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Change to Class Rules - Backstay

Michael Paauwe | Published on 7/27/2022

Amendment to Farr 1020 Class Rules and Restrictions.

Proposed: Cameron Thorpe, Seconded: Mike Paauwe
Approved by unanimous vote at the 2022 Annual general meeting.

Section: Standing Rigging

“The backstay shall be stainless steel multi strand wire (1/19) with minimum diameter of 5mm.”

“The backstay shall be one of the following:
a) 316 stainless steel 1x19 multi-strand wire with minimum diameter of 5mm.
b) Synthetic fibre (Dyneema™, Spectra™, Vectran™, Dynex™ or similar) that is protected from U.V. and chafe by a sheath, with a minimum diameter of 5mm and a minimum breaking load of 3000kg. The sheath can be an over braided cover of the same or different material.”

This alteration will allow more flexibility in materials for the backstay without creating any significant competitive advantage.
The standard stainless wire has a breaking load of 2100kg. A higher breaking load is required for synthetics due to the reduction in strength that occurs as those fibres age.
The approximate weight difference is 1.2kg which will have no measurable effect on performance.
Cameron Thorpe has worked with the committee to present an amendment to the class rules that is clear, concise, and enforceable. The aim was to relax the restriction of the backstay material in a way that allowed the flexibility to use modern materials, without creating significant performance advantage or compromising safety.
It is important that owners obtain professional advice before replacing the backstay with synthetic fibre. All rigging should be inspected regularly for signs of damage or deterioration and replaced at intervals appropriate for the material used.