Become a Sailor Athlete
The mission of the Sailor Athlete Council (SAC) is to maintain an avenue for sailor athletes in the U.S. to voice their opinions, and to provide a forum and opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the future and direction of our sport.
Mandated by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), the Council was established to represent all of the active racing community. Elections are held every two years to determine the Council members.
- Why You Should Register (see below)
- What is a Sailor Athlete (definition)?
- Who is registered as an athlete?
- Register as a Sailor Athlete
Athlete Representation on Committees
The USOPC and the Amateur Sports Act have mandated that each of the Olympic sports must have 33.34% athlete representation on the Board of Directors and certain designated committees which make up that sport’s national governing body. The following US Sailing committees must be composed of at least 33.34% sailor athletes and any other committee whose event is approved by the Board of Directors as a vehicle for the selection of athletes to represent the USA in international competition. In addition, US Sailing has set a goal of having all committees meet the 33.34% requirement.
The Sailor Athlete Council (SAC) is the most direct representation active racers have at US Sailing.
If you want to make a change or discuss a concern about your level of racing, the SAC is your hotline with US Sailing. Here’s why…
SAC Represents Athletes, Not Organizations
Much of the representation at US Sailing is organized around a class, a Regional Sailing Association, or a racing discipline (such as team or match racing). The SAC is the only vehicle for an individual or group of individuals to be heard as individuals, not as members of an organization. This is significant because issues like World Sailing competitor classification, and the manner in which those classifications are administered, affect us as individual athletes, not just as members of individual classes. For example, the J/105, Etchells or Farr 40 Class all use the World Sailing competitor classification system and their rulings affect individual sailors. This is only one of many examples of how SAC can represent your views.
Our sport is changing all the time, and in some cases, it may be changing in ways that many active sailors do not agree with. US Sailing is the National Governing Body for the sport of sailing and strongly supports the SAC’S mission to include the views of active racing sailors and wants the involvement of new, younger, active sailboat racers in managing our sport.
World Sailing VP and former US Sailing President Gary Jobson has said the following on the topic: “The Sailor Athlete Council (SAC) plays a very important part in US Sailing. You might be surprised how big a voice Sailor Athletes actually have on a wide number of issues impacting the sport. Most importantly, the SAC provides suggestions for knowledgeable candidates to fill positions on US Sailing committees. The Sailor Athlete Council also tackles issues for the US Sailing staff and Board of Directors that directly impact competitive sailing. You can make that voice that much more important by registering as a Sailor Athlete. We want you to be part of US Sailing.”
How Can SAC Make Your Voice Heard?
The elected members of SAC are your representatives at US Sailing. The US Sailing Board of Directors is comprised of at least 20% “A” athletes. And, US Sailing now requires that all committees include a minimum number of Sailor Athletes. In short, US Sailing is listening to you and now has guaranteed it!
Did You Know …
- If you are an active racer on the national or international level, you are probably eligible to register as a Sailor Athlete.
- All registered Sailor Athletes are entitled to vote for their SAC representatives. The Council consists of a maximum of up to 14 members. Elections are held every other year.
- All registered Sailor Athletes are eligible to be nominated and elected to the Council.
- The Council elects its own chairperson.
- Two SAC members sit on the US Sailing Nominating and Governance Committees.
Register Today and Begin to Make a Difference
Registration can be completed online and you can be prepared to vote in the SAC election. Join us in our effort to make the voices of Sailor Athletes heard within US Sailing.
Being nominated for and elected to the Sailor Athlete Council (SAC) is important for the sport of sailing and for the interests of active, racing sailors.
SAC can nominate individuals to the Board of Directors, and can place registered sailor athletes throughout the organization. The following is the minimum commitment elected SAC members are expected to make:
- Serve your entire four-year term;
- Regular participation in SAC phone conferences;
- Thoughtful engagement in email discussion;
- Volunteer for additional duties on an as-needed basis;
- Volunteer for other committee positions within US Sailing, whenever possible;
- Commit to learn more about US Sailing and its structure;
- Develop a working knowledge of US Sailing bylaws;
- Active solicitation of individual sailors to register as sailor athletes;
- Initiate conversation with sailor athletes and relay their concerns and comments to SAC;
- Make a best effort to attend US Sailing Annual Meetings;
- Use discretion in making SAC discussions public, and honor other SAC members request for privacy with certain information.