Interpretation #2 Matching Sail Numbers, Hull Numbers and National Letters

The relevant Rules are:

  • 1.1 The hull shall display the sail number, either cut into or permanently marked on either the hog, transom or thwart in figures not less than 25mm in height.
  • 1.2 The mainsail shall carry identification marks as indicated in Rule 13.4.
  • 13.4.1 The class insignia and the sail number and letters, as issued by the Association shall be in accordance with RRS 77 and Appendix G, except where varied herein.
  • 13.5.2 Not more than one mainsail and not more than one headsail shall be endorsed on the certificate when originally issued. Sails may be added by endorsement as additions or replacements (but not both) at the rate of one mainsail and one headsail (two headsails in the UK) during each succeeding twelve month period commencing from the date of issue of the original/initial measurement certificate. The Association shall have the discretion to permit the endorsement of further replacement sails in the event of loss or damage.

It is clear that the Rules require that the sail number match the hull number and that new sails may only be added by endorsement to a measurement certificate in accordance with Rule 13.5.2. However, there may be cases when it is in the interest of fairness, promotion of good racing and the Class to allow "special dispensation" on the number matching provisions of the Rules. This occurs, for example, when an Albacore sailor wishes to charter a boat for a regatta because his/her own boat is not available to be sailed at that regatta and the sailor also wishes to use his/her own sails and therefore not be in compliance with the matching numbers provision of the Rules. This is commonly the case when sailors charter boats for sailing in the Internationals. In such instances, interpretation #2 sets forth the conditions and process for making an application for "special dispensation."

The organizing authority for the event has the option to allow exception to the Albacore Class rule regarding the carrying of national letters and sail numbers by invoking RRS-Appendix G3. This is done by proper notice in either the NOR or the SI in sufficient time to allow fair process of applications. The NOR or SI must designate the authority to which applications will be made and provide clear contact information. The Albacore Class encourages organizing authorities to designate a committee of the national Albacore organization (CAA, NAA or USAA) or the Albacore International Rules Committee (IRC) for all national, continental and international events to assure consistent application of this interpretation. Contact [email protected] for further information on how to establish provision for exception in an NOR or SI.

The underlying principles guiding decisions for granting special dispensation are fair sailing and the interests of the Class in accordance with the spirit of the Rules. Of particular concern here is Rule 13.5.2. All sails that will be used in an Albacore competition must be measured and properly endorsed on a boat certificate. New sails which cannot be added to the measurement certificate of either the chartered boat or the sailor's own boat by virtue of Rule 13.5.2, cannot be legally sanctioned for use at an Albacore regatta.

Also of concern to the authority reviewing applications will be the relationship of the competitor to the chartered boat. The committee will not look favourably on situations where the competitor has an ownership interest or a controlling relationship in the boat that is to be chartered. Situations where it appears one is chartering a boat to themselves to circumvent the intent of this rule are unlikely to be approved.

Applications where some material hardship, such as difficulty or expense of transporting a boat to a regatta, damage to one's boat or a non-owner who wants to borrow a boat (but the boat owner is unwilling to lend sails) to participate in an event, will generally receive favourable consideration by the reviewing authority. The reviewing authority may impose conditions on its approval (such as modifying one of the sail numbers in the event a request leads to a duplication of numbers used in an event) in order to assure fair sailing.

Sailors who are found to be in violation of the Rules regarding sail numbers and their endorsement and who have not applied for and received special dispensation will be disqualified.