Insuring the highest level of fair play

Published on May 6th, 2018

If your sailing area is starting the 2018 season where it left off last year, that might not be a good place to begin. David Porter, Commodore of the Inland Lake Yachting Association, discusses what is ahead for his scow sailing community.


The main purpose of this letter is to announce an initiative which will impact all ILYA sailing in this and future seasons. Our region has taken pride in our adherence to the rules, our expectation of exceptional high standards due to role models such as Buddy Melges and Peter Barrett – in general, we value our consistent concern for the utmost in sportsmanship ideals.

In recent years, there appears to have been a decline in our on-water execution of rules adherence, a change in focus in youth sports and teaching, a perceived “loosening” of penalties as we moved to the two-circle turns.

To that end, the ILYA is committed to a new venture – ILYA #FAIR SAILING. You will hear from the ILYA each Tuesday via the Scowlines publication as we approach this problem with education, education, education.

How will this look in 2018? We expect to see more sailors exonerating themselves on the water. We expect to see more use of the protest, arbitration and early “on-land” penalty alternative.

Let me be very clear: as stated above, the ILYA is committed to this endeavor. We’re all in. We want all our sailors, young and old, new and experienced, to understand the rules and execute them to the best of their ability.

We understand that learning rules on the water is different than learning in a classroom. Bottom line, we believe in sailing clean and fair. We are discarding any notion of “I owe you one”, “it’s OK, he’s my friend or teammate” or any other excuse. The ILYA believes sailors are more competent and CONFIDENT when they understand the rules of the game and are clearly encouraged to follow them.

ILYA races are sailed amongst the best of friends – it’s what sets us apart and also what holds us together. Join us in this most important initiative to make sure that all of that racing among friends, in all boats, at all levels is at the absolute highest level of fair play.

For the complete letter… click here.

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