Third International Rule 1933 till Today

Part 5 of a bit of history

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As expected, the 1/4G or midship chain girth measurement was dropped from the rule and the bow and stern overhang measurement instructions were changed to no longer measure from the covering board. The divider in the formula was reduced from 2,5 to 2,34 which deliberately did not fully compensate for the changes made. The consequence was that third rule boats became more seaworthy boats while the good second rule boats would remain competitive under light to moderate conditions. Without going in to the fine detail, the second rule boats have less righting moment but generally also have less wetted surface. In light to moderate conditions this allows them to stay with the fleet, especially down wind low wetted surface really makes a difference. In case of the top boats such as Silja and Vision, they remained fully competitive under almost any conditions. The one thing that never really changed throughout the years was the cost, Metre boast would remain out of reach for most sailors and at the top level it remained very much the game of the rich and famous.

For them they were not the largest boat they could wisely afford, they were simply the boat they enjoyed to build, sail and race. Men like Baron Krupp in Germany and Marcus Wallenberg jr. in Sweden would order new 8-Metres every other year and the fierce competition for trophies such as the Coppa d’Italia, La Coupe de France and the Canada’s Cup would result in new and often very fast designs. To name some of those top performers: Bagietto’s Bona in Italy, Tore Holm’s Ilderim in Sweden, Henry Rasmussen Germania III in Germany, Olin Stephens Iskareen and Arthur Shuman Venture in North America and Camatte’s France in France. The Third Rule would produce almost 80 Eights in the seven years before World War II broke out. Within that small world of metre boat sailors, the crews would migrate between the 6, 8 and 12-Metres, that’s how it was a hundred years ago, that’s how it is today.

Read the sixth part of this story here