This page provides a summary of the key changes between the 2017 v2 International 420 Class Rules and the new December 2021 International 420 Class Rules. There are numerous changes, many altering just single words. This document does not list all of these changes and is not intended to be a definitive guide to the changes, but rather a brief summary of what the UK Class Association believe are the key changes sailors need to be aware of.
The full 2021 rules can be found here and we encourage you to read them:
International 420 Class Rules can be found here
Document showing differences between 2017 and 2022 Rules can be found here
Key take away changes
- It is now mandatory to wear a personal floatation device (buoyancy aid) when ‘afloat‘ rather than just when ‘racing´.
- A trapeze harness must now have a maximum weight of 3 kg opposed to 4 kg specified in the 2017 rules. The need for it to float has been removed.
- Two copies of the IMF (International Measurement Form) should now be supplied to the boat Owner following the supply and measurement of a new boat, opposed to one previously.
- Previously one hand bailer or bucket and/or sponge was allowed, the word ‘one’ has been removed allowing boats to carry more than one of these. No excuse for a boat full of water now!
- The rule on tow ropes has been changed. A floating tow rope ‘secured to the mast’ with a minimum length of 8 m and minimum diameter of 8 mm is still mandatory, but it no longer needs to be ‘grasped from the stem (even if the boat is capsized) from a rescue boat’ instead the wording now says it must be ‘secured to the mast and stored inside one of the spinnaker bags’. Please note that in some ways this is a backwards step from a safety point of view and certain event SI’s may reintroduce this requirement.
- The elastic cord of the two trapeze wires previously had to be secured to the boat by a maximum of four fairleads, this has now been altered to a maximum of six.
- The new rules allow multiple devices to be used to secure the spinnaker halyard whilst the spinnaker is not set (toothbrushes and the like!), this was previously one device per side.
- The wording for the centreboard downhaul system has been reworded from ‘One centreboard downhaul of rope and/or elastic, one bush and/or one cleat without moving parts on the centreboard case capping’ to ‘One centreboard downhaul of rope and elastic, one fairlead and/or one block and one cleat without moving parts on the centreboard case capping.’
- Mainsails can now have leach line adjustors with a cleat on the leech as well as sail shape indictor stripes.
- In recent years the UK 420 Class Association has been happy for competitors to not display sail numbers on spinnakers at events in the UK. The new 2021 rules formally build this in, so spinnaker sail numbers are optional at national level events around the world. Spinnaker sail numbers are still required at World and European championships and other events sanctioned by the International 420 Class Association.
- Previously to replace equipment at an event, such as a mast, boom etc. you needed to seek approval by the ‘Technical committee’. This is fine if this is an event where a Technical Committee is present(!), but if not you can seek approval from the ‘event Technical Committee or, in its absence, the Race Committee.’
420 Technical Officer