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Basic Sailing Rules Explained
President: Graham Jervis
Vice President: David Watkins
Treasurer: Victor Bensen
Secretary: Malcolm Kaye
Committee Member: Jim Barr
The question of enforcing our membership to become Federated has arisen along with its impact on the club membership fees. These questions are not without substance. Some of the various scenarios that have been put by both members and possible members are noted below
1 Federation membership had already been obtained via another route
2 They don’t own a sailing boat and have no intention of sailing in any other member’s boat or a club boat.
3 They own a sailing cruiser and do not intend to race it
4 They have adequate insurance on their own boat
5 They own a sailing dingy and don’t intend to race it.
6 The members boating activity is not involved with sailing, for example, motor boating
At present, Federation Membership comprises two aspects.
The clubs membership of the Sailing Federation of Andalucía gives it the legal right to organise Regattas under the auspices of the Federation and ensures its listing in the sailing clubs of Andalucía
Individual federation membership entitles the holder to participate in regattas at their own club and any event run under the control of their own federation or any other provincial federation throughout Spain. It also comes with insurance cover to the minimum required under the mandatory requirement for civil liability. Provided that you are racing or practising racing and you have an accident requiring medical attention, the Federation insurance will meet this expense.
Club History Regarding Federation
Since 2008 Individual federation membership has been mandatory in the Santa Irene Club de Vela and has been combined with the membership fee of the club. Only members paying the full membership fee have been entitled to vote at the AGM
The club took this step because it was unable to convince some members that insurance was legally or sensibly required, also it absolved the officers of the club from any requirement to police the situation. It also meant that any sailing boat owned by the club, particularly those of low intrinsic value, could be used by any club member without the club taking out individual boat policies. It also allowed a member to sail other member’s boats without questioning the adequacy of the insurance cover. However, it must be noted that insurance provide by the Federation is only valid while racing or practising for racing.
What the Committee Have Discovered
It is not a mandatory requirement for Barcos de Recreos without motors and under 6 meters to be insured this however, does not mean the member can escape their liability in the event of an accident.
In reality the current level of sailing by the club does not require authorisation by the Federation. We do not compete at local or national level. We do not attract sufficient interest from the population at large to press us into creating sailing class groups or to warrant the seeking of authorisation to race which we understand is complex.
The Club is not obligated to ensure that its members belong to the Federation.
Both the Wayfarer and the Club safety boat are covered by their respective insurances and there is no need for those users to be federated.
It is true that a number of members already have perfectly adequate insurance and you can only make a claim from one insurance provider.
There are members who wish to be part of the club as a full member, are insured and have no intention of stepping into another members boat.
What will be new information to many of our members is that Federation membership is not just about liability, it also covers medical expenses should a member suffer an accident as a result of their sport. Spain views their obligation to provide healthcare as a result of accidents to its citizens should be based on normal day to day activities. They consider that if you embark on a sport that places you in a position where you could raise your risk of exposure to an accident, requiring you to receive medical attention, then you must be insured with a scheme that will pay for that treatment, hence Federation. Each sport Federation has a collective and specialist medical insurance in the event that you need medical treatment. Those who follow a sport will not be a burden to the state purse. However, with regards to sailing, it is only valid if you are racing or practising racing.
Some members may have private health insurance or travel insurance which provides for this eventuality.
Other successful clubs do not make federation mandatory and have a system in place that requires their membership to assume responsibility for the provision of adequate insurance and to hold the club harmless from all liability.
Also, some members resent the forced Federation rule where they believe it is unjustified
The Committee Proposal
In view of the above, the committee believes that it is right to advise the membership of their findings and that at an Extraordinary General Meeting, to be held in September on a date yet to be determined, we debate the issue of insisting on mandatory Federation membership and consider the following proposals.
The committee proposes that all members should be insured for third party risk as a minimum but that the blanket requirement for all members to be Federated needs reviewing.
It is proposed that all members annually sign a new membership form which will be a combined Membership Application/Renewal and Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement. This document is still in process.
The purpose of this form will require the member to state if they are a boat owner or not. In the event that they are a boat owner they will clearly agree to provide adequate insurance cover themselves for both material and personal damage to third parties, or they agree to becoming a member of the Federation and pay the current Federation rate in addition to their club fee. Should a members status change they will be obligated to inform the club and take whatever steps are needed to become compliant with the Club membership rules.
Members who choose to provide their own boat insurance agree to provide proof of insurance and its expiry date.
Members who do not have their own boat will be recommended by the Club to become a Federation member and pay the current Federation rate in addition to the club fee.
The committee proposes that the Club continues to remain within the Federation as this enables us to continue to apply for Individual Federation memberships and, should the situation arise, seek assistance from the Federation. It also ensures that we receive some publicity from our listing in the Federation literature. In addition, should the needs of the Club change in the future, for example we develop into a club with a significant class and wish to enter into local or national competitions, we would be able to do so.
Given that this issue is of great importance, it is proposed that the committee provide a platform where all the membership can register a vote via electronic means regardless of their ability to attend the Extraordinary Meeting or not.
Please find a document attached that was produced within the Committee for discussion and provided a platform for the final proposal. Please note that not all the solutions suggested were adopted.
All of the information will be posted to the Club Website, under Club matters.
Prepared and issued by the Committee of the Santa Irene Club de Vela.