There is something very important that needs to be understood about the A and which I think is fundemental to its success. It is definately the easiest boat to sail when measured on a performance vs ease of sailing. Yes, they are tippy for a cat but you can stick the vast majority of sailors on an A and they will go out and be able to sail. The A gives you accessable high performance. The moment you take that away, the class will begin to die. For some, trapezing downwind has reduced the accessabilty of the A (don't worry, there won't be a rule change to ban that
). The A certainly has the oldest average age of any high performance fleet I have ever seen and this also effects people's views on what they want for the class.
Although I wouldn't vote for rule changes, the reasons why i believe it would be bad for the class revolves around 3 things. first, it would reduce the "accessability" of the class, needing fitter, more agile and higher skilled sailors at the entry level. Second, it would make most of the current fleet obselete. While there are many boats that aren't competitive against the top designs, people are prepared to accept that, as we see from the number of older boats at championships. This is becaus ethe real differences aren't huge. But if foiling proves to be better, you will see what has happened in the Moths - the low riders have died. And unlike the Moths, I don't see a whole army of people waiting to come into a foiling cat. If you want foiling, you get a Moth. Finally, not only will platforms and foils be obselete, but i suspect it will lead to completely changed rigs, to match the higher speeds when foiling but also to promote early foiling. We saw the development of Moth rigs, but there a mast is $1400 while an A mast is more like $4500!
As much as I like foiling, the answer isn't to simply stick foils on everything. I therefore hope that the current A class rules do succeed in preventing competitive full foiling, which based on everything we have seen to date, looks highly likely.