The class rules and the Classe MINI 6.5 association itself were registered in 1984. Since then, the official text is getting corrections each year after the AGM.
All Mini 6.50 yachts are divided into 2 divisions with different requirements for construction and materials - production (serial) boats and prototypes.
The class rules is BOX RULES - a set of geometric and physical constraints. Moreover, the races are held without a handicap. Boats start all together and the result is determined "by arrival" in two groups - production and proto for boats of old and new generations together.
The main limitations of the "box":
- only monohulls are allowed
- length no more than 6.5 m
- width no more than 3 m
- draft no more than 2 m for proto and no more than 1.6 m for production boats
- air draft no more than 12 m from the water surface
- board height not less than 0.75 m
- the number of sails in the race - no more than 7, including the storm jib
Serial boats have a number of design and construction restrictions, as well as additional limits on installed equipment and sail material.
Prototypes are free from these limitations and have been a kind of “laboratory” for innovations for many years.
Canting keels, dagger boards, wing masts, water ballast, bowsprits for huge gennakers, new (or rather, "well forgotten old") hull shapes with very wide contours and blunt rounded noses, double rudder feathers, hydrofoils, transom plates - many of these innovations were first tried out on the Mini before reaching the larger and more expensive classes. Designers and yacht builders boldly experiment with Mini Proto.
Safety during the competition is technically realised through the application of strict requirements for equipment on board. Yachts participating in long ocean races such as the Mini Transat must be staffed under Category 1 of the Special World Sailing Rules (OSR). There are also special requirements from the class itself, spelled out in the rules. Special attention is paid to the quality of electronics and wiring, tightness of cable connections.
The Class Mini is truly the test bed of marine innovation. Production (serial) boats may have some limitations in using fuel cell generators, but for proto, PowerUP's 200 W and 400 W silent and portable fuel cell generators may just be the perfect source of energy. In production division, lithium batteries and fuel cells cannot be used together, although there is no internal combustion within fuel cells but a chemical reaction.
This post first appeared on Irina Gracheva's Facebook.