by Emma Slater
Those with keen eyes will note that the RYA have released a new series of sail numbers, within the latest Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2013-2016, ending with the suffix of 'X' which will become eligible for use once the new RRS come into force on the 01 January 2013.
The RYA is coming up to half way through their latest series of numbers, the 'L' series, and with the opportunity to add a series only every four years as the Racing Rules are updated, the RYA felt it prudent to add the 'X' series as a back-up should the 'L' series run out.
It is envisioned that the X series will be offered to those who have already had their preferred number taken as well as being open to manufacturers who wish to reserve a sequence of numbers for a new model they are releasing. Once the RYA have issued all 'L' series numbers they will then start to work through the 'X' series of numbers.
Andy Wibroe, Technical Co-ordinator notes: 'We see a constant demand for sail numbers throughout the year and an increasing number of owners who are after a specific number – similar to picking a personalised number plate. The X series is another way to be able to cater to these owners as well as opening up more options for manufacturers who wish to provide their clients with a boat specific number. A good example of this is with Sunsail Racing who has numbered their boats with a unique sail number.'
Whilst the requirement to have a sail number is for racing purposes only, it is recommended that you have a sail number as it is an easy method if identification for other vessels as well as search and rescue units.
The RYA are one of three sail number issuing organisations in the UK alongside the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Clyde Yacht Clubs Association as well as class specific organisations as approved by the RYA.
Sail numbers are issued next in sequence, with out of sequence numbers being available for purchase. RYA members get discounts on all numbers with RYA Gold Members also receiving a next in sequence number free of charge in addition to a discount on the out of sequence numbers.
Sail numbers are available from the Technical Department and a next in sequence sail number can be applied for online using this link.
To find out more about out of sequence sail numbers, availability and price please contact the RYA Technical Department by emailing technical(at)rya.org.uk.