Navigating the Code – Media

Published on August 1st, 2016

The Sailor Classification Code exists as a service to provide Events and Classes with an international system of classification for sailors. Under the Code, sailors are classified as either Group 1 (amateur) or Group 3 (professional).

For Events and Classes seeking to either limit the influence of Group 3 sailors, or striving to recognize teams with all Group 1 sailors, the Sailor Classification Code is the system that is used. However, due to the wide range of jobs within the marine industry, the skills of Group 3 sailors is equally broad.

While US Rolex Yachtsman of the Year winners Terry Hutchinson and Bill Hardesty are clearly impactful professionals, and get paid well for their crewing services, those in the communication field can also get snared in the same Group 3 net, regardless if they are paid while crewing or not:

Writers, journalists, authors, broadcasters
Here are some of the pitfalls and sand traps that can land someone into the Group 3 classification:

♦ May a writer or journalist of general articles on boating be a Group 1 sailor?
(a) Yes, provided the articles do not include instruction on racing; or
(b) No. Writing that includes instruction and coaching (tactics, go-fast, tuning, etc.,) of racing is a Group 3 activity

♦ May a crew member be paid to write or broadcast about a race in which he is participating and remain Group 1?
Yes, provided he is paid only to write and not to compete in the race and the payment or compensation does not have the purpose or effect, directly or indirectly, of financing participation in the race. Otherwise the sailor is Group 3.

♦ Is a writer who continues to receive royalties on an instructional book written and published before the Qualification Period always a Group 3 sailor?
No. He may apply to be a Group 1 sailor 24 months after the original publication of the book or article provided
(a) No other instructional books have been written by him that would disqualify him; and
(b) A substantial revision has not taken place within the Qualification Period.

♦ When a journalist participates in a race and writes about it does this affect his classification?
Not through this activity, provided he is a paid writer who sails and not a paid sailor who writes. However, a writer paid by the owner or a sponsor to write about him, the company, or the campaign could well fall within the definition of Group 3 if racing aboard the boat is an integral part of his work.

Classification CodeFrequently Asked Questions

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