#icra – Of all the items on Saturday's ICRA cruiser conference agenda the 'liveliest' issue debated was how ISAF sailing categories are to be policed at future ICRA cruiser national championships.
A gathering of 110 downstairs in the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire found fertile ground for debate and there were many opinions and suggestions on how the difference between 'professional' and 'amateur' sailors should be treated. There was little in the way of consenus, however, about whether professionals should be restricted from competing at the National Championships.
Currently, two professional sailors are permitted in class zero, one in class one and none below that.
After a good solid debate, ICRA Chair Nobby Reilly deferred the matter and asked for any further contributions by email.
The ISAF Sailor Classification system provide events and classes with an international system of classification for sailors to provide a clear distinction between 'professional' and 'amateur' sailors. At last year's ICRA Nationals professional sailors were limited but how the rule was policed in Fenit left many asking questions.
Reilly's deferral however didn't stop the chat on the contentious topic. The après conference in the bar – where one insider says the real talking on the matter was done – focussed on a resolution of the issue. The ICRA Notice of Race for the 2014 championships is now published and ICRA is expecting sailors to respect the rule. 'The intention is for it to be self policing because ICRA has not got the resources to handle the administrative burden the ISAF system brings', one ICRA source told Afloat.ie
The ISAF Sailor Classification Code defines how sailors are classified but it is the responsibility of sailors to apply for a classification and provide all information necessary to determine his or her classification.
The hope now is that debate on the issue has raised awareness.