Rule 43


Changes to Rule 46 and Crew Membership

Rule 46 of the Racing Rules of Sailing currently has a prescription that after three races, all crew of any race shall be a club member; and that Australian Sailing was reviewing the requirement.

From 1 January 2021 the Australian Sailing prescription to the rule will be amended to require that all crew of any race are members of an affiliated club; and also registered with Australian Sailing- regardless of the number of races they have competed in.

When publishing the Racing Rules of Sailing in 2016, Australian Sailing informed clubs (in the rule itself) to note that it was reviewing these requirements and to expect changes to be made requiring that all crew of any race to be members of an affiliated club and registered with Australian Sailing.

Since that time Australian Sailing has introduced revSport has introduced a database solution (revSPORT) and SailPass has been rolled out nationally and enthusiastically taken up by many clubs. The latter provides flexibility for clubs to make competitors members for any suitably appropriate terms. Introductory membership under SailPass is membership of a club and provides for registration of the crew with Australian Sailing.

The affiliation structure for Clubs has been harmonised nationally. There is no longer a “capitation fee”; and the number of members is not the sole determining factor of a clubs affiliation fee.

This is to say:

  1. Advance notice of the change (now approved) has been published for the past four years, and
  2. The systems used for club membership and registration with Australian Sailing are ready for the change, and
  3. This is not a revenue raising exercise. Clubs’ affiliation fees are not impacted, and
  4. Alternative solutions (ie Crew Club in NSW) will be discontinued.

Clubs can read more about SailPass at
Information about affiliation fees is at

Competitors’ membership of clubs and registration with Australian Sailing has for a long time been a major strategic priority for the sport of sailing. The need for competitors to be members of clubs and registered with Australian Sailing is connected to helping clubs maintain their strength and sustainability, manage their liability risk, and provide personal insurance protection.

The only change in the rule is that rather than crew having the three ‘free races’, they now have to be members for all races. We know that compliance with the rule requiring club membership is rarely a problem in off the beach racing or top-level keelboat events. The challenges with application of the rule in other segments has always been there and unfortunately remains unchanged unless clubs actively promote membership.

For further information, please contact:

Glen Stanaway
Direct Phone: 0417 446 727

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