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26 May 2009, 12:00 pm
ISAF Sailor Classification Code and FAQs Updated
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ISAF Sailor Classification Code

The ISAF Sailor Classification Code and Classification FAQs have been updated to in relation to the Classification of owners who occasionally charter out their boats and then race on them.
The ISAF Sailor Classification Code is a service provided by ISAF, giving events and classes a cost-free, international system for classification of sailors. It is incorporated in ISAF Regulation 22.

The changes to the Code follow the ISAF Council's approval of Urgent Submission M07-09 at the 2009 ISAF Mid-Year Meeting in Warsaw, Poland. The update to the Classification Code amends selected 22.2.3 relating to the classifications of Group 3 competitors (updated text is underlined and in bold):

The classifications of competitors are to be determined as follows:

Group 3

A Group 3 competitor is a competitor who, within the Qualification Period

(a) has been paid for work that includes:
(i) competing in a race,
(ii) managing, training, practicing, tuning, testing, maintaining or
otherwise preparing a boat, its crew, sails or equipment for
racing, and then competed on that boat, or in a team
competition, in a boat of the same team; or

(b) has been paid for allowing his or her name or likeness to be used
in connection with his or her sailing performance, sail racing results
or sailing reputation, for the advertising or promotion of any
product or service; or

(c) has publicly identified himself or herself as a Group 3 competitor or
as professional racing sailor; or

(d) has been paid either for services in connection with the provision of a boat for Racing or for the provision of the boat itself and then competed on that boat, or in a team competition, in a boat of the same team.

However a Group 1 competitor who, as an owner of a boat, is occasionally paid a charter fee for the provision of that boat for a racing competition shall remain a Group 1 competitor provided he does not steer that boat in that competition. If the competition is a team event this dispensation shall only apply if he does not steer any boat in the same team as the boat chartered.


The Classification Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have also been updated to incorporate the decisions made at the ISAF Mid-Year Meeting (full details are below). French, German, Italian and Spanish versions of the updated Code and FAQs are currently being updated and will be posted online as soon as possible.

The updated version of the ISAF Sailor Classification Code and the Classification FAQs, along with translations when they become available, can be downloaded from www.sailing.org/classification.

The amendment was made following the results of the major survey of events and classes carried out in 2008 which confirmed the view of the Commission that the treatment of owners who occasionally charter out their boats and then race on them was too harsh and was having a detrimental effect on international events that rely wholly or partially on boats being chartered.

The survey also confirmed that dispensation should not apply to owners who steered their boats whilst under charter.

Sailors whose classification is changed by this Code amendment should now
reapply and refer to this in their application.

The FAQs, page 17, now include:

Q. A sailor charters out a boat for racing and receives directly or indirectly all or part of the charter fee or the benefit thereof but never races on board her during the charters. Is he Group 1?
A. Yes, provided there are no other reasons to be Group 2 or 3.

Q. A sailor charters out a boat that never races when under charter. Is he Group 1?
A. Yes

Q. A sailor charters out a boat that he owns directly or indirectly, partially or fully, and races on it whilst under charter but does not steer it during the races. Is he Group1?
A. Yes, provided it is only an occasional charter and is not part of any business activity. Otherwise the sailor is Group 3.

Q. A sailor charters out a boat and receives directly or indirectly all or part of the charter fee or the benefit thereof, races on board her whilst under charter and steers her for part or all of the race(s). Is he Group 1?
A. No, he is Group 3.

Q. An employee, director or owner of a company whose business includes being paid to charter out boats, races on any of the boats whilst on charter. Is he Group 1?
A. No, he is Group 3 if any boat on charter with him on board takes part in a race held in accordance with RRS 89. The type of charter, the duration of the charter, the nature of the other people on board are immaterial.

Q. An 'owner's rep' (who is not the sailor who directly or indirectly receives the financial benefit of the charter) receives expenses for being aboard a chartered boat whilst racing. Is he Group 1?
A. Yes, if the expenses comply with those described as 'personal expenses' on page 6 and do not in any way cover loss of earnings or make a contribution above directly incurred 'personal expenses'.
Otherwise the sailor is Group 3.


For more details on the reasoning behind the change, click here to read Urgent Submission M07-09 in full.

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