This is the fifth in a series of newsletters from the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) which we hope will keep you abreast of developments as we prepare for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race®. Please keep in mind that this is an informal document and that to the extent any information herein differs in any respect from that in formal race documents such as the Notice of Race, the formal race documents will supersede this newsletter. Your comments, suggestions and questions about these issues may be directed to any of us listed at the end of the newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you all on the starting line for our 49th “Thrash to the Onion Patch” on Friday, June 20, 2014.
Fred Deichmann, Chairman
2014 Inspection & Documentation Process Improvements
After much feedback from sailors in previous races, BROC has undertaken to simplify the vessel inspection process for NBR entrants. The inspections team has spent the past few months identifying ways to make the process and its documentation requirements less onerous. These efforts are beginning to bear fruit. Among the expected changes:
Inspectors will receive additional training to ensure consistency in their efforts.
Inspection documents, such as the pre-race inspection booklet and checklist will be re-written to provide better clarity and to reduce duplication.
Many documents which have been required to be submitted to BROC for past races, including life raft certificates, first aid certificates, rating certificates, EPIRB registrations and others, will no longer be required to be submitted. Instead, these documents will be required to be kept aboard for the duration of the Race, and to be available for pre and post-Race inspection.
As always, each captain is responsible for the safety of his or her yacht and crew, and for seeing that the yacht meets all safety standards outlined in the Notice of Race. BROC will continue to require a courtesy inspection of each entrant before the start of the race. In addition, as in years past, post-race inspections may be conducted at the discretion of the BROC. We anticipate that a “significant portion” of the fleet, including those whose finish times make them likely to receive a trophy, will be re-inspected in Bermuda.
This is just a sample of ideas under discussion to simplify the inspections process for 2014 entrants. Other initiatives underway include a US Sailing led effort to revise the Offshore Special Regulations for use in US races and more guidance on how to prepare for the vessel inspection. Questions or suggestions about this effort should be directed to Chief Inspector John Winder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safety at Sea Seminar Registration
Registration for the US Sailing sanctioned Safety at Sea Seminar at the Newport Hyatt on Goat Island on March 15 & 16, 2014 will open on September 9, 2013. Meanwhile, those wishing to do so may contact us at email@example.com.
30% of each crew, including the captain and either the navigator or a watch captain, will be required to have attended a seminar within five years of the June 20, 2014 start. Those who complete both Saturday’s day-long SAS Seminar plus Sunday’s Hands-On Training will be awarded the ISAF Approved Offshore Personal Survival Course Certificate.
Those who have completed two Safety at Sea seminars in the past ten years may combine the Saturday’s morning SAS session with hands-on practical training in the afternoon on Saturday to receive the ISAF certificate as an ISAF refresher. Sunday’s programs will also include a Race Preparation seminar focused on the Bermuda Race, and a Medical Seminar specifically designed for the medical officers in the race and focusing on practical scenarios.
US Sailing prescribes: “A life raft built to ISO 9650 Type 1 Group A and packed in a valise shall be serviced in accordance with its manufacturer’s recommendations at least as frequently as is recommended by the manufacturer. US SAILING reminds persons in charge of their responsibilities under OSR 1.02.1 and OSR 1.02.2 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.”
And There’s More!
Other changes to the 2014 race are underway and have been mentioned previously. These include:
Introduction of a performance screen to the St. David’s /Gibbs Hill division assignment process to ensure that similar boats race against each other.
Addition of regional prizes to recognize best corrected time for boats from a particular area.
A new prize for combined Annapolis-Newport and Newport Bermuda Race results.
ISAF requires that all storm sails built after January 1, 2014 must be made of highly-visible colored material for ISAF Category 0, 1, 2 & 3 events. US Sailing prescribes that all storm sails made prior to January 1, 2014 are grandfathered. The Newport Bermuda Race® is an ISAF Category 1 event.
Bermuda Race Goes Cashless
Beginning for the 2014 race, the Committee will not be able to accept cash or checks in payment of entry fees. All fees will instead be required to be satisfied in a timely fashion via a major credit card.
Offshore Race Opportunities
Entries are open until June 29th for the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race (start Sunday, July 7, 2013). See their web site
And, for the summer of 2015, blue water sailors may wish to consider the Transatlantic Race. This race is open to suitably equipped and crewed yachts of 40′ or more. For further information, see their web site at www.transatlanticrace.org.