Some national classes reject advertising
The new Advertising Code, launched by ISAF at its November conference in Edinburgh, places the decision-making powers in the hands of the national sailing authorities, which in Britain's case is the RYA.
But Rod Carr, the RYA’s new Secretary General, told madforsailing that the Association had passed all decisions about advertising on to the national classes themselves. "Not all the classes have opted for full-blown, Category C advertising," commented Carr. "Some have decided to opt for no advertising with Category A, mostly the traditional classes like the Albacore and the X-boat." He said the more modern, manufacturer-led classes like the Laser, RS and Ovington range of boats favoured Category C.
But some questions remain over the wording of the Advertising Code, the final version of which is due to be published on ISAF’s website just before Christmas. In response to requests from madforsailing users, we have raised some questions with ISAF, to which it has promised to provide answers in the near future.
Most pressing of these, perhaps, is whether international classes like the 505 and 420 will be able to display Category C advertising in the coming year. Moving to Category C would require an official rule change for an international class, but in most cases these changes have to be rubber-stamped by ISAF at its annual general meeting, which always takes place in November - almost a year away, by which time a whole racing season will have passed. Presumably this is something that has not gone unnoticed by the Federation.
For the keelboat racer, there is concern over the wording of section 20.5.1 of the Advertising Code, which says: "The National Authority of a competitor in respect of the boat in which the competitor is competing, may decide the advertising status to be applied to boats racing under a handicap/measurement system to be either A or C."
But where a keelboat has a multinational crew, it begs the question as to which competitor is the deciding factor when determining the boat’s advertising status. Surely ISAF should have used the word ‘owner’ or ‘skipper’ in place of ‘competitor’? Or perhaps not, but let’s hope ISAF can give us the definitive answer soon.