Bermuda Race Prep: A Safety Ethos First

Getting ready for the Newport Bermuda Race is a multi-pronged effort. In the first in a series, we look at crew safety training.

There are many aspects for a competitor to plan for when preparing to race to an offshore island such as Bermuda, but it would be hard to argue that a safe passage for yacht and crew is not the top priority. That’s why the race organizers focus intently on hands-on safety training for the crew of each vessel and have increased requirements for 2020 so that 30 percent of each crew, in addition to the person in charge, must go through the training. (Read the fine print for doublehanders, multihulls and shorthanded crews, etc.) To meet demand, the Cruising Club of America has tripled the number of safety seminars it is conducting between the 2018 and 2020 races.

Cruising Club of America safety at sea seminar liferaft boarding

In the pool, wearing full gear and with PFDs inflated, crews learn first-hand the challenges of boarding a liferaft, and the value of helping each other.

The CCA’s safety-at-sea leader for the seminars, Mark Lenci, speaks in this short video to the value of the training for each crewmember.

For specifics on the seminars, including alternatives to CCA-sponsored events if they fit your schedule or location better, visit “Safety at Sea Course.

For those considering sailing in the race, the “Competitors’ Guide to the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race” takes a high-level view of the task of getting ready to race.

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