A little more history and why we do what we do...
The custom sails desired by the IWCA are driven by a couple factors. Rick believes that various weight differences can be overcome by different sail cuts. Fuller for power, flatter for less power. Custom sails are also driven by the types of sailors that he draws to the events. Most of the guys that sail his events are experienced sailors and some are sail makers... they wanted to make their own sails. This is typical in a lot of mono hull design classes. Sail makers compete within the classes. This is what is often referred to as an arms race... Some sailors can afford the latest tweaked sail design. This, to us, defeats two of the basic principles of the Wave, simple out of the box fun and appeal for entry level sailors.
Another sail feature they like is the diagonal foot batten. It holds the clew out for better reach and run performance. That is good for what it does, but also requires you to install and remove the batten every time you sail. At least I believe that to be the case. Not sure how you would roll the sail with it in place. That defeats another of the simple-to-rig design guidelines we placed on the Wave.
You absolutely don't need to customize a Wave to have a ton of fun racing them.
I have to agree with Rick White and allow custom sails & tramps. That is the big difference between the two camps. For those of us that want to race, we will eventually buy another sail. Having a choice is the American way but not Hobie Cats way.
I raced the Wave Nationals and yes finished second with a stock 06 well used Wave & sail. Only addition was a 10 hole adjuster at the bridle connection vs the stock 7 hole. SIMPLE. Having a custom sail had little to do with winning or losing nor was I slow with a stock Hobie sail. It is not a arms race but a choice for brand, crew weight and style of sailing.
The IWCA is well established and the wave is a fun boat to sail and race so hopefully HCA & IWCA can work to form a unified class.
I can see Hobie offering a race model with epo blades, 10 hole bridle adjuster, older rudder system & no sail at the same price point because their is a demand for this setup and accept what is established.