Navigating the Code – Marine Businesses and Organizations

Published on September 22nd, 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 professional tacticians Terry Hutchinson and John Kostecki are impactful contributors on a boat, and get paid well for their services, people who work for Marine Businesses and Organizations can also get snared in the system as Group 3 sailors. Here are some examples:

Q. Are all members of the marine industry automatically Group 3?
A. No. Firstly those whose business or organization has nothing to do with boats that race are Group 1. Some examples would be commercial pilots, builders of boats that do not race, fishermen, and designers or manufacturers of items not used on boats that race. If in some way they are involved in boats that race, their classification depends on a number of factors.

Q. An employee of a marine business or organization is employed as an accountant. Can he be Group 1?
A. Yes. His work does not require knowledge or skill capable of contributing to the performance of a boat in a race or series.

Q. An employee of a manufacturer of deck hardware, whose products are used on boats that race works as a machinist. Can he be Group 1?
A. Yes.

Q. An employee of a manufacturer of deck hardware designs equipment for boats that race. Is he Group 1?
A. Yes. However, he would be Group 3 if he races on a boat for which he has created (or advised on) a custom layout or design.

Q. Can a salesman of a manufacturer of deck hardware be Group 1?
A. Yes if the equipment is generic. However, if he races on a boat to which he has sold equipment then he is Group 3.

Q. A sailor has paid work as a rigger on boats that race but does not race on any boat he has rigged. Is he Group 1?
A. No, he is Group 3 as his work requires knowledge and skill that is capable of enhancing the performance of a boat in a race and that can be utilized whilst on board when racing.

Q. A sailor is employed in a marine business in an administrative position. He is required to race occasionally with clients in his own time and without extra pay. Is he Group 1?
A. No. Any sailor who is required to race on a client’s boat by his employer is Group 3. He is no longer racing solely as a pastime and he is being paid for work that includes competing in a race.

Q. The work or duties of a member of the armed forces, similar organizations or corporations (for example the Guardia Finanzia in Italy) includes the maintenance and/or preparation of a boat that races. Is he Group 3?
A. Yes, if he competes on board that boat or in a boat on the same team (in a team competition).

Q. What are examples of work in a marine business that would not make a sailor Group 3?
A. Production, distribution or marketing of non-performance enhancing equipment, such as clothes, safety equipment, refrigeration, marine propulsion, coatings, resins, composites, etc.

Q. A sailor works in a chandlery. Is he a Group 3?
A. No. He is normally Group 1 unless he provides a boat or its sails and then races on it in which case he is Group 3.

Q. A sailor works for a marine electronics business. Can he be Group 1?
A. Yes, unless he has knowledge or skill in using that equipment that would enhance the performance of a boat in a race or if he is on board a boat in a race to promote his product in which case he is Group 3.

Q. A sailor works for a mast builder. Can he be Group 1?
A. Yes, unless he has knowledge or skill in tuning that mast that would enhance the performance of a boat in a race or if he is on board a boat in a race to promote his product in which case he is Group 3.

Classification CodeFrequently Asked Questions

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