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What Goes Down The Course Usually Comes Back Up...

08 September 2008 | glrfcentral
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Ah, the things you learn at regattas booths…


They’re back, the FISA racing shells. For those whose memories might have faded, FISA started an initiative in the late ’80′s to standardize raching shell hull designs worldwide. The idea was to eliminate ‘variations in performance’ due to various hull shapes and equipment. This was also probably a result of the sliding rigger boat design introduced by Empacher in 1981 which was banned by FISA just three years later, on 01 January 1984, because of the decided speed advantage it gave to all who raced in that boat.


The FISA racing shells were developed by the FISA materials commission and were offered to all boat manufacturers. Although the standard was never formally adopted, apparently many boat manufacturers did avail themselves of the designs. Some of the shells built from the mold specifications did in fact earn gold on the world racing circuit. Subsequent manfacturing innovations led to variations in hull design and construction as each boat manufacturer sought to distinguish their brand as the fastest boat. As a result, the FISA shells fell out of favor and disappeared from the brochures.


Now Chris Oxner of Mission Rowing fame and H20 Composites, has brought the design back as a way to provide a low cost, comptetive product for North America. Using their state of the art carbon kevlar construction processes, Chris is able to offer a remarkably low cost club racing shell in both the single and double categories.


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