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Updated February 22, 2005
After the 1980 America's Cup in Newport, Rhode Island a new "class" of boats was introduced to the sailing world. Because of their resemblance to the 12 Meter yachts sailed in the America's Cup they were called "Mini 12's".
Mini 12's became popular as many sailors discovered that family and business commitments prevented them from using their larger yachts. Mini 12's offered an excellent opportunity to resume racing without investing large amounts of money and available leisure time.
The International 2.4mR Class:
Within two years of the debut of the "Mini-12", the Scandinavian Peninsula became the development site of an even more sophisticated yacht -- the 2.4mR yacht. Designed by Peter Norlin, Sweden's renowned naval architect, along with a number of other designers, these boats met the design criteria of the International Meter Rule. Peter Norlinís design also enabled physically challenged sailors to adapt the sailboat to their specific needs. This has provided disabled and able-bodies sailors an opportunity to successfully compete against one another.
Organized in 1986, the International 2.4mR Class is well established in the Scandinavian countries and around the World. It is not unusual to see 50 or more 2.4mR boats at the starting line of a race.
The 1996 2.4mR World Championship in Cannes, France (October 1996) had seventy-five (75) Norlin yachts starting in a seventy-nine (79) yacht fleet. Peter Norlin won the 1996 2.4mR World Championship, and placed second in the 1997 2.4mR World Championships. Eighty-one (81) of eighty-six (86) yachts were Norlin designed.
The 1998 World Championships had over 100 boats registered. What a start line that proved to be. 1999 was another banner year for the World Championships with over 90 boats registered. With many World Championships sailed in Europe, where most of the fleets reside, 100 or so boats are not uncommon at the start. The United States hosted the 2002 World Championship with 55 boats representing more than seven nations at the start.
The International 2.4mR Class is a "development class". It is not yet strictly defined as a "one-design" class. Subtle changes may be made if the modifications remain within the Meter Rule. There is considerable discussion within the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), formerly the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU), and other organizations around the world to make the class a true "one-design".
The Swedish 2.4mR Class has asked many 2.4mR owners, racers and builders, for their position on the 2.4mR Class becoming a true One-Design Class. See Standardization below.
The International 2.4mR Class is growing worldwide. In November 1992, the International 2.4mR Class, and the Norlin Mark III, was adopted into the IYRU. This has provided an additional measure of acceptance and strength to the popularity of the design.
The Norlin Mark III is ideal for either the beginning, physically challenged and experienced sailor. Due to its design, itís an excellent "racing machine". It incorporates all of the major sail control features of other meter yachts such as a boom vang, backstay tensioner, outhaul, traveler, cunningham, etc. All sail trim controls are led to a console forward of the helmsmanís seat, below the main deck. Steering is controlled either by foot pedals or hand controls. The hallmark of the Norlin Mark III is its unique design and versatility. As a fixed-keel yacht it is virtually non-capsizable. If it is swamped, it will not sink as a result if its built in positive foam flotation.
Simple, yet thrilling to sail, the majority of your body remains below the waterline. The Norlin Mark III provides an incredible rush of excitement. Many racers describe it as the Formula 1 race car of sailing. There is nothing you canít learn from sailing a Norlin Mark III, as you are the skipper, tactician and crew.
The characteristic features of the fixed keel, displacement yacht makes the size of the skipper meaningless. Men, women, disabled and beginning sailors are at no disadvantage due to weight or other body characteristics. The Norlin Mark III requires little physical exertion to sail, allowing each sailor to compete evenly. Sailing ability is the critical factor to winning, not strength. The Norlin Mark III provides one of the few forms of competition where disabled and able-bodied persons can compete on an equal basis.
A strong class association is important for active sailboat racers. This will protect their fleet through standardization of design and promotion of the design to increase the popularity of the class. Standardization enables owners to compete throughout the world with other racers who own boats sharing identical specifications.
Peter Norlin, designer of the Norlin Mark III, will propose to the ISAF that this boat become a one-design class, still adhering to the Rules of the International 2.4 Meter Class. This proposal, when approved, will protect the ownerís investment for many years to come. It will also allow the Norlin Mark III to be a candidate for the Olympics, as one of the considerations for selection is a one-design class boat. The results were not favorable for a One-design Class so it will be tabled until a majority of National Class Associations vote in favor of the One-design concept.
As stated above, a strong class association is important for active sailboat racers. On July 14, 2000, the US 2.4mR Class voted to abandon the US 2.4mR Class and start a new One-design Class with the Norlin Mark III as the basis. This was done after a worldwide vote to allow this One-design Class to be implemented and administered by the International 2.4mR Class.
The new Class is the United States N3 Class Association. All current memberships were transferred to the new Class. A number of other countries have already voted for a One-design Class and may follow the lead of the United States.
At the ISAF Annual General Meeting in November 2000, the International 2.4mR Class put off the petition to the ISAF to infer International status to the N3 Class boats, even though a number of countries were in favor of this development and the fact that N3 Class boats are being built in four countries on four continents. Since the vote was put off, the One-design issue has been tabled.
In lieu of this, the United States reverted back to the development class status and renamed itself the United States 2.4mR Class Association at the July 2004 Annual General Meeting.
The Norlin Mark III can be transported as an entire unit on a specially designed road trailer or small utility/yard trailer. With the lead ballast removed, the Norlin Mark III weighs approximately 145 pounds. Car topping is possible. These features provide the opportunity to keep the yacht at home and travel easily from one sailing site to another.
The US fleet was started in Florida and congregated in the St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas. A number of new fleets have recently been created and are growing in number of boats in Darien, CT, Stamford, CT, Bangor, ME, Northeast Harbor, ME, Lake Norman, NC, Savannah, GA, San Diego, CA and Sylvania, OH.
Norlin Mark III:
The Norlin Mark III is the current World Champion 2.4mR yacht. It has not lost a World or National championship since 1990. SAILINGWORLDTM magazine selected it as the 1994 BOAT OF THE YEAR in the One-Design/Day Sailer category. Numerous articles in many separate publications have since been written and published about the boat.
The Norlin Mark III is sailed by more than 80% of the active 2.4mR sailors in the world and it makes up 95% to 98% of the boats registered in the World Championships. It is the boat of choice in this class. It is manufactured on four continents: Europe; North America; South America; and Australia.
In November 1997 the ISAF chose the Norlin Mark III as the boat raced in the 2000 Paralympics, Sydney, Australia, the 2004 Paralympics, Athens, Greece, the 2008 Paralympics, Beijing, China and the 2012 Paralympics.
There is a movement underway to introduce the boats as a Demonstration Class at the Summer Olympic games. The introduction of the Norlin Mark III and its inevitable International Class status as a true One-design boat, should help move this project along.
WOW! Look at that speed!
Please call or write or e-mail ( Gavia Yachts ) for information about the Norlin Mark III and the US 2.4mR Class Association.
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