Not sure I understand or agree with this. Yes, shorter stantions make hiking easier on crew, but now you have 850 plus boats that need to change their set up. I also dont see how this will be any less physical. Of course, the more money you spend, the easier it is. (Having someone else do the work) Or less money and do it yourself, which doesnt seem to be all that easy. The problem doesnt seem to be the stantions, the problem seems to be the lifeline setup. Ever since they converted to the new lifeline, hiking on a melges 24 has become an issue. Why not changes the rules on hiking, making it less physical to hike or go back to the old lifelines, which only really allows you to hike to a certain point. Either way, I think its going to be hard to get 850 plus boats to make the change quickly.
Many people were going away from the Melges 24 due to what was deemed extreme hiking. This is the solution, the original stanchion height was choosing because of the ORR regulation at that time. Maybe I am wrong but paying $130 for the ability of the guys just out there having a good time to be comfy and hike as hard as the "pros" seems like a good trade off.
Other bonuses is that the hull deck joint takes much less abuse since the stanchions can't impart as much torque. The boat also just looks a ton better.
It makes no difference in righting moment it probably increases it as people can hike harder more comfortably, and you don't have to change unless you are going to a national level class event. Not like the melges guys are going to sick the NSA on you at your local PHRF beer can race.