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Entering the Race, Divisions, Ratings

Safety and Inspection






General Questions

Q: What’s new in the 2018 Notice of Race?

A:  Here’s a highlight of the changes to the Notice of Race since the 2016 race:

    • The new preamble to the NoR includes, as a reminder, elements of the race’s purpose (originally part of the NoR in the 1920’s) and the Offshore Special Regulations’ definition of a Category 1 offshore race.
    • Only those seeking Group 1 (amateur) status need obtain a classification.  The classification rules for certain divisions have been reworded to turn on whether sailors have a Group 1 classification, not whether they are classified as Group 3 (professional).  Previously, the rule was written in such a way that EVERYONE needed to obtain a classification — that is no longer the case.  This approach is viewed to be easier for those who were not competing in divisions with classification limits or for prizes with classification criteria.
    • As previously announced, the Multihull Division has been added with new Safety Requirements for Multihulls and scoring under ORR-MH.
    • The minimum length for divisions is now defined in terms of LOA rather than ORR L (which was usually unknown without an ORR certificate).  LOA is a defined term under all of the applicable rating systems.  This should make it easier for sailors to determine whether they are eligible to enter.
    • The lower length limit for St. David’s, Finisterre and Double Handed is now ORR LOA 32.5 feet. Although this is a bigger number than the 2016 ORR L of 27.5, it will permit some SMALLER boats than were permitted in 2016.
    • The Gibbs Hill Division has been changed to permit movable ballast (including water and canting keels) and the use of non-manual power.  The slowest speed limit also has a waiver to permit boats with movable ballast which may have a GPH that is otherwise too slow.  
    • The Cruiser Division has been renamed the Finisterre Division to recognize the impressive competition that traditionally takes place in that division — it’s not a cruise at all.
    • Large roach headsails or tweener sails (between jibs and spinnakers) are not permitted in the Finisterre Division.  These sails are defined in the 2018 ORR rule book.
    • The Double Handed Division has been changed to permit canting keels and the fastest speed limit (GPH) has been raised to accommodate those boats.
    • The deadline to request measurement has been moved up to April 7, 2018.
    • Pre- and post- race trackers are available through a separate agreement with ybtracking (quantities limited).
    • The jury will now be guided by a discretionary penalty policy, which will be published on the race website this winter.
    • There will likely be an exclusion zone associated with the Traffic Separation Schemes off Newport. (2.9)
    • The Official Notice Board will be online (only). (2.10)
    • Deadlines without specific times have been changed from “close of business” to “on or before” the date stated (i.e., before midnight). (2.11)
    • The Eligibility section has been reorganized and reworded for clarity and to better explain the BROC process after an application for entry is submitted.
    • The entry process remains the same but the section that describes it has been reworded for clarity and to provide a brief punchlist right at the top.
    • The entry fee remains the same, but a cancellation policy has been added.
    • A reminder has been added for the crew list requirement in the entry process — there is no exception for persons of minority age.
    • The entry limit has been raised from 200 to 220 boats and a waiting list has been added.
    • Boats are required to moor in Hamilton for 24 hours for Check-In and Inspection.
    • Postponements can only go so far — until sunset on Sunday. (8.1)
    • Boats will be required to enable the transmitting mode of their AIS at all times and with the proper name transmitted. (11.3-4).
    • Automatic transponders must be returned to RBYC by a certain date, unless boats rent them from ybtracking directly.

 Q: Does everyone (captain and crew) need a World Sailing (fka ISAF) Sailor Classification?

A: No. (This is new for 2018 and a change from 2016).  Only those sailors seeking Group 1 (amateur) status need to obtain a World Sailing Sailor Classification.  Some divisions have limits on the number of crew without a Group 1 Classification and prohibit sailors without a Group 1 classification from steering.  Some trophies are limited to boats with exclusively Group 1 classifications in their crew.  See NoR 7.  For more about the Sailor Classification Code and applying for a Classification, go to http://members.sailing.org/classification/, on the World Sailing website. The process is quick and easy, but be sure to follow it until you receive confirmation that your Sailor Classification has been granted.  Sailor Classifications are good for two years unless your status changes. See the NoR and World Sailing Regulation 22.

Q: What should I know about the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR)? 

A: A complete discussion about the ORR and why it’s used in the Bermuda Race is described in this blog post.

Q: When may I begin measurement of my yacht for her ORR rating?

A: Measurement of your boat for a new or renewal of your rating can be difficult to schedule and complete in the spring rush that precedes a Newport Bermuda Race. As long as you are not planning modifications to your boat over the preceding winter that will impact your rating, you can schedule your measurement the preceding fall before hauling and beat the spring rush. Keep in mind, however, that once rated, you’ll be constrained from modifications or required to start over. New sails, constructed over the winter, may be measured when completed by your sailmaker if he/she is so qualified.

The Bermuda Race employs a number of deadlines to maintain fairness and prevent yachts from buying unfair advantages.  Perhaps chief among the deadlines is measurement.  Measurements will be required to be in the hands of the Offshore Office of US Sailing by a date certain specified in the Notice of Race (usually not later than 30 days prior to the start). Substantial time penalties will apply for failure to meet this deadline, and invitations to race will be withdrawn altogether if those measurements have not been received by the deadlines specified in the Notice of Race.

Q: What is a “Large Roach Headsail” and why are they not permitted in the Finisterre Division?

A: The 2018 ORR Rule book defines Large Roach Headsails (also known as “tweener” sails) as sails having an LPG greater than 1.1*J with a mid-girth greater than 50% of the foot measurement but less than 75% of the foot measurement and tacked on the boat’s centerline.  These sails are disallowed in the Finisterre Division to keep the division accessible to boats that want to race with limited sail inventories and without the costs associated with the arms race for arsenals of sails.

Q: Why must all Finisterre (formerly Cruiser) Division boats be rated with an asymmetric spinnaker?

A: An assumed set of wind conditions are used in developing ratings, and similar boats with spinnakers are invariably rated faster than those without. Actual wind conditions on the race course generally differ, sometimes greatly, from those used in the rating assumptions. If the Finisterre Division were to mix boats rated with spinnakers and those without, the actual wind conditions would prove advantageous to one group or the other. Rating all boats in the Division with spinnakers puts them on an equal footing, regardless of actual wind conditions, thereby enhancing competition within the Division and making more likely that sailing skill, rather than a good forecast of wind conditions, is the determining factor in Division results.  This is one of the core principles of the Bermuda Race’s competition structure.

Q: May we change headsails using a headstay foil with two or more tracks?

A: Yes. ORR 10.05(g) permits the changing of headsails, including in the Finisterre Division. ORR does not, however, permit sailing with two headsails set on the same stay while not being changed.

NoR 4.6(f) prohibits the setting of two headsails on the same stay simultaneously, but does not prohibit changing sails.  This section was intended to prohibit Finisterre division boats from sailing with two headsails on the same stay, for example two jibs wing on wing from the same stay.

Q: Why do double-handed boats have their own division? Can they compete for the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy?

A: Double-Handers are not eligible for the St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy.  Double-handed offshore racing is a serious challenge. It demands unusual stamina and focus. A boat racing double-handed has limited backup in the case of illness or injury to a crew member.

In the interest of good seamanship, boats sailing in the Double-Handed Division of the Newport Bermuda Race are permitted to use stored energy and non-manual power for steering and for trimming and setting sails. This includes the use of electrical, electro-mechanical, or hydraulically-powered autopilots, winches, and furlers.

There is no science-based handicapping method of assessing the impact of these devices on boat performance, especially when boats using these devices race against other boats constrained by the manual power limits of the Racing Rules of Sailing.

The St. David’s Lighthouse Division is a “manual power only” division. Only human energy is permitted to steer, to set sails, and to trim sails. Allowing double-handed boats to use non-manual power in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division would seriously undermine a fundamental principle of the race: we race apples against apples, and oranges against oranges. The race’s multi division structure and science-based handicapping ensures the race’s results will be decided by sailing skill (and a little luck) rather than boat configuration or attempts to game the system.

In part because of the manual power requirement, the St. David’s Lighthouse Division requires a minimum of four crew. A double-handed crew prohibited from using non-manual power and stored energy would prejudice principles of good seamanship that are core beliefs of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee.

A Double-Handed Division victory is well earned. Indeed, the Double-Handed Division is the only division with two first-place trophies, the Weld and Moxie prizes, which are presented to the captain and crew respectively.

Q: Finish line instructions are complex. How do I ensure a proper finish?

A: The Sailing Instructions will provide that the finish is at a line bearing 111 degrees magnetic from St. David’s Lighthouse, at the intersection of the red and green sectors of the light. Sailors are cautioned to be sure that they do cross the finish line completely, sailing from north to south between the finish line buoys, and travel well beyond it (a few boat lengths, at least), and then turning to seaward after finishing. While neither buoy will necessarily be on station, the buoys’ function is to keep boats off the reef near the Lighthouse, but still close enough to be observed by the race committee at the finishing line. The purpose of the turn to seaward subsequent to finishing is also designed to keep boats off the reef. Failure to observe these instructions is a breach of the Sailing Instructions. Going up on the reef, or a failure to reach the finish after a 635 mile slog, is guaranteed to ruin your day.

Q: What paper documents are required aboard?  

A: The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions require boats to submit a paper copy of their On Board Training Certificate and Certificate of Compliance at RBYC after finishing and to retain a paper copy of their Inspection Checklist for 48 hours after finishing.

Various customs and immigration forms are also required for any yacht entering Bermuda. These forms will be supplied to each boat at Registration in Newport and submitted to Bermuda Customs/Immigration at RBYC after finishing, as per the Sailing Instructions and Bermuda regulations.

The foregoing does not include any other documents or ships papers required by law or for the sake of good order, e.g., passports, vessel registration, vessel documentation, radio licenses, oil/waste placards, etc.

Q: May a boat carry a spare mainsail?  

A:  Yes, but you must retire from the race to set it.  The Notice of Race permits boats to carry and stow sails in excess of the limits set by ORR, provided they are marked clearly “Not for Racing.”  Under this rule, boats may carry a spare mainsail but must retire from the race to set it.  See the Measurements section of the Notice of Race.

Q: How do boats that retired return their transponder/tracker?  

A:  Retired boats must return the supplied transponder to the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee at RBYC by June 30, 2018. If the boat returns to Newport, she may deliver the transponder by hand to the Navy Room at NYYC Harbour Court within 48-hours after starting. If the boat does not proceed to Bermuda and does not return to Newport within 48 hours after starting, the transponder shall be returned by express, insured delivery to the BROC at 7 Almy Court, Newport, RI 02840. Any boat that fails to return its supplied transponder in working order by June 30, 2018 will be charged for the replacement cost of the device and/or any fees charged by YB Tracking.



The paragraph numbers referenced in this section correspond to items found in the 2018 Newport Bermuda Safety Requirements for Monohulls  (“MO”) and Multihulls (“MU”) (“Safety Requirements” or “NBRSR”), unless otherwise indicated. These answers given are intended to explain, but do not change or modify any Safety Requirement.

Q:  What does “NBRSR” mean?

A: Newport Bermuda Race Safety Requirements, which can be found on the Official Notice Board.

Q: Can you summarize the safety equipment changes that are coming for the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race?

A:The biggest change for 2018 is the introduction of the NBRSR for Multihulls.  Loosely modeled after the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations for Multihulls Category 1, the multihull NBRSR reflect hours of discussion and consideration between the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee and several multihull owners and racers.

Other changes for 2018 include the requirement that all lifejackets be equipped with an AIS personal crew overboard beacon, that every boat have one EPIRB per life raft, and that boats be equipped with an alternative means of accessing potable water in the event of a failure of the primary system.  The requirement to carry parachute flares has been removed, and portable satellite phone devices designed to be used with a smartphone are now an acceptable way to meet the satellite phone requirement.  Finally, the Newport Bermuda Race will be requiring that at least two people on every Monohull boat hold a World Sailing Personal Survival Course certificate (at least four people for Multihulls).

Q:  How do the NBRSR differ from the US Sailing Equipment Requirements (USSER) and the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations (OSR)?

A:  The NBRSR include the applicable Newport Bermuda Race portions of the USSER plus the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee’s (BROC) changes and additions, in a single document.


1.5  Heavy Items  

Q:  What is a ‘Heavy Item’?

A:  (MO/MU) Heavy items are any large objects not permanently installed in the boat that might cause injury or damage in rough weather or during a knockdown or capsize.  To determine what are Heavy Items on your boat, imagine turning the boat upside down and shaking; what could be a hazard to crew members if not properly secured.

Q:  What is meant by ‘secured’?

A:  (MO/MU) Items must be held in place without significant movement if/when the boat is inverted/capsized.

Q:  What about floorboards?

A:  (MO/MU) Floorboards must remain in place by latches, lines or other means if the boat is inverted. In some cases industrial strength Velcro may be deemed sufficient to hold the floorboards in place in the event of inversion.


Q:  Who should calculate cockpit volume?

A:  (MO/MU) Cockpit volume should be calculated by the owner or his representative prior to the boat’s inspection.  The record of the calculation should available for the inspector to check.

2.3.1   Toilet 

Q: Does the ‘fitted bucket’ count as one of the two stout buckets required by 3.27 ?

A:  (MO/MU) YES, if it has the required capacity and a lanyard attached.

2.3.3  Cooking

Q: Are swing stoves fired by canned fuel allowed?

A:  (MO/MU) YES, as long replacement fuel is stowed in a vented stowage outside of any living area.

2.4.4 Lifelines

Q:  How will ‘taut’ be measured?

A:  (MO/MU) By checking the distance to the deck of both upper and lower lifelines before and after hanging two six packs of 12 oz drinks on the lifelines at the midpoint between two stanchions.  The difference must be less than 2 inches.


3.1.1 Lifejackets

Q:  Are crotch straps required for PFDs and harnesses?

A:  (MO/MU) YES.  The utility of these features has been amply demonstrated in person overboard situations. US Coast Guard approval of inflatable PFDs is not negated as long as crotch or thigh straps are not sewn or otherwise attached directly to the PFD, but are instead attached to an integral safety harness. Existing PFDs with integral harnesses may be fitted with add-on leg strap kits available in the marketplace.

Q:  Do both the traditional life jackets and inflatable PFD/Harness combos need crotch/thigh straps? 

A:  (MO/MU) YES, if they are to be used to satisfy Race requirements.  NBRSR 3.1.1 requires USCG approved inherently buoyant offshore life jackets used in the race to be equipped with crotch or leg straps. Some boats carry two sets of life jackets, one that complies with the racing requirements, the other to satisfy USCG requirements which are simply to have an inherently buoyant PFD for each person aboard. Those life jackets carried only to meet USCG requirements are not addressed in the NBRSR and they do not need crotch/thigh straps.

Q.  Why would a Hydrostatic inflator fail to operate properly?

A: (MO/MU) If water does not get into the jacket cover quickly enough, or if the water pressure on the actuation spring is not there long enough.

If the inflator head does not activate on the initial jump/fall in, it can be hard to get it under water far enough and long enough for it to be activated.

3.1.4  Safety Harness

Q: Is a knife considered a ‘quick disconnect’ at the chest end of a tether?


3.3.1 Navigation Lights

Q: What are U.S. Coast Guard requirements for Navigation lights?

A: (MO/MU) The table below contains the minimum ranges at which navigation lights must be visible for vessels of varying size:

Vessel Size Masthead Light Sidelights Stern Light
Under 12m (39.4’) 2 nm 1 nm 2 nm
12m – 20m (39.4’-65.6’) 3 nm 2 nm 2 nm
20m and over  (65.6’+) 5 nm 2 nm 2 nm

It is important to remember that these intensity requirements pertain to both Navigation Lights (3.3.1) and Spare Navigation Lights (3.3.2).

3.3.2  Spare Navigation Lights 

Q: What are U.S. Coast Guard Requirements for Spare Navigation lights?

A: (MO/MU) The minimum ranges for Spare Navigation lights are the same as for permanent navigation lights (see 3.3.1, above).

3.4  Fire Extinguishers

Q: What are U.S. Coast Guard Requirements for fire extinguishers?

A: (MO/MU) U.S. Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers must be provided with mounting brackets and should be mounted in readily accessible locations. Fire extinguishers should be weighed annually and checked regularly for pressure and signs of physical damage.

Vessel Size No Fixed System With Fixed System
Under 40 Feet Two B-I or One B-II One B-I
40 Feet and Over Three B-I or One B-I & B-II Two B-I or One B-II

3.5  Horn

Q:  What are U.S. Coast Guard Requirements for sound making devices?

Vessel Size Sound Making Device
Under 12m (39.4 ft Some means of making an efficient sound signal
12-20 m (39.4-65.6 ft) Whistle or Horn (audible 1/2 mile)
Over 20 m (65.6 ft) Whistle or Horn and a Bell

An air operated handheld horn will satisfy the requirement for vessels under 20m (65.6 ft).

The requirement for a bell can be satisfied with equipment making a sound similar to a bell so long as it may at all times be manually sounded.

3.6 Flares

Q: Will an SOS light meeting US CFR standards satisfy the requirements to carry hand held locator flares?

A: (MO/MU) NO. Electric Distress lights are not considered a substitute for SOLAS pyrotechnic flares in Ocean/Offshore situations

3.9  AIS 

Q: Will VHF voice and DSC transmissions interfere with the reception of AIS Locator Beacon information if a low-loss splitter is used on the mast head antenna?

A: (MO/MU) YES. Yachts with splitters should realize that they will not receive AIS, including Locator Beacon information while the VHF radio sharing the splitter is transmitting. While searching for an AIS Locator Beacon VHF voice transmissions should be minimized or made on another radio or handheld not attached to the splitter.

3.11.3  Satellite Phone

Q:  What is required as a “mounted external antenna”?   

A: (MO/MU) The satellite phone’s antenna must remain mounted above decks with a clear view of the sky for the duration of the Race with an unobstructed cable connecting it to the phone below decks

Q: Does a satellite system or terminal (like a hotspot) that requires a separate smartphone to receive and make phone calls satisfy this requirement?   

A:  (MO/MU) YES, but the handset must be securely mounted in the living quarters of the boat via a docking station connected to the boat’s electrical system; must remain continuously connected to the satellite communication system during the race; and must be set at a ringer volume sufficient to be heard over other ambient noise while at sea.  All satellite communication systems require a permanently mounted external antenna.

3.15  Man Overboard

Q:  Is an MOB Button required at each helm?

A: (MO/MU) NO.  The requirement is for a yacht to electronically record the position of a man overboard within ten seconds.  This requirement may be met by installing an MOB button where it can easily be reached from any position on deck and connecting it to a remote, functioning GPS. Alternatively, a hand-held GPS with a MOB function may be used if either hard-wired to the yacht’s power or powered by batteries that will be charged as required to maintain full-time functionality.

3.21. Sail Numbers

Q: Will a sail on deck with numbers showing fill the requirement to display sail numbers when sails are not set?

A: NO. A sail laid out on the deck or otherwise lashed to the boat near the deck, but not actually set, is not an acceptable means of displaying sail numbers when none of the numbered sails is set.

3.23  Ground Tackle

Q:  Do anchors need to be assembled for immediate deployment?

A:  (MO/MU) NO.  All gear must be intact and stowed ready for immediate assembly..

3.24 .2  Flashlights

Q:   Do I need a flashlight for every person on board?

A:  (MO/MU) YES. 3.24.2 requires a watertight flashlight for each crewmember with spare batteries

3.25 First Aid Gear

Q:  What First Aid Book and List of should we use?

A: (MO/MU) Refer to the CCA Fleet Surgeon’s Memorandum for Offshore Passages (.pdf)

3.28  Safety Gear and Through Hull Diagram

Q:  What items must be on this diagram?

A:  (MO/MU) The location of essential safety equipment and tools plus the location of every hull penetration below the waterline.  Essential equipment includes but is not limited to EPIRB(s), Abandon Ship Grab Bag, Fire Extinguishers, spare Lifejackets, Flares, First Aid Kit & Book, Emergency Tiller, Anchor & Rode, Main Batteries, Spotlight, Horn & Bell, stove fuel cutoff, manual bilge pumps, buckets, engine fuel cutoff, battery switches and Lifesling Lifting tackle

3.29 Emergency Tiller

Q: Does a yacht with two helms need to have an emergency tiller?

A: (MO/MU) YES. An emergency tiller is required on all yachts. The only time a dual helm will be considered to meet the emergency tiller requirement is if the boat has two rudders and each tiller/rudder combination may be completely separated and operated independently from the other tiller/rudder.  Any requests to allow dual steering to meet this requirement must be submitted to safety@bermudarace.com and approved before Newport Check-In.

3.33.2 Storm Trysail

Q:  Does the storm trysail have to attached to mast track?

A:  (MO/MU) NO. The storm trysail can be attached to a taut vertical stay positioned close to the mast if direct attachment is not possible. Crews must be prepared to demonstrate how the mainsail will be lowered & secured and the storm trysail hoisted on all boats.

3.33.2  Storm Trysail

Q:  Does the storm trysail have to be attached to the mast?

A:  (MO/MU) NO.  The storm trysail can be attached to a taut vertical stay positioned close to the mast if direct attachment is not possible.  Crews must be prepared to demonstrate how the mainsail will be lowered & secured and the storm trysail hoisted on all boats.

3.33.3 Heavy Weather Jib

Q: Does the heavy-weather jib require an alternative means of attachment to the headstay?

A: (MO/MU) No. 3.33.3 does not require the heavy-weather jib to have an alternative means of attachment.

(MO) Note, however, that storm jibs must be equipped with an alternate means of attachment under 3.33.4.

3.37  Emergency Drinking Water

Q:  How many gallons of emergency water must I carry per person?

A:  (MO/MU) 3.37 requires 1 gallon per crewmember shall be aboard after finishing, stored in sealed containers.

3.39  Inflatable Life Rafts

Q: Must my valise-packed life raft be inspected within one year of the start?

A: (MO/MU) NO.  3.39 requires that all rafts hold a current certificate of servicing.   While valise packed rafts are acceptable for the race, their storage and handling can require particular care.  All rafts must be stowed in such a way that they are capable of being launched within 15 seconds.   In yachts with an age or series date after June 2001 valise packed rafts must be stowed in a purpose-built compartment topside, not below decks.  BROC reminds persons in charge of their responsibilities under NBRSR 1.2 and notes that there have been reports that the integrity of valise-packed life rafts can be compromised by mishandling, poor storage, and other factors, and that such conditions may indicate a need for servicing more frequently than is recommended by manufacturers.

Q: What characteristics should I look for in a life raft for the Bermuda Race?

A: (MO/MU) NBRSR 3.39 requires that life rafts “be of proper design and construction for the conditions potentially faced on the ocean race course.”  The waters between Newport and Bermuda can be as severe as any encountered on any ocean.  Rafts should be designed to withstand multiple days at sea in severe weather conditions, including large waves and extreme winds.  Rafts should have double flotation tubes, insulated floors, ballast water bags, a canopy and boarding ladder/platform.  Markings such as SOLAS, ISO 9650-1 or ORC approval are good indicators that a raft is designed for ocean conditions.  The design capacity of life raft(s) must be equal to or greater than the number crewmembers aboard, although more than one raft may be carried to accommodate all crew.


4.1 Steering in an Emergency

Q: What are some of the methods used to steer with the rudder disabled?

A: (MO/MU) Two articles and a video are recommended reading on this subject:

“Three Emergency – Steering Solutions”(.pdf) by Evans Starzinger.
“Steering Without a Rudder”(.pdf) by Mike Keyworth.
“Drogue Steering” (YouTube)

Q: How should Steering in an Emergency be explained/demonstrated?

A: (MO/MU) Photos taken during the required practice plus an explanation by a crew member that participated should be sufficient. Additionally, equipment required for the method(s) chosen in practice of steering the yacht with the rudder disabled should be laid out for examination during the yacht’s inspection.

5.2 Safety at Sea Seminar Attendance

Q.  What is the “World Sailing Approved Offshore Personal Survival Course Certification”?

A: ((MO/MU) “World Sailing Certification” refers to attending an Approved Offshore Personal Survival Course that combines theoretical classroom and practical hands-on, in-the-water training. Until recently this training took more than one day (14 hours). With the development of on-line training for theoretical training and recognizing frequent attendance at theoretical Safety at Sea (SAS) seminars it is now possible to complete all World Sailing requirements in one day. In an attempt to encourage more people to attend this valuable and immensely popular hands-on, in-the-water training the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) has announced a new requirement for the 2018 Race that two people on each Monohull (four people on each Multihull) have this “World Sailing Certification”. This training is being offered at most US Sailing Sanctioned SAS Seminars in 2018, please visit the Safety at Sea Seminars page for additional information.

Q: Do ISAF Certificates satisfy the SAS Seminar attendance requirements?

A: (MO/MU) YES. Certificates issued at an World Sailing Approved courses must carry the statement “World Sailing Approved Offshore Personal Survival Course” and may carry the World Sailing logo (see World Sailing OSR App G, para 7.4). Valid World Sailing Certificates are less than 5 years old. If your attendance is not in the US Sailing Database , a copy of your certificate(s) are required  to be aboard the yacht you race in from 0800 of the day of the start until 48 hours after finishing.

Q: Does US Sailing Coastal Safety At Sea Seminar attendance satisfy the Newport Bermuda Race SAS Seminar attendance requirements?

A: (MO/MU) NO. US Sailing Coastal SAS Seminars support coastal and nearshore racers and cruisers. They do not cover all offshore safety topics that the one-day and two-day seminars include. The only US SAS Seminars that are accepted as satisfying the 2018 race requirements are those listed on the US Sailing Database as “Safety At Sea Attendance” and “World Sailing Attendance”. See http://www.ussailing.org/education/safety-at-sea/sas-attendance-lookup/

Q.  Are STCW certifications accepted as meeting NBRSR 5.2 requirements for attending US Sailing Sanctioned Safety at Sea Seminars?

A: (MO/MU) BROC will consider approving a limited number of in-date STCW 95 five-day course certificates on yachts entering the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race only after reviewing the offshore training and experience level of the total crew.  This means only one or two people per boat will be able to substitute their in-date STCW training for the required US Sailing Sanctioned Safety at Sea training.  Requests to substitute STCW-95 certificates for U.S. Sailing Sanctioned Safety At Sea Seminar attendance should be made to safety@bermudarace.com.

Q: I can’t find my certificate. Are actual copies of Safety at Sea Seminar attendance required to be aboard ?

A: (MO/MU) If you cannot find your certificate you must verify the year of attendance at a US Sailing Sanctioned one- or two-day Safety at Sea Seminar by going to the US Sailing Database and recording the date you attended either “Safety at Sea” or “World Sailing” on the Safety at Sea Participation List. Attendance at “Coastal” is not acceptable. Proof of equivalent training should be submitted to safety@bermudarace.com for approval.

5.5 Digital Selective Calling (DSC)

Q: What is a DSC Distress Call?

A: (MO/MU) A DSC Distress Call is an electronic MAYDAY activated by pressing (AND HOLDING DOWN) the Red Distress Button on a DSC configured Radio (most radios require a 3 to 5 second button depression to activate the digital distress signal). Pressing the Red Distress Button sets off an alarm on every boat that has a DSC configured radio that can only be turned off manually on each boat by silencing the alarm or by acknowledging the Distress Call with a return transmission.

Q: Who should acknowledge a DSC Distress Call at sea, outside of USCG reception range and what is so unique about an Acknowledgement Call?

A: (MO/MU) Any vessel in receipt of a DSC Distress Call has an obligation to render aid. Acknowledging a DSC Distress Call is a form of aid, but care should be given not to acknowledge the call too quickly, thereby silencing the alarm on all other receiving stations. Best practice is to silence your alarm without acknowledging the call, and then monitor the situation to determine the need to formally acknowledge the distress call.

Q: Can anyone give an acknowledgement?

A: (MO/MU) YES, by following the instructions displayed or their DSC Radio.

Q: If they do, what responsibility are they assuming?

A: (MO/MU) That depends on the specific facts of the situation; see additional DSC information sheet (.pdf).

Q: Should others be told not to acknowledge a Distress Call? 

A: (MO/MU) NO. All masters have a duty to render aid if they and their vessel can do so safely; see additional DSC information sheet. (.pdf).

5.6 CPR and First Aid

Q: What First Aid and CPR courses fill the requirements of the 2018 Newport Bermuda Race?

A: The following courses are accepted in the U.S. as meeting the first aid training requirements for Offshore race:

American Heart Association: Heartsaver FACTS – includes Heartsaver first aid course and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training. Certification for 2 years.

American Red Cross: First Aid, Standard First Aid (taught with Adult CPR), and First Aid Basics (when taught alone as a community course). Certification for 3 years.

American Safety and Health Institute: Basic First Aid. Certification for “up to” 3 years.

National Safety Council: First Aid or Standard First Aid (when taught with CPR). Certification for 3 years.

Q: What about ‘wilderness first aid courses’ ? Do they meet the requirements?

A: (MO/MU) Waivers to accept in date certifications, within 3 years, from other first aid courses must be submitted for approval to safety@bermudarace.com prior to Newport Check-In.

Q: Are health professionals required to have First Aid and CPR certificates?

A: (MO/MU) Licensed and practicing health professionals may submit a brief resume with a waiver request to accept their credentials instead of a first aid certificate to safety@bermudarace.com.   NO waivers will be granted for CPR certificates.