An ISORA move to deal with professional sailors racing in its expanding 2017 fleet has been amended just in time for the first race of the season tomorrow.
Following instructions received at the AGM in December and in keeping with the spirit of ISORA, the offshore body now say that the definition provided by World Sailing for Group 3 has been considered by most of its skippers to be 'overly onerous' and 'potentially detrimental to the growth and advancement of ISORA'.
As a result ISORA has amended its Notice of Race and 'Group 3' sailors are redefined as 'ISORA Group 3'.
Group 3 sailors are persons who are paid to sail on boats competing in an ISORA race (reasonable expenses allowed).
ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan told Afloat.ie: 'The rule does not eliminate sailmakers or pro–sailors as long as they do not accept payment to race'.
Ryan added: 'Those paid to race in ISORA, will be accommodated in a class of their own and are not eligible for the main prizes. Pro sailors not paid to race are welcome in ISORA'.
The rule change met with immediate approval from one pro at least, telling Afloat.ie it was 'a sensible ISORA solution to an ISORA problem'.
But reader Kevin Byrne, commeting on this article on social media, described the move as a 'pointless change'. 'You won't be able to prove they are paid or not', he wrote on Facebook.