Lets get more in depth in the Mini stuff;
Generally there are 3 ways to carry the bowsprit;
In the Production Classe three systems are allowed. Spi pole, rotating, inside tube

1- Most popular; using an articulating pole which pivots on a fore stay fitting and can remain rigged since when stored it is within the max. width. Originally refined by ThierryFagnant at Amco and now adapted by others - most notably Seb Magnen and Lionel Lemonchois. They went a step further and got rid of the small ejecting bowsprit.

2- With a spinnaker pole arrangement that fixes to the mast and extends low down through a bow fitting requiring complete dismantling prior to the start, or the pole mounted on the bow, see 159 later. Not used anymore.

3- with an extending bowsprit coming out of the hull, not seen much, tried by the entry(268) see text later.

More slightly different systems were developed in the years but this seems the favourite ones.
Do not forget that the systems that articulate must have the pulpit and the sceptres adapted to it. Has to fit in the 3 m beam rule.Picture

Here the Team 6m50 solution,
an adaptation of the Thiery Fagnant system, the upper sprit is articulating so it can be stored within the 3m beam rule and the lower sprit sticking out from the bow is used as a rope lever point to pull the main sprit around in front of the boat.

To stop the sprit moving sideways you need some removable side 'jockey poles' to give the guys enough leverage/width to stop Picturethe pole collapsing to leeward when the sail fills. The jockey poles have to be removable and usually slide into holes in the side of the hull.(See the NR 85 Alex Bennet's boat) 
The down haul is fixed at the waterline level on the hull and is adjusted with a sliding webbingnappy/diaper arrangement that shortens or lengthens the triangulation. So the attachment to the bowsprit as there were the luff of the sail is, at the end for the big gennaker, in the mid for the smaller spinnaker or the screecher.

System 2
he system with the articulating spinnaker boom was in the 93 race popular, as on the 159. It is now stil lused and devolped into a rotPictureating sprit that does not drop out.Here you see the Karin Liquid variant of Magnen, it is a more open construction,kind of a claw. The lever arm seems prone to damage to me, but he sailed it with succes, so who am I to critisize. It need tension all the time, otherwise you will loose it. (Guess of me)The white bearing is probably Norlon or Delrin, as this do not absorb water like nylon.

System 3

PictureOn boats like the Melges the bowsprit is ejecting from the hull instead of from the deck, in 1999 year Michel Kleinjans (268, see photo under) had this system but it was not approved by the jury, So he had to find another solution, that is why it is looking so strange.The reason for a possible disqualification that it was not demontable whilesailing.But it proved to be heavy too and not 100% functional, no rotation....nosediving etc and internal you have your bulkheads in the way etc..
You do not see this around anymore. All are 1 or 2. Except some serie like Pogo1 and SuperCalin and Naus.

Which system to choose ?

Jean Marc Rerolle had a good reason why he favours the Fagnant system with the smaller bowsprit. "In case the bob stay breaks this system is likely to survive the best." Good point.

PictureLooks like a mess here but there is a logic behind it, must be.Sorry Mr. Bennet ;*)
When looking longer it seems all well organised.

This boat had a rope manufacturer as sponsor and they did some extra research which ended in even lighter ropes.

The rope leading from the cockpit tothe Jockey poll is covered with a mantel till after the poll. Then it is only the core of kevlar showing. This all to save weight.

Which brings me to the question;Which system is lighter in practice ?



Lemonchois 1999 fitted a hinge on the beginnPictureing of the articulating bowsprit, seen here in the two photos of the red boat. This made it possible to more easily manage the sprit from the cockpit.
At the start he was the first boat with the gennaker up. Karen Liquid and others have a similar conceptwithout the hinge, so at the start they had to carry the sprit on deck and rig it after the start gun.

The rules;
The bowsprits must be quickly and easily removed whilst sailing without tools, also that all components outside the vertical of the deck line (except the boom).
A tolerance of 30 mm is allowed.Bowsprits and their associated hardware must rest in the rule limit of beam (3 metre maximum)

Can you not hold back the next beautiful picture! ©J.Vapillon