In order to become a member of the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), a sailor needs to join their district ILCA association. When you join your local district ILCA association, you will automatically become an ILCA member as long as the district remains active and pays its annual dues. To contact your district and join, visit ILCA DISTRICTS.
ILCA sailing is an international sport practiced around the world. In this spirit, you can become a member of a local district where you regularly sail in the world, even though it may not be your permanent country of residence. National citizenship is no criterion for fleet/district membership. If you are unsure about where you should become a member, please contact the ILCA office.
If there is no ILCA association in your country, and you are interested in setting one up yourself, please contact the ILCA office.
ILCA membership benefits:
- Local district/fleet information and newsletters.
- The official handbook is published every year.
- The opportunity to qualify for the official ILCA Championships.
- The advice and support of a strong class association. (And a strong class association means a strong resale value for your boat!)
What is a district ILCA association?
National boundaries, such as Germany, Argentina, or New Zealand, usually define a district ILCA association. Occasionally, however, small countries either amalgamate with other small countries or get looked after by larger countries. In North America and Australia only, districts are single states or an amalgamation of states.
District associations are usually run by volunteers who have been elected at the District’s Annual General Meeting.
What are a district’s aims and objectives?
The main objective of district associations is to serve ILCA sailors in their area by organizing and coordinating events, communicating with its sailors about local, regional, and international events, and promoting ILCA sailing.
How are these objectives achieved?
1.Organizing and Coordinating Events
For most sailors, club racing, regional regattas, and the national championships are the most important events of the year. The district association’s task is to coordinate the annual racing calendar, liaise with the individual clubs about their racing and regatta schedules, and organize an annual district championship. Maintaining regular contact with their clubs in the district makes regatta scheduling easier. Once the calendar for the year is finalized, they communicate it to their members as soon as possible so sailors can arrange their personal sailing schedules for the season. Once the regattas are over, results should be published.
A qualification scheme should also be set up for sailors who wish to qualify for ILCA world championships.
2. Communicating with Sailors
Communication with the sailors is paramount to running a successful district association. Sailors need to be kept up to date with the racing calendar the district produces, as well as international events and other ILCA news. Communication methods per district vary, depending on the most effective way to reach most sailors. Most districts have websites that contain important information such as calendar activities, international events, qualification criteria, contact details, etc. Sending out emails and/or printed newsletters to sailors with the most important news is common as well.
In addition, ILCA publishes the class Handbook annually, which each district distributes to its members.
Each district should communicate to its members the best way to reach their association and who is responsible for what area.
3. Promoting ILCA Sailing
Running a district association is as much about serving the existing ILCA sailors as it is about attracting newcomers to the class. A strong membership base will result in bigger regatta attendance, which enhances racing quality. It also means that prices for boats and spares with local dealers should remain stable.
Actively promoting the ILCA dinghy and class can take many forms. Districts may choose to promote certain groups of sailors in your district and organize events, training camps, or prizes that target these groups. Or they may choose to promote a specific rig, like the ILCA 4, and connect with the Optimist class in their district to organize joint events.
ILCA regions have their own regional officers and organization that coordinate with the ILCA office. Each region is composed of multiple districts, and some districts contain numerous fleets. ILCA is currently organized into six regions:
- North America
- Central and South America
- Rest of the world
Regional offices can provide information on regattas and contacts within their region. Visit ILCA REGIONS for regional contact information.
INFORMATION FOR DISTRICTS
Communication: ILCA will communicate any important information or news through its website as well as send out International Circulars via email to the International Contact on the District Report form, as well as any additional officers as specified by you.
Membership: ILCA will contact you in August of every year and ask you to fill in a District Report form. The District Report form contains information about membership, contact details, and how you would like to receive our publications. Once received, ILCA will issue an invoice for membership fees for the year, which is payable by 30th September.
Publications: ILCA will send you handbooks for all your members in December for the coming year.
ILCA World Championships: Sailors who wish to attend the ILCA World Championships must first fill out an application form through the ILCA event website. A district representative is responsible for confirming whether sailors are members of the district association and must take action on each application for entry by either accepting and ranking or declining the application. This is done through the District part of the ILCA event website, for which the district representative will be given login details to perform these tasks.
Regatta Information: You should inform ILCA of your local and regional regattas by contacting the ILCA office and providing the entry form, Notice of Race, and start and end date of the regatta.
ILCA will then add the regattas to the Fixtures list for your region, which is published on the ILCA website.
District Neighbors & Regions
It is a good idea to get in touch with other district ILCA associations in your region to exchange information about ILCA sailing, promotions, and events and generally to help each other out when necessary. ILCA will, of course, always be there with a helping hand, but sometimes a fellow district officer from your region might have better insight into sailing in your area and is able to offer more tailored advice.
You might want to organize a joint event with a neighboring district or organize training camps at a club in another district.
In regions where there are several district ILCA associations within a substantial area, ILCA may establish a region. A region is responsible for coordinating inter-district activities and events, such as regional championships or cup series. A region also represents its member districts at the ILCA World Council meeting and may put forward any collective ideas, requests, or issues for discussion. Currently, ILCA has established the regions of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, and Oceania.
Depending on the size of your district, the amount of work generated can range from a couple of hours per week to almost a full-time job. The number of people involved in this work depends not only on the size of your membership but also on the availability of skills, time, and interest. If you can or need to delegate tasks, that’s fine. The important thing to remember is to be a leader and get other members involved in all activities.
The roles and responsibilities of District Committee members are set out in the ILCA Constitution. They may give you a good indication of how to share areas of work and responsibilities. Please bear in mind that this covers all possible aspects of running a district association, so some tasks may not apply to smaller districts.
- Acts as the main point of contact for the National Sailing Federation and ILCA.
- Coordinates all activities of the district association within the district.
- Represents the district at annual meetings of the Region (in accordance with the ILCA constitution).
- Organizes and chairs the Annual General Meeting of the district.
- Organizes/oversees the district’s qualifications for regional and world events.
District Vice Chairman
- Acts as district chairman if the chairman is unable or refuses to act in their function.
- Functions as the Sailing Secretary of the district, which entails the development of the district’s racing programs of all kinds, supervision of sanctioned events, and coordination with other Sailing Secretaries of all inter-district racing.
- Maintains the members database (address list).
- Sends out membership cards to members if applicable.
- Checks membership at regattas.
- Responsible for correspondence with members, i.e., sending out newsletters on a regular basis or ILCA handbooks once a year.
- Any other responsibilities assigned to them by the District Chairman.
- Determines who can become a member in accordance with paragraph 10 of the ILCA constitution.
- Collect membership fees from members in accordance with paragraph 11 of the ILCA constitution.
- Maintains all district financial accounts.
- Prepares the annual financial statement for the membership.
- Must be assessed and qualified by ILCA and the National Sailing Federation.
- Assist the ILCA chief measurer in the conduct of their responsibilities and the enforcement of the Class Rules.
- May act for more than one district.
- Has the authority to rule on all questions and challenges relating to the Class Rules and interpretations of the chief measurer but may not issue interpretations except with prior approval of the chief measurer.
- Additional Officers
- You may appoint additional officers to carry out duties. For example, some districts have a Youth Coordinator, Masters Coordinator, or Women’s Coordinator.
You may also appoint committees to carry out certain functions and duties. The district chairman must be a member ex-officio of any committee established.
Tips for Districts
Here are some examples of activities other districts organize to keep ILCA sailors interested in the class as well as promote ILCA in their areas.
- Organize championships for specific groups (women, men, masters, youth, ILCA 4, ILCA 6, or ILCA 7).
- Organize ILCA regattas together or following Optimist regattas.
- Attend Optimist regattas and let Optimist sailors try out the ILCA 4.
- Run ILCA 4 clinics during Optimist regattas.
- Display rigged ILCAs at a shopping center on a Saturday and invite interested local shoppers to a regatta on Sunday (perhaps combined with a BBQ or similar event).
- Introduce sailing to children in schools and in high school as part of a physical education program.
- Organize a training program for beginners combined with the production of a training manual and PowerPoint presentation for sailors to watch at their club.
- Produce promotional material like T-shirts, key rings, caps, etc. to give out at regattas.
- Create an ILCA video, brochures, etc.
- A handicap system at club regattas so all sailors have an equal chance of winning.
- Offer special prices on ILCA 4 equipment specifically for Optimist sailors.
- Offer attractive prizes for specific age groups or genders (youth, masters, women, men, etc.).
- Combine regattas with social events like BBQs, discos, fancy dress parties, etc.
- Organize training camps and clinics for sailors and coaches, and send invitations to members and sailing clubs.
- Liaise with local ILCA dealers about sponsorship of prizes (for example, a sail or other spares).
- Organize a Cup series that combines several local regattas.
- Offer seminars on healthy eating and exercising for sailing fitness.
- Offer seminars on mental training for sailors.
- Offer seminars about sailing rules, meteorology, and tactics.
- Organize a student championship (fleet racing).
- Organize a play-off championship (match racing).
- Organize a New Year’s regatta in combination with a youth training camp.