August 17, 2017

When is it a Classic and when a Vintage? Is it correct to talk about a Marconi rig or a bermudian? Vicens Domenech, from the measurments office at the regatta unveils all there is to know about this classic competitions.

PALMA, 17 DE AGOSTO DE 2017.- The division in classic and vintage regattas is established by the rules from the entity International Mediterranean Committee (CIM), which grants a certificate to every boat according to their age (from the launch date) and, for the oldest vessels, according to their rigging.

Vicens Domenech, head of measurements in the Illes Balears Clàssics Regatta, explains that the rule is very clear in the definition of what a Vintage or a Classic boat is. Any vessels prior to December 31 1949 belong to the first category, while in the second one go those vessels launched between January 1 in 1950 and 1975 . "However - he says- they have to be built in wood or metal, without any exceptions". If they are built in fiber and are older than 20 years, these belong to a category called RI Classics, where we can find units that used to be very popular back in the 70's and the 80's".

This rule, apparently very clear, has some exceptions. Among the entries in the pure Classics there are sometimes boats launched after 1975, how is this possible? Domenech explains that, in this case, these are replicas, that is, boats built based on the original plans and, of course, in wood or metal. Once the general finishing of the vessel is verified, they compete as Classics.

Another case that creates many doubts is when a boat prior to 1975 is not accepted as a classic by the CIM. According to Domenech, these are units built in fiber (the aforementioned RI Classics) or vessels that originally followed the rule but have been subject to "great transformations", for example "the installation of a carbon mast or a fiber coating in the hull". These old but modified vessels have a specific category, which is Spirit of Tradition".

From Gaff to Bermudian

The boats considered vintage are included in the biggest period of classic sailing. In this class we find all those boats launched up until half of XX century, although it is hard to find survivors in the international circuit prior to the last decade of XIX century. Over those 60 years, the development of sailing experienced important revolutions. Until the 20's of the last century, almost all riggings were trapezoid, with Gaff rigs. In this era we find vessels whose masts hold great sail surface and booms that easily surpass the stern. The 15-meter class are the perfect example of the pure breed in Gaff rig.