Description reproduced from Australian 29er Association website….
The 29er is strict one design international class aimed primarily at youth sailors and is the smaller sister to the Olympic 49er Class.
It has also been said that the 29er is now in the mix to become the Olympic Womens’ 2 handed high performance dinghy.
Repairs are easily performed to the hull and deck as they are made from polyester FRP which is low cost readily obtainable high strength materials.
The blades are aluminum with a foam core combining strength and lightness.
The rudder is a dagger board design which slots into an alloy rudder stock.
The main and jib are fully battened Mylar, the spinnaker is an asymmetric triradial cut for longer life.
All are also strict one design.
For 29ers there is no age limit, however the optimum combined crew weight is 120 – 140kg.
It is targeted at youth, especially those training to sail the larger 49er. It has a single trapeze and a fractional asymmetric spinnaker. The Class is a more modern replacement to Franks previous Laser 2 replacing it in the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships. A self-tacking jib decreases the work load of the crew, making manoeuvres more efficient and freeing the crew to take the mainsheet upwind and on two-sail reaches. The spinnaker rigging set-up challenges crews to be fit and coordinated, and manoeuvres in the boat require athleticism due to its lack of inherent stability and the high speed with which the fully battened mainsail and jib power up.
The hull construction is of fibreglass-reinforced polyester in a foam sandwich layout. The fully battened mainsail and jib are made from a transparent Mylar laminate with orange or red Dacron trimming, while the spinnaker is manufactured from ripstop Nylon. The mast is in three parts – an aluminium bottom and middle section, with a carbon-fibre composite tip to increase mast bend and decrease both overall weight, and the capsizing moment a heavy mast tip can generate.
The 29er is able to reach high speeds fairly quickly by having a sleek and hydrodynamic hull and will often exceed the wind speed when planing both up and downwind.