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US modifies crew eligibility rules

by Penny Piva Rego on 24 Feb 2001
In response to the new ISAF Eligibility Code, the US SAILING Executive Committee has approved a new prescription to RRS 64.1(a).
The new prescription, which becomes effective immediately and will also be included in the new 2001-2004 US rulebook, provides that 'the penalty for breaking rule 75.2
with reference to Appendix 2, Regulation 21.2.1(h), shall be a warning.' US SAILING President Dave Rosekrans said, 'This prescription effectively eliminates any incentive
by sailors to file protests against competitors who may have non-members as crew.'

The new US SAILING prescription is in response to the new Eligibility Code adopted by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) effective January 1, 2001. ISAF
Regulation 21.2.1(h) requires, in essence, that anyone competing in any sailing event governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing must be a member of a Member National
Authority or one of its affiliated organizations, such as a sailing club that is a member of US SAILING. This would include both skipper and all crewmembers. 'Many US
sailors were concerned that the new ISAF Regulation could deter sailors in the United States from introducing people to the sport of sailboat racing,' said Rosekrans. 'We
felt it important to respond to sailors' concerns in this area.'

'It's important that racing rules be uniform throughout the sailing world,' said Rosekrans. 'But the inclusion of this one line in the new ISAF Codes has the potential for a
severe impact on the majority of racing sailors in the U.S., and in our opinion hampers our ability to attract new sailors to our sport.'

The new US prescription to RRS 64.1(a) eliminates the need for any action by sailors, race sponsors, event organizers or judges when the event is not one of the special
events listed in ISAF Reg. 21.2.1(a)-(g). Of course, event organizers can still require that entrants must meet special eligibility requirements if they state such requirements
in the notice of race and sailing instructions.

'We consider this to be a short term solution. ISAF is aware of the difficulty caused in the US and the rest of the world by the inclusion of this one sentence,' Rosekrans
commented, 'and we are confident that we can work out a long term solution that serves the best interests of sailors in all member countries.'

The exact text of the new US SAILING prescription to rule 64.1(a) of the 1997-2000 Racing Rules of Sailing will be available on the US SAILING website at
http://www.ussailing.org/rules/eligibility.htm.

The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING) is the national governing body for the sport of sailing. The mission of this volunteer organization is to encourage
participation and promote excellence in sailing and racing in the United States. More information about US SAILING, which is headquartered in Portsmouth, RI, is available
at www.ussailing.org.

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