Welcome to the US I-420 Class Association

Dedicated to the support, development and growth of International 420 Class and its Sailor Members in the United States and throughout North America.

The International 420

The International 420 Class Dinghy is a mono hull planing dinghy with trapeze for the crew, centerboard, a tapered and tunable Bermuda rig and center sheeting. It carries a main, jib and spinnaker and is designed for a crew of two. The name describes the overall length of the boat in centimeters (the boat is exactly 4.2 meters long).

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Let me put this whole conversation/argument about choosing sails in perspective.
To get the very best sails for your team follow this formula:

            Take the height and weight of the crew and the height and weight of the skipper;
            Add that to the average height of the chop plus the average velocity of the wind;
            Divide that by the square root of the mainsail draft plus the radius of the spinnaker shoulders;
            Then add back the length of the foot of the main divided by the hoist;
            Add two shots of Mount Gay Rum, shaved ice, blend, spill mess on the floor;
            Clean it up – take a nap and then order your sails the next day.

POINT…………..it’s a waste of time to waste too much time at this unless you are at the competitive level of a Simon Cooke.........and trust me........YOU ARE NOT SIMON COOKE’s level.

Everybody has an opinion but at this level you need to worry more about your boat handling, tactics, team work, execution and FITNESS than the magic of some brand of sails.

Are there differences between sail makers sails…..YES.   But those differences change all the time so don’t think you are going to do better or worse because of your sail choice.  Sure, some cuts may favor some conditions…but bottom line, here is the skinny:

The coaches would prefer you all had the same to make comparative tuning easier, but you may want to sail with a brand you are used to – but whatever brand you have the coaches will do their best to help you tune them to suit your specific needs.  And guess what……..!  Surprise….not everyone will be at the same perfect settings and trim positions as everyone else, so don’t try to figure out what some older, more successful sailors did to make their sails work well in the past….that’s old news.  This is sailing…not posing for pictures.

The most important thing is to make sure the sails have: 1) the Class required Sail Buttons; 2) the sail-maker’s production stamp (not just their logo sticker); and 3) the sails are premeasured by a Class Certified measurer with their stamp put on the sail as well.  If you do not have #3 when you get to the regatta you will have to pay a certified measurer to take care of that before your measurement and registration is complete.  If you do not have numbers 1 and/or 2 your measurement and registration will be a living hell.

If you are sailing two or more regattas, it is also recommended that you have at least at least two jibs and two spinnakers in your sail inventory.  Jibs wear out quickly especially if the conditions are breezy, and …… well you know what happens to spinnakers.

These are the final comments I will make on sails short of “just get them”…and if a group discount is available, make up your own mind and get comfortable without using the above formula. Like I said boat handling, tactics, team work, execution…..and FITNESS will be more critical factors for now. 

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