The Classic Mothists decided at the 2008 Nationals to trial full length battens over the next two years. I know this will get a big whoop-de-doo from our International cousins with their fathead mains and see thru mylar sails with camber inducers. The Classicist's agree we should see increased durability but whether there will be any performance advantages given our low roach sails is open to debate. We are limited to a max of four battens and how many to make full length and how many to make short is the conundrum.
The 2009 Midwinters were the first regatta where full battens were allowed and surprisingly none of the top dogs had converted. Two of the Europe dinghy sailors were the only ones. Greg Duncan on his beautiful wood molded Europe had three full battens that followed the seams and one short batten above the clew.
George Albaugh in his 2004 Olympic trials winner Europe had three full length battens that ran horizontal with a short one above the clew. On George's sail you can see the old position of the short battens by the inboard circle reinforcements left behind.
Photos from Len Parker
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