I guess the Island has to be in a class all by itself.
The mirage is an intragal part of sailing it. I once broke a cable on the drive and felt naked trying to sail w/o it.
The example of a cat sailor hiking-out and flying a hull is valid in that athletic ability & strength might are important to sailing ability. Given 2 exactly equal cats racing, the sailor able to jump quickest to the other side during a jibe and able to have the arm strength and stamia to hike out the farthest has an advantage.
I have heard arguments that when an Island uses the mirage drive it is including athletic ability - not just sailing ability.
No, padeling isn't the same thing as sailing. But, denying an Island the mirage drive removes nearly all of the human athleticism from his sailing equation. While athleticism remains a big part for the cat sailor. Is the point of racing just matching 2 boats (if so we can install a remote control 'drone' in each boat); or are we matching 2 individuals - each taking advantage of how their boat was designed and human athleticism/stamina?
In moderate wind a "hiked-out" cat is probable faster than the Island x2. We only get to have our day in the sun in light wind against a cat.
Cat owners need to be nice to their Island brothers; after all if wind drops to zero who else is going to tow you back to the dock.
BTW I have seen races with cats, monohulls, some with 1 sail, some with an added spinnaker, and even wind surfers all in the same race. I believe a handicaping system and start time difference was used. Maybe racing "officials" could figure out how to class and include an Island.
No arguments or worries here. I am completely happy sailing the Island or using it in Kayak mode.
We get heat from kayakers who say paddling is the purest form of kayaking. We get heat for sailors who say pedaling while sailing is not sailing. OK, no problems - even with all the heat I still feel pretty Cool