design Class Rules and in direct violation of the General Clause “…Any modification to hull and deck to improve performance will not be accepted”. Furthermore, such winching systems significantly alter the interior space compromising the cruising capabilities of the yacht and thus violating the Intent of Rules clause “…It is the further intention of these rules that the racing/cruising capabilities of the Express be maintained.”

All owners and skippers are hereby reminded that according to the Class Association rules “It is the responsibility of the owner and skipper of the yacht to check with the Class Association before making any changes to the stock Express as it comes from the factory.”

Any Express 27 so modified shall be prohibited from class-sanctioned one-design competition, until brought into compliance with the Class Rules and this interpretation thereof. This prohibition will become effective after the 2005 Class Nationals.