So, You’re Going to the Worlds!

I’ve written this piece based on my experience on going to the Worlds in Italy in 2018 and hopefully there will be some good advice and tips that may help you.

Planning: For me this started two years before the event, getting the crew together and then putting a budget in place, it’s surprising how quickly costs can build, boat prep, sails, travel and accommodation etc.

12 months out we started looking at accommodation, with about 600 people attending the event you should be booking this as early as possible. When looking at dates give yourself plenty of time, for Italy they allocated three and half days for scrutineering prior to the event and getting this done early allows plenty of time to sort out any issues and get the odd practise sail in.

With accommodation booked and deposits paid next up was the ferry crossing both Irish Ferries & Stena Line offer discounts for ISA members, we used Irish Ferries and had no issues, in fact they were very easy to deal with.

Next up was entry fee, in this case it was €650 which I suspect is the norm for such an event.

Boat: Unless you have been weighed and measured in the last year or two, I would strongly recommend having the boat checked by our Class measurer, it was surprising to see a good 50-60% of boats get rejected for something or other at scrutineering. Have all your sails measured and signed in advance including any spare sails you might end up using, all sails must have the class royalty tag sewn on and the sailmakers signed declaration, we were caught on this with our spare spinnaker and we could not use it because this declaration had worn off, these are the most common reasons for rejection of a sail. Make sure your measurement cert is in the owner’s name and that all correctors mentioned on it are on the boat. Have your inventory list up to date and a copy of this must be on the boat at all times. All black bands (or in some cases blue) must be clearly visible on both mast & boom, these shall be painted or marked with non-removable tape.

PFDs: Three weeks prior to departure all competitors were sent a note outlining everything that was required including that all PFDs (lifejacket/buoyancy aids) were to be certified and stamped with ISO 12405-5 (version 10) standard. Please note most PFDs are made to this standard but do not carry this stamp, we had to go out and buy 5 new lifejackets.

Arriving at the venue: We arrived at the venue on Thursday afternoon and checked in at registration, did the crew weigh-in and got the boat ready for our Friday morning (pre-booked) inspection. The boat first went through a pre-inspection to make sure everything is removed that shouldn’t be there and that everything that should be there is. I had to remove a winch handle pocket from the pushpit which I use to hold the VHF (this was only for the weighing), also make sure all your keel bolts have their nuts exposed, a number of boats got caught with this one.

It was then on to scrutineering, this is were you need many hands, at least two stay with the boat while another two take the sails off for their inspection. At the first station the boat is weighed and checked against your cert, the keel and rudder are then measured. It was then on to the next station were the mast, boom & spinnaker pole are removed from the boat and these were checked and measured. Before leaving the Shed the inventory & lifejackets were checked and the rudder removed and weighed, this is where unbeknown to us that we discovered that we had metal in our rudder. We were one of eight boats with the same issue luckily the class builder was there with seven spare rudders and we had to purchase one of these.

Outside the shed we rigged the mast and it was time for the “mast up” measurement procedure, they measured mast height, forestay length, J measurement and the guard wires were checked for tightness. The Class measurer was constantly checking the guard wires both on and off the water.

With the boat through everything we had one final thing to do  before launching and that was to get the new rudder passed and once we could tie down the measurer for 5 minutes we got this done and everything was signed off – we had to hand in the old rudder to quarantine for the event.

At last after a long and at times stressful day we got the boat launched and then headed for a much-deserved beer or two.

Sailing: The sailing itself was most enjoyable, mind you 89 boats on the start line got some getting used to and it was so important to get a good clean start.

Change of Crew: They take this very seriously and you need a very good reason to chance out a crew member, a letter must be sent to the Race Committee and upon approval the replacement crew has to be weighed in etc.

Checklist:

  • Up to date measurement Cert (a copy of which must be on the boat)
  • Inventory List (a copy of which must be on the boat)
  • Insurance Cert
  • Membership Card
  • Each member of the crew must have photo ID for weigh-in
  • PDF’s stamped to ISO 12405-5 (version 10)
  • All Sail Numbers are the same
  • All sails Measured in Advance and signed with Class royalty tag & sailmakers declaration
  • Date 10th – 18Th September 2020
  • Follow J24 World Championships 2020 on Facebook & www.j24worlds2020.com for latest information

Sum up: To Sum up, plan well ahead, arrive as early as you can, expect the unexpected and enjoy the event.

Looking forward to Poole 2020

Mark Usher

Team Jumpin’ Jive

1 Response

  1. Brendan

    Solid advice.

    If you’re new to an event like this, it’s worth reading the above a couple of times or you’ll find yourself doing a lot of last minute mods to your boat. Remember that measuring is down to the mm, which leaves no margen of error at all. We’ve (Jellignite) had to file mms off our spinnaker pole and rudder (even though we’d had it officially checked and reviewed in Ireland before our second worlds in Garda) and build out our keel in Howth. Not something you want to be doing days or even hours before events like this. New sails? Make sure your number are on them and in exactly the correct position.

    When your boat is actually good for launching, it sort of feels like you already deserve a prize!

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