Update: Eligibility of kites built before 2012 for the 2013 kiteracing world championships
Following last weeks announcement that grandfathered equipment will not be eligible for racing at the 2013 kiteracing worlds in Hainan, China, the issue has been further discussed with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
ISAF has advised, that for class continental and world championships the class rules cannot be changed through Racing Rule 87. ISAF has also confirmed that the current class rules must be strictly enforced.
The current class rules require that "production kites built before 2012 will be included on the relevant Production Equipment List". The fact, that the kites in question (namely Flysurfer Speed 3 and ELF kites) are not included in the registered equipment list (as required for eligibility under class rule B.1.1), make them currently ineligible for usage at the worlds.
ISAF has also confirmed that the grandfathering rule only applies to kites built before 2012. "Built" in this context means "manufactured, physically made" in contrary to "designed, modeled". (ISAF has publish an editorial amendment to the class rules already).
However, manufacturers are allowed to request that their kites built (manufactured) before 2012 are included on the registered equipment list, provided that the manufacturer can doubtlessly prove for any of such kite
a) the exact manufacturing date of each kite
b) that the kite is series production (a considerable amount of kites have been produced to exactly the same building specification)
c) that each of such kites is clearly identifiable at an event
Furthermore, sailors using such kites, still may be protested and subsequently required to prove to the International Jury at the event that the kite used is identical to one of the kites listed by the manufacturer (and accepted) as being built before 2012. If a sailor cannot provide acceptable proof on the event, the jury will have to disqualify the sailor for all races in which he used such a kite.
All manufacturers which want to have kites built (manufactured) before 2012 to be included on the relevant equipment list are requested to provide a list with kites covered by this grandfathering rule (individual kites, not models) and proof as required above to IKA. The IKA technical committee together with the International Jury appointed for the event and the ISAF technical staff will then examine the proof provided and take a decision on whether or not to include such kites on the list.
Sailors that intend to use kites that unquestionably have not been produced anymore after 2011 are requested to contact IKA directly to initiate inclusion and arrange with the affected manufacturers.
They can use the kites if the manufacturers can prove that they meet the rules.
The ISAF have said they can't change the rules so they have clarified the rule. Happens in Formula 1 all the time.
Most manufacturers have serial numbers etc to prove when a kite was made.
The remaining problem would be if the IKA told manufacturers that they could use kites manufactured after the years allowed in the rules without registering them.
If the IKA did tell them that, then I think they should allow them to register them in the fastest time possible - including making an exception for them if they were badly advised by the IKA. The manufacturer would have to prove that they had made a consistent series of kites in the required numbers to register them.