How Do We Select Clubs to be in the ICOYC?

To become a member of The ICOYC, you need to be a club. The ICOYC is, after all, a club of clubs.

The founders of the Council envisioned a platform where yacht clubs around the world could exchange ideas and experiences, cooperating without competing. Specifically, they defined some qualifying parameters that helped us attract our initial Member Clubs and today, help us define our new Member Clubs.

First, the Council’s founders believed that an international exchange and fruitful dialogue works best when the Member Clubs are internationally involved in the sport, especially by hosting championships. Therefore, hosting such events was an important qualification for membership.

An effective exchange also requires a limited number of individuals discussing, and therefore membership is limited to the top clubs. “We are looking for clubs that matter,” is the short-form often used by the Membership Committee.

A free exchange of views and concepts, including helpful failures, between club officials requires that no delegate fears that its hidden magic of success is copied by its neighbor club, who could then use the magic to draw participation or sponsor interest away. That would stall conversation, or even attendance at meetings. To avoid this, the ICOYC Membership Committee draws close attention to inviting no club from a region where the ICOYC already has a Member. (This said, there are indeed some Member Clubs that share the same waters. These overlaps occurred on the initiative of the Clubs that became the Member first, and the Council supports such trust among Member Clubs.)

Finally, the Council’s membership should reflect an even distribution across all continents to live up to the “international” in our name. This is the least easy task of all, and still a work in progress. The sport and the concept of non-profit sailing clubs is widespread across Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, and it was relatively easy to find several clubs interested in membership in the Council. However, there are fewer yacht clubs in Asia and South America in general, and even fewer in Africa. It has taken some time to build out these regions and, though the work continues, we are proud to welcome our Member Clubs in Asia and South Africa. With the new membership of Yacht Club Punta del Este in Uruguay, the ICOYC happily welcomed our first member in South America in 2020.

Acquiring Member Clubs for an international organization of like-minded sportspeople is a merry and satisfying task, and the ICOYC Membership Committee looks forward to continuing its quest to bring our Member Clubs, and their members, together.

Gero Brugmann
ICOYC Membership Committee, Chairman