Standard Sail Numbers
Sail numbers are assigned by the US 470 Class Association and ONLY the US 470 Class Association (not 470 International). See Class Rule A.10.1. Once a sail number is allocated by the Class to a new, used, or transferred boat and all fees are paid (as described above), that number is now valid and is your racing number. Other countries may operate under different sail number regularions; however, if you are a US citizen or wish to register your boat within the USA 470 Class, you must operate under the guidlines listed here.
Class Royalty and Measurement Stickers
Each sail must carry a 470 class royalty sticker (or button) as well as a measurement sticker. Modern sails all come from the sailmaker with royalty stickers and World Sailing IHC (In-house Certification) stickers, so this is not much of an issue. However, do make sure that both items are fixed to the sail properly (and with some portion of stitching). A sail without both stickers will not be allowed to measure in at sanctioned regattas. In the event that you build or commission your own custom sail(s) you still must source both stickers. Contact the class management for further details.
If you purchase sails from another team and the sails show that team’s country code and sail number, then you must replace those items with the country code and sail number assign to you (and/or the boat on which you are using the sails). The size, color, and positioning of the codes and numbers are outlined in the 470 Class Rules and the Racing Rules of Sailing.
If you race in a World Cup, World Championship, or European Championship you are required to carry an American flag on your mainsail. Some other events may require the flag in the NOR, as well. Details on the placement are outlined in this document. Vendors are listed in this document.
If you purchase sails from another team and the sails show that team’s country code and sail number, then you must replace those items with the country code and sail number assigned to you (as described above). Since spinnakers often come with inked numbers, you must block out the existing code and/or number and place your number below or to the side. The size, color, and positioning of the codes and numbers are outlined in the Class Rules and the Racing Rules of Sailing. More information on number placement is described in the Common Measurement Questions and Solutions .
Special Mainsail Emblem
If a crew or individual on the crew have won one of the following regattas then they may replace the standard blue class emblem with a gold or silver version (the dimensions remain the same per Class Rule G.3.1): Olympic Games (gold), World Championship (gold), European Championship (silver). See Class Rule C.10.4 (a).
Retired Sail Numbers
Some numbers in the class are retired (or retired to that owner). For example, USA 1722 was a long-held number of Paul Foerster’s. Paul won an Olympic Gold and Silver in the 470 class. If Paul decides to sail, he may use 1722. Apart from that, however, the number is considered retired. If, for example the boat originally registered as USA 1722 is sold to another owner, then the class will assign a replacement sail number to that hull.
Personal Sail Numbers
Personal sail numbers are numbers assigned to an individual that are not connected to the specific registration of a boat. This number may be registered under the “personal numbers” section of the measurement certificate for any and all boats owned by that individual and may be raced with in all sanctioned events (except the Olympic Regatta).
In order to receive a personal number, you must apply to the class, receive approval from the class, and pay the appropriate fees. Fees per personal number are $150.00.
You can only apply for a personal number after competing in two or more 470 World Championships. You must show “good standing” within the class and a history of supporting the health of the class. The issuing of a personal sail number will take into account an applicant’s tenure within the Class, his/her major championship victories, and his/her standing as an Olympian. The class does NOT wish to assign newcomers or temporary visitors to the class with personal sail numbers. Achievements in other classes are not grounds for exemption. The spirit of the rule is to reward athletes who are extremely active AND successful on the global 470 regatta scene.
You CANNOT assign yourself a personal number without prior written approval from the US Class Association. Racing under a “self-given” sail number is strictly illegal and grounds for removal from any race or regatta. Even if your “self-assigned” sail number was allowed to pass through measurement at a regatta, this does not mean you have been approved to use that sail number. Any requests for personal numbers will be greatly damaged if you have race under a “self-given” sail number while NOT being an active and paid-up member of the Class.
The US Sailing Association is NOT in charge of the management class sail numbers. Though in the past this was the case, this policy hasn’t been active for over a decade. Many older coaches and sailors still believe incorrectly that US Sailing is in charge of issuing class numbers. To repeat, this is NOT the case.
Personal sail numbers granted before June 15, 2018 will be “grandfathered” so long as the owner is actively competing. If the owner is no longer competing, then that number will be repossessed by the US Class Association.
Basically, think of it this way: Don’t just turn up with nothing to show for in the 470 class and expect some sort of reward like a personal sail number. Sure, you may have won heaps of regattas in other classes, but so have others. The 470 start line is rich with talent. If you really want a personal number, then go win 470 regattas! Win BIG regattas! Make the US 470 Class proud. Win big and give back to the class. Be a part of making our class better. Get involved! If you want to use you own number because you’re too lazy to peel off the digits, or it’s your lucky high school jersey number, or just because you’re “only doing this ONE regatta”….then, well, that’s simply not a good enough reason.
Single Digit Sail Numbers
If you have earned a metallic class emblem color, you are automatically approved for a personal number AND a single digit number.
Single digit personal sail numbers are typically reserved for Olympians and top US Sailing Team athletes who have won one or more of the “Three Major” 470 class events: the Olympic Games, the World Championships, and the European Championship.
The complete list of US sailors who have been awarded a metallic emblem, 1963-2021:
Kevin Burnham, J.J. Fetter, Paul Foerster, Pam Healy, Dave Hughes, Lynne Jewell, Allison Jolly, Isabelle Kinsolving, Tom Linskey, Erin Maxwell, Stu McNay, and Dave Ullman.