Tips to Finding items on this page:
To search for a particular topic, consider using your browser’s find on page feature, usually accessible by Ctrl-F or Cmd-F; type the keyword, and press enter.
Entering the Race, Divisions, Ratings
Safety and Inspection
- What safety requirements changes are coming for 2016?
- What does NBRSR mean?
- How do the NBRSR differ from the US Sailing Equipment Requirements (USSER) and the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations (OSR)?
1.0 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
2.0 HULL AND STRUCTURE CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN GUIDELINES
- Who should calculate cockpit volume?
- Does the ‘fitted bucket’ count as one of the two stout buckets required by 3.27 ?
- Are swing stoves fired by canned fuel allowed?
- How will ‘taut’ be measured?
3.0 SAFETY EQUIPMENT
- Are crotch straps required for PFDs and harnesses?
- Do both the traditional life jackets and inflatable PFD/Harness combos need crotch/thigh straps?
- Where do we find “add-on leg strap kits” for inflatable lifejackets?
- Why would a Hydrostatic inflator fail to operate properly?
- Is a knife considered a ‘quick disconnect’ at the chest end of a tether?
- Will a sail on deck with numbers showing fill the requirement to display sail numbers when sails are not set?
- What are the U.S. Coast Guard Requirements for Navigation lights?
- What are the U.S. Coast Guard Requirements for Spare Navigation lights?
- What are the U.S. Coast Guard Requirements for fire extinguisher(s)?
- What are the U.S. Coast Guard Requirements for sound making devices?
- Will an SOS light meeting US CFR standards satisfy the requirements to carry hand held locator flare?
- 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?
- What is required as a “mounted external antenna”? Do the IridiumGO! and Globalstar SATFI count as sat-phones?
- Is an MOB Button required at each helm?
- Do anchors need to be assembled for immediate deployment?
- Do I need a flashlight for every person on board?
- What First Aid Book and List of should we use?
- What items must be on the Safety Gear and Through Hull diagram?
- Does a yacht with two helms need to have an emergency tiller?
- Are storm sails required to be made from high-visibility colors ?
- Does the storm trysail have to be attached to the mast?
- Does the heavy-weather jib require an alternative means of attachment to the headstay?
- How many gallons of emergency water must I carry per person?
- Must my valise-packed life raft be inspected within one year of the start?
- What characteristics should I look for in a life raft for the Bermuda Race?
4.0 & 5.0 TRAINING AND SKILLS
- What are some of the methods used to steer with the rudder disabled?
- How should Steering in an Emergency be explained/demonstrated?
- What is the “ISAF Certification” that will be required for two crew members in the 2018 race?
- Do ISAF Certificates satisfy the SAS Seminar attendance requirements?
- Does US Sailing Coastal Safety At Sea Seminar attendance satisfy the Newport Bermuda Race SAS Seminar attendance requirements?
- Are STCW certifications accepted as meeting NBRSR 5.2 requirements for attending US Sailing Sanctioned Safety at Sea Semiinar?
- I can’t find my certificate. Are actual copies of Safety at Sea Seminar attendance required to be aboard ?
- What is a DSC Distress Call?
- Who should acknowledge a DSC Distress Call at sea, outside of USCG reception range and what is so unique about an Acknowledgement Call?
- Can anyone give an acknowledgement?
- If they do, what responsibility are they assuming?
- Should others be told not to acknowledge a Distress Call?
- What First Aid and CPR courses fill the requirements of the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race?
- What about ‘wilderness first aid courses’? Do they meet the requirements?
- Are health professionals required to have First Aid and CPR certificates?
Q: What’s new in the 2016 Notice of Race?
The 2016 Notice of Race is largely the same as 2014. Here are some of the most significant changes:
- The International Jury has provided an advisory to help clarify their interpretation of “room” and “safe distance” under the RRS or IRPCAS that effectively creates a two-boat length safety zone around Super Yachts at all times, and any yacht between sunset and sunrise;
- the entry procedures have been moved to SailGate (the system used by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and other clubs);
- late fees based on length overall have replaced elapsed time penalties for failure to meet deadlines;
- “Catastrophic Gear Failure” has been defined more specifically to clarify how a yacht might get a new ORR certificate after an incident requiring re-measurement;
- the number of documents yachts are required to keep aboard has been reduced significantly;
- the Performance Screen has been removed from the St. David’s Lighthouse Division in light of ORR’s capabilities and interest from high performance yachts;
- the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division lower speed limit has been trimmed to comport with the anticipated fleet;
- the Cruiser Division rules concerning whisker poles on jibs have been removed because ORR will deal with this directly, which will benefit the entire fleet;
- the Double Handed Division description has been clarified to permit the use of non-manual power to shift declared water ballast;
- eligibility for the Open Division has been modified to permit yachts with an ORR GPH of 475 or less in the St. David’s or Gibbs Hill divisions to enter the Open Division in addition to their lighthouse division;
- yachts that elect to enter both a Lighthouse and the Open division will be required to comply with their Lighthouse division rules;
- a Super Yacht Division has been added;
- a Communications section has been added to give the fleet a heads up as to what the Sailing Instructions will require of them (some equipment may be helpful);
- in response to competitor feedback, transponder position reports beyond 50 NM from St. David’s Lighthouse will not be revealed until they are at least four hours old;
- yachts will not be able to protest each other for breaches of the Safety Requirements;
- a new race record has been added for all divisions, except the Super Yacht Division; and
- the majority of the fleet will be scored under ORR only, with the only exception being the Super Yacht Division, which will be scored under the ORR VPP-based International Super Yacht Rule.
Q: Does everyone (captain and crew) need a World Sailing (fka ISAF) Sailor Classification?
Yes. Every sailor in the Newport Bermuda Race must have a World Sailing Sailor Classification, and it must be valid for the duration of the race. There are two classifications: 1 (amateur sailors) and 3 (professionals). Most divisions in the race limit the number of 3’s in the crew. For more about the Sailor Classification Code and applying for a Classification, go to http://members.sailing.org/classification/, on the ISAF 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 yacht 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 yacht 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: Why must all Cruiser Division yachts be rated with an asymmetric spinnaker?
A: An assumed set of wind conditions are used in developing ratings, and similar yachts 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 Cruiser Division were to mix yachts rated with spinnakers and those without, the actual wind conditions would prove advantageous to one group or the other. Rating all yachts 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: 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 yacht 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.
Note: The Super Yacht Division’s finishing line will be separate from the line for the rest of the fleet, but along the same bearing.
Q: What Race documents are required aboard?
A: Beginning in 2016, the entry system will accept or require electronic copies of documents that were previously submitted in paper or required to be aboard. Documents like the On Board Training Certificate or the Deferred Inspection Check List, which may not be required during the entry or registration process, will be required to be aboard the yacht until 48 hours after finishing. See the NoR.
Q: May a yacht carry a spare mainsail?
A: Yes, but you must retire from the race to set it. The Notice of Race permits yachts to carry and stow sails in excess of the limits set by ORR, provided they are marked clearly “Not for Racing.” Under this rule, yachts may carry a spare mainsail but must retire from the race to set it. See the Measurements section of the Notice of Race.
The paragraph numbers referenced in this section correspond to items found in the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race Safety Requirements (.pdf) (“Safety Requirements” or “NBRSR”), unless otherwise indicated. These answers given are intended to explain, but do not change or modify any Safety Requirement.
Q: Can you summarize the safety equipment changes that are coming for the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race?
A: The changes since 2014 are:
Potable Water (2014 ¶ 2.3.4). The 2014 BROC Prescription specifying the amount of water that must be aboard at the Start has been removed.
Enclosed Deck, Lifelines (2.4.4). The 2014 option to use high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) line for lifelines has been removed. Lifelines must be uncoated stainless steel wire.
Batteries (2014 ¶ 2.7.4). The 2014 BROC Prescription requiring sealed batteries or vented battery boxes has been removed.
Installed VHF Radio and Antenna (3.8.1). All permanently installed VHF radios shall have DSC capability, have an antenna of at least 15” (381m) in length, be connected to or have an internal GPS, and have the assigned MMSI number (unique to the yacht) programmed into the VHF.
Handheld VHF Radio (3.8.2). A yacht shall have a portable VHF radio with DSC/GPS capability. The handheld radio shall be watertight or have a waterproof cover.
Emergency VHF Antenna (3.8.3). A Yacht shall have an emergency antenna equipped with sufficient coax to reach the deck. Note that the minimum antenna length has been removed from this requirement.
AIS (3.9). All yachts shall have an AIS Transponder, sharing a masthead VHF antenna via a low loss AIS antenna splitter. An acceptable alternative is a dedicated AIS antenna that is a minimum of 15” (380mm), mounted with its base at least 3 meters above the water, and fed with coax that has a maximum 40% power loss.
Supplemental Weather Radio (2014 3.13). The 2014 BROC Prescription requiring a shortwave receiver capable of receiving SSB weather forecast frequencies has been removed.
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (3.16.1). A yacht shall carry a 406MHz EPIRB that is properly registered to the yacht. All EPIRBS purchased after 1/1/2016 must be equipped with an internal GPS.
Inflatable Life Raft(s) (3.39). A description describing valise stowage has been added – Yachts built prior to June 2001 may alternately stow the life raft in a valise not weighing over 88 lbs. securely below deck and adjacent to the companionway. The life raft(s) shall hold current certificate(s) of inspection.
Grab Bag(s) (3.40). For yachts with more than one grab bag – each grab bag shall contain at least a properly registered 406 MHz EPIRB and a handheld VHF radio, either watertight or fitted with a waterproof cover. At least one VHF radio stored in a grab bag shall be DSC/GPS equipped.
Safety At Sea Seminar Attendance (4.3.1). The following additional guidelines have been added – After 1/1/18 at least two members of the crew must hold an ISAF Approved Offshore Personal Survival Course Certificate.
Q: What does “NBRSR” mean?
A: Newport Bermuda Race Safety Requirements.
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’?
Q: What is meant by ‘secured’?
Q: What about floorboards?
A: 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.
188.8.131.52 Cockpit Volume
Q: Who should calculate cockpit volume?
A: 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.
Q: Does the ‘fitted bucket’ count as one of the two stout buckets required by 3.27 ?
A: YES, if it has the required capacity and a lanyard attached.
Q: Are swing stoves fired by canned fuel allowed?
A: YES, as long replacement fuel is stowed in a vented stowage outside of any living area.
Q: How will ‘taut’ be measured?
A: 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.
Q: Are crotch straps required for PFDs and harnesses?
A: 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: 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 a 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: Where do we find “add-on leg strap kits” for inflatable lifejackets?
A: list of available Leg/Crotch/Thigh Straps is available for download here. (.pdf)
Q. Why would a Hydrostatic inflator fail to operate properly?
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.
3.2.1. 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.
3.3.1 Navigation Lights
Q: What are U.S. Coast Guard requirements for Navigation lights?
A: 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|
3.3.2 Spare Navigation Lights
Q: What are U.S. Coast Guard Requirements for Spare Navigation lights?
A: 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 extinguisher(s)?
A: 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|
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.
Q: Will an SOS light meeting US CFR standards satisfy the requirements to carry hand held locator flares?
A. NO. Electric Distress lights are not considered a substitute for SOLAS pyrotechnic flares in Ocean/Offshore situations
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: 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.
Q: What is required as a “mounted external antenna”?
A: 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?
Q: Is an MOB Button required at each helm?
A: 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.
Q: Do anchors need to be assembled for immediate deployment?
3.24 .2 Flashlights
Q: Do I need a flashlight for every person on board?
3.25 First Aid Gear
Q: What First Aid Book and List of should we use?
A: 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: The location of essential safety equipment and tools plus diagrams showing 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: YES. An emergency tiller is required on all yachts. Any waiver requests to this requirement must be submitted to email@example.com and approved before Newport Check-In.
3.33.2 and 3.33.4 Storm Sails
Q: Are storm sails required to be made from high-visibility colors ?
A: Yes, the storm trysail and storm jib should be made from high-visibility colors, but only if manufactured after January 1, 2014. All storm sails made prior to January 1, 2014 are grandfathered. US Sailing recommends that grandfathered storm trysails and jibs have highly-visible colored material or patches covering 50% of the area up to a maximum diameter of 3 meters. However, heavy weather jibs of any age (3.33.3) need not show highly visible materials.
3.33.2 Storm Trysail
Q: Does the storm trysail have to be attached to the mast?
A: 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?
3.37 Emergency Drinking Water
Q: How many gallons of emergency water must I carry per person?
3.39 Inflatable Life Rafts
Q: Must my valise-packed life raft be inspected within one year of the start?
A: 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: 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: Two articles and a video are recommended reading on this subject:
Q: How should Steering in an Emergency be explained/demonstrated?
A: 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 “ISAF Certification” that Race Bulletin #4 mentioned when describing the Safety at Sea Seminar to be held on 19 March 2016 – “In 2018 the race will require two crew in each boat to have ISAF certification” ?
A: “ISAF Certification” refers to attending an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) 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 ISAF 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 that there will be a new requirement starting in 2018 for two people on each yacht to have this “ISAF Certification”. This training is being offered at most US Sailing Sanctioned SAS Seminars in 2016, including the SAS Seminar hosted by The Cruising Club of America (CCA) in Newport RI on 19 March 2016.
Q: Do ISAF Certificates satisfy the SAS Seminar attendance requirements?
A: YES. Certificates issued at an ISAF Approved course must carry the statement “ISAF Approved Offshore Personal Survival Course” and may crry the ISAF logo (see ISAF OSR App G, para 7.4) Valid ISAF Certificates are less than 5 years old. If your attendance is not in the US Sailing Data Base http://www.ussailing.org/education/safety-at-sea/sas-attendance-lookup/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: 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 2016 race requirements are those listed on the US Sailing Database as “Safety At Sea Attendance” and “ISAF 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. BROC will consider approving a limited number of in-date STCW 95 5-day course certificates on yachts entering the 2016 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.
Q: I can’t find my certificate. Are actual copies of Safety at Sea Seminar attendance required to be aboard ?
A: 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 Data Base at http://www.ussailing.org/education/safety-at-sea/sas-attendance-lookup/ and recording the date you attended either “Safety at Sea” or “ISAF” on the Safety at Sea Participation List. Attendance at “Coastal” is not acceptable. Proof of equivalent training should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org for approval.
5.5 Digital Selective Calling (DSC)
Q: What is a DSC Distress Call?
A: A DSC Distress Call is an electronic MAYDAY activated by pressing the Red Distress Button on a DSC configured Radio. 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: 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: YES, by following the instructions displayed or their DSC Radio.
Q: If they do, what responsibility are they assuming?
A: 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: 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 2016 Newport Bermuda Race?
A: The following courses are accepted in the U.S. as meeting the first aid training requirements for Offshore races: American Heart Association: Heartsaver FACTS – includes Heartsaver first aid course and AED (Automated External Defibrillator ) training. Certification for 2 years. www.americanheart.org 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. www.redcross.org American Safety and Health Institute: Basic First Aid. Certification for “up to” 3 years. www.hsi.com/ashi/programs National Safety Council: First Aid or Standard First Aid (when taught with CPR). Certification for 3 years www.nsc.org
Q: What about ‘wilderness first aid courses’ ? Do they meet the requirements?
Q: Are health professionals required to have First Aid and CPR certificates?
A: 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 email@example.com. NO waivers will be granted for CPR certificates.