Leech Fly

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I was minding my own business at a recent IOM event at Coal House Fort, when all-round good egg Henry Farley wandered over.  "You'll have to take off your telltales!", he said.  I had my "usual" leech decoration on my mainsail, a pair of leech flys.

Figure 1:  Leech Fly Telltale

"But Henry, telltales are permitted in the IOM class, G.3.1(b)(11) says so!"


"Yes", said Henry, "But you can't have them on the leech of the mainsail.  Look up G.3.1(a)(5)."

IOMCR G.3 MAINSAIL G.3.1 CONSTRUCTION (a) MANDATORY (5) The leech shall not extend aft of straight lines between: (i) the aft head point and the nearest batten pocket point, […].

"But Henry, surely the telltale isn't part of the leech, its just an attachment to the sail and can be ignored for measurement?  ERS H.5.3 says to ignore attachments when measuring."

ERS H.5.3 Excluding Attachments: Attachments at a sail edge, other than a bolt rope and tabling, shall be ignored when measuring.

"You might think so", said Henry, "But read the ERS definition of attachment.  It does not include telltales."

ERS G.1.4 Sail Construction (o) ATTACHMENTS: Bolt ropes, tablings that surround, or are fixed to, bolt ropes, luff wires including any cringles and seizing, cringles, straps, hanks, slides, adjustment eyes, adjustment points, reefing eyes, reefing points, and blocks and their fastenings.

I'm beginning to get a sinking feeling, Henry might be on to something.  But I don't want to give up without a fight.  Is a leech fly really part of the leech?  It seems that it is, according to the ERS definition of sail and the ERS definition of the leech:

ERS G.1.1 Sail: An item of equipment [...] including any of the following added parts when they are present: […],attachments, other parts as permitted by class rules.

ERS G.2 SAIL EDGES G.2.2 Leech: The aft edge.

"But Henry...," I mumble as I remove my leech flys.

"Sorry, Lester, I don't write the rules!"


2022 Lester Gilbert