With some 16 major international regattas coming up in the spring of 2020 across the Caribbean, the CSA prides itself in its robust and well-received rating formula which has underpinned the success of world-famous events including Antigua Sailing Week and the St Maarten Heineken Regatta.
As the Chief Measurer and Chief Technical Officer of the Caribbean Sailing Association, Bastien Pouthier has the job of managing the team of measurers spread all over the Caribbean and working together with them to find the compromise to the Rule to make the rating formula as fair as the measurers can see it.
To keep the Rule up to date the CSA’s measurers meet annually to air problems they have encountered over the season, compare regattas and yachts results and discuss amendments to the constantly evolving formula and evolution of boat design.
Bastien, originally from France, but now a resident of Trinidad, draws the picture. “This year we have made a few adjustments. We had a first meeting in Antigua during Antigua Sailing Week in May where we decided where we needed to aim the 2020 Rule. At this week’s sessions we tested these amendments. My main goal was to have the 2020 Rule and program ready for the end of October, to launch in November 2019 ready for the beginning of the Caribbean Racing season. We’ve now achieved this.”
Eight measurers convened in English Harbour on 19 and 20 October. The meeting was an integral part of Caribbean Sailing Week which was underway at the same time and whose elements included the Caribbean Dinghy Championships and the CSA Conference. Along with Bastien visiting measurers included David Walworth of St Croix, Sandy Mair, Tony Maidment and George Saunders, all of Antigua, Iain Mobbs of St Maarten, James Benoit of Grenada and Renata Goodridge of Barbados. “We are making sure our whole team is up to date and understanding the evolution of the Rule so that we are all on the same page,” says Bastien.
In theory there is one measurer per island, although that doesn’t mean all the smaller territories will have one. However, the main Rule covers most of the racing boats in the Caribbean region. There are also an additional three Rules: Multihull, Simplified and Classics. “In the last two years we have modified this main Rule quite a lot and there was quite a heavy burden on our meetings over that period to test it out. However, I’m pleased to say that this week we were just doing fine tuning.” Bastien adds “This is a sign that we have achieved a big stepping stone with our Rules, and this is because we have done a lot of work over the last few years.”
“The three additional Rules are integrated into the new programme, so, for the first time this year, we now have one platform for all formats. All the Caribbean regattas can now be run under this rule including the classic boat events.”
The Rule is easy to implement and boats need to be certified annually and remeasured every five years. A new pared-down payment structure is in place for the Simplified and Classics measurement certificates. Around 200 boats in the Caribbean have a CSA rating certificate plus there are another 30 or more Classics besides.
Historically the CSA Rule has been shown to be very reliable and steady as well as cost efficient, full measurement. We’ve got a good team here now in the Caribbean,” concludes Bastien, “but the ultimate aim is towards fair racing.”