Membership has its privileges
Published on July 16th, 2019
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
The US Sailing website lists all the Yacht Clubs and Sailing Clubs, scattered about the country, that provide services to the sailing community. Importantly, they all satisfy a racing requirement in the 2017-2020 Racing Rules of Sailing regarding membership to a club recognized by a national authority.
But when 2001-2004 edition of the rule book was released, it had revised this requirement and stipulated ALL PARTICIPANTS of a race be members of a club, and not just the registrant. To overcome this hurdle, Scuttlebutt Sailing Club was launched in 2001 and provided complimentary memberships to anyone needing the status.
After the uproar by this rule change, it was soon revised, but Scuttlebutt Sailing Club has remained, continuing to pay US Sailing a membership fee to maintain its legitimacy. To be honest, we like the novelty of having our own club, but also see that annual payment as support for the national sailing authority. Win-win!
It’s fun for us to see people entering events under our flag. It was particularly cool when the winners of the 2019 Day Sailer North American Championship represented SSC, and recently we saw several teams at the High Sierra Regatta in California entering with Scuttlebutt Sailing Club.
We are happy to fulfill this requirement, and while it is unlikely that events accepting registration can take the time to vet all entries to ensure the information is valid, entering under a club that is not associated with US Sailing is a breach of the rules. When entering a race, be sure you are meeting the requirements of RRS 75.1.