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#34413 - 06/15/04 06:34 AM Safety Requirements for Distance Races  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 612
Steve_Kwiksilver Offline
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Steve_Kwiksilver  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 612
Cape Town, South Africa
Found this on the NOR for the Great Texas Race :

"Warning: This race is to be conducted on small craft on the open ocean. Severe weather, accidents or equipment failure could lead to potentially dangerous or lethal situations especially along remote ocean areas such as those encountered on this race. In addition, no support boats will be provided to aid sailors in need of help. Therefore, sailors must understand the significant risks associated with the race and only participate if they accept these risks. Safety equipment including VHF, GPS, flashlight, cell phone and safety lines will be required to participate in the event."

Question : How do the organisers of races such as this manage to convince the Authorities such as the Coast Guard etc to allow them to hold such an event ?
I`ve always thought of the USA as a country where all activities are fairly regulated, whereas we would never be able to hold an event of this nature in South Africa, as the NSRI (CG to you guys) would insist on at least one rescue craft per 10 boats to follow the entire route, not negotiable. This makes it logistically a nightmare. It was attempted a few years ago, a race from Durban to Cape Town, but never really worked out as sponsors pulled out last minute, and the organisers tried to link it to a bicycle race along the coast. On the no-wind days they were either towed across the sea by rescue craft or trailered from point to point to make strict landing times as set out by the organisers in order to meet with television schedules. Ended up being a complete sham, and was abandoned half-way. Some of the competitors went on unassisted to Cape Town, but the Government is now stepping up regulations regarding day-sailing off the beach, making it near impossible to leave the beach without more safety gear than a cat can carry.

So how do you guys get it right ??

Steve

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#34414 - 07/14/04 10:00 AM Re: Safety Requirements for Distance Races [Re: Steve_Kwiksilver]  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 281
EasyReiter Offline
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EasyReiter  Offline
enthusiast

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 281
Houston, Texas
In America if you state that there is "significant risk of lethal situations" and "you accept the risk" then the organizers are covered from a law suit. as far as the coast guard is concerned there are regulations regarding boat safety for all boats sailing on any US coast and a race is no different than 13 boats sailing the coast for pleasure.


Marc Reiter I 20 #861 Dikes, Ferries and Tramps. www.texascitydike.com
#34415 - 07/23/04 03:33 AM Re: Safety Requirements for Distance Races [Re: EasyReiter]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 612
Steve_Kwiksilver Offline
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Steve_Kwiksilver  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 612
Cape Town, South Africa
Thanks for reply, Marc, I waited patiently for a response, and had given up a while ago.
Our government is getting quite strict on any pleasure craft from a licensing aspect, as well as skipper competency for ANY boat over 3metres going offshore, we have to have so much safety gear the boat would sink. Unless we are in an organised event, but then the onus is on the organiser to provide rescue boats & be responsible for the safety of the competitors. Quite ironic that an Optimist sailor is exempt from all this stupid legislation becuase his boat is too SMALL !! We have to carry an anchor, 30m of line, and a whole lot of other crap that you would never be able to use in an emergency situation. I`m all for safety gear like life-jackets, flares, etc, but feel that having a VHF radio, cell-phone and liferaft are a bit extreme on a 16ft cat. The radio & cell-phone are sensible to have, I`d have to agree, but should be optional for day-sailing in a fairly protected bay with an on-shore wind, where the worst that can happen is being blown ashore. Your boat would get wrecked in the surf, but you`d survive the ordeal (If the great whites don`t get`ya, but then, what use is a cell-phone in that situation? )

Cheers
Steve

#34416 - 03/18/05 01:22 AM Re: Safety Requirements for Distance Races [Re: Steve_Kwiksilver]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 8
Brad Offline
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Brad  Offline
stranger

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 8
San Francisco bay area
In the US you are not allowed to use any electronics during a race. at least in the hobie one design fleets. However, as was stated before it is up to the racer to decide to race or not. I do alot of racing on larger monohulls, and there is an equepment list required by the coast guard.I have done beach cat cruises and races from long beach to catalina island, [it`s only 22 miles] where people were lost at night lighting off RED flares on the beach, because they did`nt know where they were. I like the idea of a sailing resume and safety stuff and leave the government out.


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