I agree that if they turn the 16 into a spinnaker class, it will destroy the class in North America. I doubt many weekend warriors would be interested in making the change, and having a split fleet (spin vs. non-spin) would divide and ultimately destroy the class, just like it has done with the other split Hobie classes.
The official position of the HCA North America is, "No to the spinnaker on the 16." Other areas (especially Europe) have been trying to make the spinnaker fully class legal on the 16 for almost a decade. They've managed to worm their way into making it a legal youth class (2004), inserted Appendix E (H16 Spinnaker Rules) into the IHCA rule book in 2008 (with no record of any notice on the IHCA web site) and flaunt an "open spi class" in some events in direct opposition to the "Hobie 16 Spinnaker Policy" published on the IHCA website. (http://www.hobieclass.com/site/hobie/ih ... policy.pdf
For those of you not up to speed on this, ISAF will be conducting an evaluation trial in Santander, Spain March 17-25 to select the equipment for the 2016 Olympics. In order to be considered, manufacturers/classes had to pay an evaluation fee, supply the boats and a maintenance crew at the venue. The only boats that have been entered are :
Hobie 16 with spinnaker
Hobie Tiger F18
Tornado Marstrom + Exploder (two versions of the same boat)
ISAF also published a "wish list" of attributes they think the multihull equipment should satisfy. A couple of the more controversial ones are that it should fit into a 20' containter, have a two-piece mast, and that the total crew weight should be between 120-140 kg (265-309 lbs). You can read the whole ISAF request for proposal here: http://www.sailing.org/36974.php