The class was already split, Mk 1, Mk2, Mk2+s, Mk3 or Plus S and World.
I fail to see that the Mk4 is anything but the next generartion and the years i spent flogging around the race fleets of the class and still getting left in some winds because i had the wrong shape hull from the fast wooden boats has now been changed again.
The class was about to die, one boat in each of the last years and at a cost that was much too high.
My old boat is sailing at the club and beats me sometimes in the right hands, it has a value to someone starting out in the fleet and will help someone along the way.
If you go to the opens and championships you will find more new and many of the older people sailing the new MK4 and many I have not seen before.
All these people have been drawn to the class and the new boat because its new and is much better than the old one.
If you still enjoy your boat at your club and do not travel or have never traveled you have lost nothing, or so little over the 25yrs some have had there boats thats it pails in price compaired to how much you may have spent on a car in the same years.
Yes the leap is big to the new Mk4, but its the same as a new good kitchen, a new small car and many other things we would all buy and know the cost of but do not have a choice in changing.
As for some clubs and the handicap, they will also change any other class of boat if it goes faster than others in a vain hope of making everyone the same! Handicap racing is never going to make eveyone happy and thats why we never have it at our club and I will never sail in it.