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Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking?
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The Publisher
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Jan 24, 2006, 10:36 AM

Post #1 of 73 (278993 views)
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Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? Log-In to Post/Reply

During the 2005 Melges 24 Worlds in December, the top sailors exposed a newly found speed advantage: hiking (see images below). The class has never had lifelines, but rather the M24 has what they term a hiking line. The class rules have always regulated the hiking line to be rather loose, though its use for hiking has only recently been fully exploited.

The question is whether this is a good thing or not. It is widely agreed that hiking hard on the M24 has proven to be very fast, but it's not easy to do and most sailors use special belly pads to do it well. Since not everyone in the class is willing to make the sacrifice (hiking against the hiking line, even with pads, is not comfortable, and the later part of the fleet is generally not hiking), should the class make a change to keep the fleet together? Tighten the hiking line, and you restrict the hiking. Keep it loose, and you go faster.

Good arguments on either side of this, and here is what we learned after taking the poll:

Should the Melges 24 class tighten the hiking line to restrict hiking?

Final Results:
Yes - 57.91%
No - 42.09%

Reply with comments below.


(photos by Thierry Martinez)




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Jan 24, 2006, 2:17 PM

Post #2 of 73 (278956 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I voted to tighten the hiking line. There was a time when we didn't hike, and we loved sailing the boat. Now we are forced to hike, though often don't because it is absolutely painful, and hate the feeling of not being able to sail on an equal footing.

It seems so easy to go back to the way it was. The boats will still be great.




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Jan 24, 2006, 3:37 PM

Post #3 of 73 (278951 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Never sailed an M24, but I have sailed enough to know that it is more important to keep the playing field level. I have heard that some folks still haven't recovered from the hiking at the Worlds. Something about nerve damage. Seems silly to let the front of the fleet get further away from the back of the fleet when a simple fix is available


Guest
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Jan 24, 2006, 6:36 PM

Post #4 of 73 (278940 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

 Seems silly to let the front of the fleet get further away from the back of the fleet when a simple fix is available


The front of the fleet will always continue to pull away from the back of the fleet. Regardless of a hiking rule or not, because they always do what it takes to win. They are not out there just to have a good time. They are out there to win. If you are out there to win, then hike. If you don't want to hike, get a different boat.


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mdevries@pacbell.net

Jan 24, 2006, 6:59 PM

Post #5 of 73 (278929 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

These photo's look ubsurd! Its hard to say that the crw on these boat is doing anyhting that could even remotely be called sailing. The M24 is a highly weight sensitive ULDB; boat like this rely on hiking as part of their performance upwind. I'm no longer sailing an M-24 but these photo's look like their is no restriction at all on hiking. Most classes have some kind of restriction - both for safety and to maintain a reasonable level playing field across crwws off different size and athletic ability.

If hiking hurts too much, only a few "pro" boats will hike full on and it become a tradeoff of how hard to try vs how much pain to inflict on the crew. This can not be positive for the class in any way.


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Jan 24, 2006, 7:00 PM

Post #6 of 73 (278927 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I can just see the driver trying to pick up his 4 crew who fell overboard when their line broke in 30 kts. Time to real in the line.


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tprice@usna.edu

Jan 24, 2006, 7:00 PM

Post #7 of 73 (278926 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Looks frickin ridiculous.(feels worse) It would be a better boat if the crew could turn around and sit out like God intended rather than be facing outboard, legs and arms outstretched as if to say "help, get me off of this hell ship!" Then of course, that would lead to Soling type droop hiking. Somehow it feels right in a Star but on a Melges? Either have hiking straps but no drooping or face the wrong way and tighten straps to limit silly hiking.


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Jan 24, 2006, 7:07 PM

Post #8 of 73 (278920 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

First, i'm not sure how this is newly discovered. I think we've always known that leverage= speed uphill.
Second, I could not disagree more with those that say they should be tightened. The appeal of the m24 is a physical, dinghy-like boat. We just wore lifejackets and could hike pretty hard, never even knew this was a problem.
To me (humble opinion), saying we need to keep the fleet together by restricting those that try hard (nobody has said its breaking a rule or even anything shady) is the beginning of the end for a fun class. What's next? Sonar rules of nobody outside the boat?
The 24 came from scow people, where hiking straps, even on a 38ft boat, is the norm. Consider the "hiking lines" a compromise.
Call the lines what you want, just don't take away the rewarding feeling I get from hiking hard and knowing i'm making a difference. Heaven forbid sailing involve breaking a sweat or a little physical fitness....


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timh@cruzio.com

Jan 24, 2006, 7:14 PM

Post #9 of 73 (278918 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I own a M24, and did KWRW once (2004), and definately found that it was quite uncomfortable to hike properly, and thus hiked hard for a while, and then layed off for a few minutes to make it tolerable. We even covered the lifelines with PVC (2"), and extra pading. The chop (4'+) off KW was really steep and pounded us hard. All that, and we ended up mid-fleet anyhow; so I wouldn't say that the difference between the leaders and the following fleet is purely due to hiking. It's also about a really, really good start. A driver that can keep the boat pointing *and* fast, which is a challenge and takes quite a bit of practice. The driver on the M24 is probably overloaded because they also constantly trim the main, traveler and backstay (though on some boats they have modified the main sheet block forward of the traveler for the trimmer). I think (not being a pro mind you), that it's a little of everything -- complex systems generally don't have one point of failure...


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hugh.elliot@earthlink.net

Jan 24, 2006, 7:37 PM

Post #10 of 73 (278909 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Let the class members do whatever they wants but don't count on me ever sailing an M24.


Guest
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Jan 24, 2006, 7:39 PM

Post #11 of 73 (278907 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

The M-24 is a very physical boat. If you want to do well, you must sail it physically, which includes hiking hard! I used to own a M-24 and when the breeze was on, found it easier to remain up on the rail while hiking as opposed to just 'sitting on the high side'. When the boat rolls in on a puff, you don't tend to fall into the boat. If you are opposed to the physical exertion that it takes to hike a M-24, then you may be sailing in the wrong class.


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Jan 24, 2006, 8:27 PM

Post #12 of 73 (278897 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

The statment "if you can't take the heat... get out of the kitchen" comes to mind.
Why slow down a boat where speed is your friend? Pad yourself up go to the gym stop complaining and go sailing.
If you don't want to hike go cruising!


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Jan 24, 2006, 9:05 PM

Post #13 of 73 (278886 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Sure don't see Dave hiking, only the crew. Owners don't hike, but do vote on class rules changes.


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Anton Huggler <sui47@seanet.com>

Jan 24, 2006, 11:42 PM

Post #14 of 73 (278873 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

If the M24 sails like a dinghy... why don't they have trapeze for the crew?
It would be equally effective re speed, still demand athletic sailors but certainly be far more comfortable than flossing stomach.


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auctio@bigpond.com

Jan 25, 2006, 12:13 AM

Post #15 of 73 (278870 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Most small yachts these days are being designed with less weight to add speed and designers are possibly relying on the owners and their crew to think about hiking out to improve the end speed....the more they hike, the better the performance.
In yachts such as Soling, Star and sometime even Etchells, hiking is apparent and in some cases necessary. If the Melges 24 has a rule against it then MANDATE it and that's that, if not then go for it boys........
My crew hike as far as they can on a 30 foot one design and I hear noone complaining...
Akela


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Jan 25, 2006, 12:28 AM

Post #16 of 73 (278868 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Why should the sailors that are making that extra effort be held back, just because the boats at the back of the flee dont want to make the effort or suffer the added discomfort.


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Jan 25, 2006, 4:39 AM

Post #17 of 73 (278851 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Why not really make it a physical boat? I seem to recall that Paul Elvstrom himself suggested getting rid of the hiking lines altogther, reduce the crew number to three and adding trapezes for everyone.
That would get everyone in the gym, put a premium on an athletic style of sailing and and best suit many hardcore blowhards. It would even drop owner's costs for Key West -- only three crew to house and feed instead of four or five.

If the class wants to keep the crew limited to four decent sized adults who hike their nuts off, keep the hiking lines. If they want proper hiking inside life lines, raise the weight limit.


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rjc11@yahoo.com

Jan 25, 2006, 5:39 AM

Post #18 of 73 (278838 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I think Safety should come into play. Can you see the driver trying to pick up his crew who fell overboard when the hiking strap broke on a cold windy day.


Dgeorge403
*

Jan 25, 2006, 6:13 AM

Post #19 of 73 (278825 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I have been a regular crew on a Melges 24 for many years. I am all for going fast, but should we have to hurt ourselves, be in pain, or be really uncomfortable most of the day to enjoy racing on a Melges? I don't think so. Hopefully the Melges fleet will tighten up the hiking line rule, otherwise the bottom 3/4 of the fleet will never have a chance to compete. Most crews will not hike that hard all the time during a race. The loose hiking line and extreme hiking is just another example of the how the sport of sailing is becoming more professional and pushing out the average "Joe sailor."


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Jan 25, 2006, 6:33 AM

Post #20 of 73 (278817 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply


In Reply To
If you are out there to win, then hike. If you don't want to hike, get a different boat.


I didn't not vote yes or no as I don't sail the boat. I already own a different boat and it fun to race. Sounds like the beginning of the end of the class to me. The top dogs come and go with the hottest new thing. The backenders are the life blood of any class. If they're losing and its no fun, the backender stop coming. Long term classes like Lightning, Snipes, and Thistles take care of their backenders!! It protects the investment.


melges419
***


Jan 25, 2006, 7:05 AM

Post #21 of 73 (278810 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

As someone that is very involved including in the decision making in this I feel that the hiking lines should be tightened somewhat to avoid the kind of hiking that is happening now where people are hanging over the lines instead of against them. By tightening up the hiking lines somewhat we would hopefully get rid of the devices that some people think are legal and I along with many think are illegal. These devices make it so that people can hang o the hiking lines for long periods and give them an advantage. But there are some hard materials used to assist them and reading the rules I think they are highly illegal. This is definitely not everyone's opinion but the rule seems clear to me.
Sail Often and have fun


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Jan 25, 2006, 7:39 AM

Post #22 of 73 (278803 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Just because they're called "life lines" in any other class, I don't think safety is a real issue here. No those guys are just trying to get away from their work after a stressful week. And if a few crew without 6 pk. abs find it uncomfortable to have a padded wire trying to perform an appendectomy on them while they're going up the beats (the weenies), there's a simple solution. All you need to do is hang six more wires off the masthead and put everyone in trapeze harnesses. It will provide the ultimate comfort for the crew and provide loads of spectator value in 25-30 mph winds as half a dozen guys try to get across and out on the other side during a tack.

Should be a hoot.


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rr6013@netscape.net

Jan 25, 2006, 8:03 AM

Post #23 of 73 (278798 views)
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Melges-Style Guide to Good Health and Hiking [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Compression loads on lower back vertabrae from Melges-style hiking ensures predictable back problems.

My "YES" vote is for the protection of health and human safety. I have the knees and back problems from hiking on sailing boats to back up that vote, as do any other sailors who have campaigned Finn, Star, Etchells, 505, and club-level lifeline-hiker sleds as-pictured.

It's immoral sanction of destructive behavior to foster competition, at the expense of the unwitting.


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teamkyrnos@hotmail.com

Jan 25, 2006, 8:24 AM

Post #24 of 73 (278791 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

This is the most ridiculous attempt to make a keel boat faster. Where does it stop? Why not put all the guys on a trapeze? Either remove the "hiking line" or have them install a tight lifeline.


In Reply To
During the 2005 Melges 24 Worlds in December, the top sailors exposed a newly found speed advantage: hiking (see images below). The class has never had lifelines, but rather the M24 has what they term a hiking line. The class rules have always regulated the hiking line to be rather loose, though its use for hiking has only recently been fully exploited.

The question is whether this is a good thing or not. It is widely agreed that hiking hard on the M24 has proven to be very fast, but it's not easy to do and most sailors use special belly pads to do it well. Since not everyone in the class is willing to make the sacrifice (hiking against the hiking line, even with pads, is not comfortable, and the later part of the fleet is generally not hiking), should the class make a change to keep the fleet together? Tighten the hiking line, and you restrict the hiking. Keep it loose, and you go faster.

Good arguments on either side of this, so click here to take the poll.

Reply with comments below.


(photos by Thierry Martinez)






Guest
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Jan 25, 2006, 8:26 AM

Post #25 of 73 (278791 views)
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Re: [Guest] Melges-Style Guide to Good Health and Hiking [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I am sick and tired of watching all these young and in shape kids kick my butt in the laser. I am a 10X better sailor than they are but just can't keep up with them because I really don't want to hike that hard and pump the mainsheet on the waves. I say lets ban all hiking on any boat. That way it is just about your sailing skill, not your physical ability.

I love how over 3/4 of the post are from people who have never sailed a 24 or never will. I think it is obvious that these boats aren't for everyone. And to the owners that are crying about it, you knew what you were getting into when you bought the boat. Now you want to ruin it for those that enjoy the physical aspect of the 24. And If you are finishing in the bottom half of the fleet, it's has nothing to do with hicking or lack thereof. ANd to the adrenalin junkies that want to put trap on the boat, it's about time you gave up sailing and go back to mountain biking and hangliding.


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melgesguy@gmail.com

Jan 25, 2006, 9:05 AM

Post #26 of 73 (278761 views)
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Re: [Guest] Melges-Style Guide to Good Health and Hiking [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Where did you get the idea that the top teams just discovered this new way to go fast? Long before there were any hiking aids these crews were hiking their asses off. I was taught to sail a Melges 4 years ago on a mid-level team and the owner of the boat showed us how to hike JUST LIKE THIS back then. The hiking line tension has been the same since the inception of the class. The hiking aids recently developed by Pegasus and some others have actually levelled the playing field some as now those with slightly less physical endurance and conditioning can now hike out for longer. Look at Mumm 30s and numerous other overpowered designs and you'll see the same kind of hiking. On every keelboat I've ever raced the crew hikes as hard as they can, and then they hike some more. Remember some things about the class you're all bitching about: 100 plus boats at Worlds, 60 at Key West, many of the top sailors in the world at both events, many as OWNERS. It's also an incredibly tightly knit group of people from all over the world, and part of this is that not everyone can handle the boat. With all this, it hardly seems to be "the beginning of the end."
Maybe a lot of you don't realize that sail racing is a sport in serious decline. Some of us are doing what we can to get the next generation involved, and the next generation is NOT INTERESTED in non-athletic endeavours. Sail racing needs to compete with all the exciting sports out there, and wearing a blue blazer while you sail your piggish old boat around the course just isn't exciting to 18 year olds, and does absolutely NOTHING for the future of the sport that we love. You out of shape or physically challenged people need to stick to your catalinas and let the adrenaline junkies sail boats like these. There's always jib-and-main and gunkholing for you.


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deckstars@msn.com

Jan 25, 2006, 9:35 AM

Post #27 of 73 (278748 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Sailing shouldn't hurt like that must after a heavy air regatta. Having sailed Thistles for 25 years, the pain factor has hurt class growth, and it will hurt the Melges calss too.


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Jan 25, 2006, 9:51 AM

Post #28 of 73 (278739 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

last I checked, everyone has the same opportunity to hike (although some may CHOOSE not to). Sounds like a level playing field to me. If you can't handle a little pain and physical activity, you may be in the wrong fleet. M24s are about performance and pushing a boat to its limits in order to gain an edge. Comfort just doesn't fit into this class.


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billhardesty

Jan 25, 2006, 10:01 AM

Post #29 of 73 (278735 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Lifelines should be eliminated all together. Install some hand rails and hold on. Sail the boats more like a j-22. If you tighten the lifelines we will continue to do the same thing, only with tighter lifelines. It is more than leaning, it is arms out and feet up to keep them out of the water. Until the rule changes you will need to wear a hiking pad called, "the manpon" made by either Hutchinson Sports or Max Skelly and have a nice big bottle of advil onboard.

Bill Hardesty


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bboyd1@san.rr.com

Jan 25, 2006, 10:02 AM

Post #30 of 73 (278736 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

If you don't like the sailing style, don't buy that type of boat. I sailed a Thistle a few years and they were pretty brutal on skipper and crew being perched on a two inch wide rail with feet under hiking straps. Oh yeah, you got to slam into the centerboard trunk on each tack too. The M24 is just an extension of the "extreme" progression in most competitive sports such as skiing, skate boarding, motocross, etc.


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platt1@cox.net

Jan 25, 2006, 10:20 AM

Post #31 of 73 (278729 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

It's a keelboat! Keelboats go slow and requiring crews to damage their nerves and bruise their hip bones for a tenth of a knot of upwind speed is ridiculous.
I did the World's and KWRW as the skipper and I hiked in the real strong breeze so my lighter wife could drive. To really hike hard makes it difficult to breath, bruises your hips and causes numbness in the legs and that was with the $130 hiking pads I bought for the crew.
If the Melges class really wants to hike then allow trapezes for 2-3 of the crew, now that would be cool and comfortable.
But again it is a keelboat, not a dinghy so what's the point.
BTW the really hard hikers are paid to hike and they are not as old as the skippers are. It is the rare amateur who will hike for a mid fleet finish for free.
A final point is that the Melges 24 class has died on the local level, is this the reason why?


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Jan 25, 2006, 10:50 AM

Post #32 of 73 (278724 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

The international class rules allow for a level playing field in this area by limiting the amount the lifelines can be loosened:

C.3.13. When pushing down hard on the hiking lines at the mid point between the two centre stanchions,
no part of the hiking line including padding etc shall touch the deck.

Having participated in the worlds, I can attest that all class rules were being enforced by an international committee and jury. The boats in the front of the fleet compared to those in the back of the fleet had more going for them than just hiking harder.


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Jan 25, 2006, 12:05 PM

Post #33 of 73 (278719 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

This is going too far - whatever happened to torso perpendicular to the water? Dinghys are for hiking, keelboats are not...


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mydawgcharlie@aol.com

Jan 25, 2006, 12:39 PM

Post #34 of 73 (278714 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I wouldn't buy the boat. Looks like too much work! But that's just me. There are other boats out there that are a bit more sedate.


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newsdog@viaccess.net

Jan 25, 2006, 3:49 PM

Post #35 of 73 (278691 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I've sailed M24s in fleet racing with a double lifeline set up and still been hiking damn hard for big periods of upwind work. Just passed my 50th b-day. Without years of hiking my ass off on J-24s J-29s, etc. etc. I wouldn't have had the tolerance for it. Is it only the boats I'm on that say "hike hard guys, we need to make this mark"? if you need it once in a while then all the time is better. Suck it up, hike hard, win races.
ps the pain is nothing like being stopped by the shrouds when nose dive broaching a Melges as illustrated by some of the pictures from big wind days at KWRW.
Wally Bostwick


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Jan 25, 2006, 6:45 PM

Post #36 of 73 (278653 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

This technique looks dangerous. Bad enough to have one crew fall overboard, but a broken line would leave the skipper alone with three crew in the water and the packed fleet sailing right at them. Does anyone still use common sense? Maybe the "life" lines should be removed and old fashioned, tried-and-true dinghy hiking straps installed. Works well on slightly smaller performance boats like the Viper 650.


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timh@cruzio.com

Jan 25, 2006, 6:59 PM

Post #37 of 73 (278648 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Actually, *I* did hike. At 255lbs, I had to, and let someone else drive...


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timh@cruzio.com

Jan 25, 2006, 7:01 PM

Post #38 of 73 (278647 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

We've broken our lifelines 3 different times and have been dumped in SF bay -- burr -- and the driver had us back in the boat within a few minutes. No worries.


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timh@cruzio.com

Jan 25, 2006, 7:10 PM

Post #39 of 73 (278644 views)
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Re: [Guest] Poll: Should the Melges 24 class restrict hiking? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

SEDATE? Oh, my! Our M24 has go as fast as 18kts on Lake Tahoe, and we were yelling our heads off hooping and hollaring. The M24 is just the right size to avoid the wetsuit, but still go almost as fast as the 49ers. Sometimes we share a course with J/105's and J/120's -- and just blow by them like they ain't going no where. Downwind fun, fun, fun; and a bit uncomfortable upwind.

BTW, last year, we beat 120 boats from Richmond (no SF bay) all the way to Stockton 67.5 miles downwind. Then a big BBQ, the band and camping on the grass. What a life!


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Jan 26, 2006, 6:19 AM

Post #40 of 73 (278563 views)
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Re: [Guest] Melges-Style Guide to Good Health and Hiking [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Boy I could not agree more with you.....easy talk from the cheap seats. The M24 is a sport boat, not a skiff or an overbuilt keel boat. It was designed to be physical, fast, and fun. It is not the easiest boat to sail and it takes years to learn how to get her up to speed in the breeze.

The M24 puts a strong light on a good start and killer speed off the line. Once you pop out and get a lane, things open up, sailing 101; as my college coach (CofC) would say "win the start, hit the first shift and extend" (easier said than done).

The M24 is one of the best bangs for the buck, hands down....then you turn the corner and start ripping downhill, you forget all about the pain...it is just plain FUN!


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