Great question Kermie and one I have been working on (through Kyle) for the last couple of months.
It boils down to this:
Recognition by the ARYA is made only to registered clubs who have submitted the required paperwork, elected officers (minimum of 3) and paid their annual fees.
We have none of those things. However there is work being done to make that happen with our group. Following our success in hosting the Southern Round of the Tasmanian Summer Series recently I asked a number of our guys if they would support a move to separate our group from RBRYC and be our own club. This gained general approval so I approached Kyle (who is very supportive) about what needed to happen to make that so.
Kyle in turn contacted Ken Dobbie (ARYA state representative). As of this date nothing has come back from him although I heard that Ken has recently suffered some medical challenges including a hospital stay. This may have contributed to the long delay in finding out what is needed.
Being our own club has many advantages. Although I don’t have the full picture yet, here is what I understand so far.
Insurance: we are covered by the ARYA for all our sailing days and regattas.
Autonomy: We can decide to have a DF event at any time, without requiring RBRYC’s support or approval.
Class Recognition: At present there are no clubs in Southern Tasmania who sail DF65’s and only two who sail DF95’s as an extra class to their own.
National Class: DF65’s have just been given recognition as a class in Australia and I understand that DF95’s are soon to follow. Becoming the only recognised club in Southern Tasmania who sail DF’s exclusively gives us a big leg up to bringing national and international level sailors and sponsorship to our events.
Finally: All this recognition stuff is a bit overwhelming and may never be needed or required but it does give us ownership over what, how and when we do stuff. Apart from the Insurance aspect this I think is the biggest benefit for us in the short term.
As I see it the DF classes will continue to grow and new people be wanting to join a club that sails them. Being a little proactive now in getting our act together as a club will help spread the joy, keep us on our toes and continue to be a lot of fun for everyone.
Sorry this was a bit long winded but I feel I couldn’t give the (excellent) question the respect of a decent answer without it.