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Why Australian Sailing May Have a Good Point
Recently Australian Sailing came under scrutiny for an increase in required membership. As per the Racing Rules of Sailing, the membership requirements for entering a race are only relevant to the person in charge. Australian Sailing decided that this rule is not stringent enough and made a new rule that all crew members will have to be registered with them, as well as being members of an affiliated club.
In a recent interview with the media, the organisation listed the benefits of their new ruling:
1. Safety – When the authorities have no idea who is on the water, they are limited in providing safety measures. How would they know if somebody is lost on the water if they don’t even know that they are on the water? There have been instances in which sailors have died and there are no details about who they are or who to contact.
2. Insurance – Australian Sailing offers $75,000 life insurance to members. In a race-related accident in recent years where two people died, one family received the pay-out since it was a club member, and the other family didn’t.
3. User pays principle – It is not fair that only the person in charge pays membership fees while all crew members use the facilities. There is no other sport where facilities and equipment are used by people who don’t pay for it.
4. Club strength – So many sailing clubs are struggling and could do with the additional membership fees. After all, clubs are vital to our sport. Through paid membership, details of members are captured and they become part of a community. They will receive notifications like information about events, offers on sailing lessons and other news. This makes the club a more welcoming environment.
5. Increased participation – As a marketing campaign, complimentary day memberships can be used to invite non-members to try sailing. This makes people feel welcome and promotes the sport.