A word from the ODT.
Very few Etchells owners probably know what the One Design Technical Committee does. The ODT’s charter is to serve as an advisory committee to the IGC and make recommendations to preserve the one design nature of the class.
So what does this all really mean, then? It means that we look at advancements and trends in all aspects of sailing, against our class rules and then determine if changes are necessary, in order to keep a level playing field. Furthermore, the ODT clearly recognises that time marches on and it is not our intent to stop development, but rather to manage it. In this way, we limit the ability for an arms race to occur, where the most technologically advanced or wealthy teams have an overwhelming advantage.
Bows of the world's premier OD class. Pic by John Curnow.
Over the past decade that I have had the privilege to be chairman of the ODT, we have addressed issues ranging from hull and keel shapes, to the fairness of four person crews. If anyone is interested, a number of reports from the ODT can be found on the class web site. I must confess that my job is made easy because of the tireless support that we enjoy from the rest of the ODT team. Allan Gray, Bruce Nelson, Jake Gunther and Vince Brun all donate countless hours to the cause, digging into the details, so that all of us can have a strong and fair class.
The overwhelming issue that keeps coming in front of the ODT, is attempts to skirt the class rules and illegally ballast boats. Everything from adding water ballast in the bilge to inordinate amounts of ‘luggage’ being taken onboard, has been discussed.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind all Etchells owners and crew that fundamental to our rules is the concept that we are a Corinthian class and that intentionally skirting the rules is ILLEGAL. So if you have an idea that you think would make our boats better, please let the ODT know. We would be glad take a look.
Governor and Chairman, One Design Technical Committee