2001 ATC Report to WTC

Report from Chris Parkinson, President, Australian Tasar Council, to the 2001 World Council meeting.

Tasars in Australia are in a healthy position with approximately 250 members of the Australian Tasar Council. The States with the largest membership are New South Wales and Victoria.

Demand for new boats has been good, with Bethwaite Designs selling more boats in the past 18 months than they have in the previous five years. Second hand boats have also been in great demand, with good quality boats selling as soon as they come on the market.

Australia is looking forward to staging the Tasar Worlds in 2005. Three States are showing interest in holding them, these being the Northern Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales. The venue will be decided on at the next meeting of the ATC to be held at Port Lincoln during the Australian Championships in January 2002.

Hull weight
While all State Associations were opposed to the proposed reduction, there is still keen interest in hull weights, and they are being continually monitored at major events such as State and National Championships. At recent championships the average hull weight of competing boats has been below 68 kg. Should this trend continue, I am sure that the States would be more inclined to consider a progressive reduction in hull weight.

Carrying ballast for underweight crews
Over the years changes in the level of ballast carried to compensate for underweight crews has been reduced to a level that I consider to be approximately right. To reduce crew weight further would be a retrograde step for the class. The class has developed a market niche in that it is ideal for two adults. To reduce the crew weight level further would most probably lose these sailors. Similar has been noted in other classes in Australia, such as the NSI4. The need to address the issue of crew weight is what originally led to the development of the Tasar class.

Competent skippers will perform well and not be disadvantaged in stronger wind strengths regardless of crew weight. However, in lighter winds (below 12 knots) crews with a combined weight below "standard" weight will definitely be advantaged.

It is permissible for the additional weight rule to be waived at a local level if the District so desires; however, when we all come together at an International Regatta, then Class rules will prevail.

Regatta management - standardisation of age categories
For many years the age categories within Australia have included:
-  a combined age of 80 years for Masters, and
- a combined age of 100 years for Grand Masters
However, at the current Championships at Whitstable, the NOR advised that the Masters age category be 85 years. This could possibly mean that the crew who won the Masters in Japan would be ineligible to defend his title. This is totally unacceptable. Therefore it is felt that these age categories should be set in concrete by an addition to the Class Rules or some other means, to ensure that the categories remain consistent at all Championships.

Under the new ISAF rules classes are required to set their advertising category for sponsorship of individual boats. The ISAF default for International classes is category A (no advertising). Sponsor money to meet the costs of attendance at Championships is of great assistance to the Class. But we must be able to offer sponsors something for their money, i.e. advertising space on hulls and/or sails. The Australian State Tasar Associations would most probably support a change to the Class Rules to become Category C, and so allow individual sponsorship. The current Australian Yachting Federation position on advertising is that all Australian classes are by default Category C, and classes must apply to become Category A (with no advertising).  When the Tasar becomes an International Class in late 2001, it will be bound by the ISAF default rather than the AYF one. The World Tasar Association should address the question of advertising categories and apply for Category C as soon as possible.

Chris Parkinson, August 21, 2001