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Navigating the Code – Age Provision

Published on August 24th, 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, there is a provision within the Code that allows paid sailors to still be viewed as amateurs.

Under 24 years old and under 18
Here are some of the exceptions that allow Corinthian teams to include paid sailors:

Under 24
Q. May a sailor, under age 24 on the application date, work on a boat that races and remain Group 1?
A. Yes, provided he works for no more than a total of 100 days in the qualification period.

Q. A sailor, under age 24, is employed by a marine business or organisation and races with customers. This would make him Group 3. He does this for more than 100 days but races with customers for less than 100 days. Does the age exemption make him Group 1?
A. No he is Group 3 because his employment makes him a Group 3 sailor and he is engaged in this activity for more than 100 days.

Q. What happens when a sailor reaches his 24th birthday and has used the exemption to be classified as Group 1? Does he become Group 3 automatically?
A. Not necessarily. Any Group 3 activity on or after his 24th birthday will make him Group 3. The exemption only covers activities prior to his 24th birthday.

Q. A sailor reaches his 24th birthday and continues with or starts Group 3 activities. Must he notify World Sailing immediately by submitting a new application?
A. Yes, he must do so.

Note: For Olympic and Elite squad sailors who are under 24 see the specific FAQs on pages 17 & 18.

Under 18
Q. A sailor has not yet reached his 18th birthday. Does the Code apply?
A. Yes, but he will be automatically classified as Group 1 [22.2.1(b)(i)].

Q. What should a sailor do when he reaches his 18th birthday?
A. If the sailor is carrying out any Group 3 activity after his 18th birthday he must reapply and where eligible use the age exemption to request a Group 1 Classification.

Classification CodeFrequently Asked Questions

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