2020 Bulletin #2 – Safety Training Explained

October 25, 2018

By Media Team

Safety at Sea life-raft training

This bulletin and its introductory letter from the race chairman provide a clear explanation of the safety training plan established for the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race, both strengthening and simplifying requirements while adding some flexibility and several more training opportunities for sailors. 

Dear prospective 2020 competitors:

The Cruising Club of America is making a determined effort to provide more frequent and simpler options for 2020 Newport Bermuda Race competitors to satisfy the updated hands-on Safety at Sea requirements. Program coordinator Mark Lenci has developed a series of seminars with hands-on training occurring three times a year, giving you several options to get trained.

We hope skippers and crew alike will read the description below, as there are other pleasant surprises in store, and then sign up to get trained early and check that off your team’s “to-do” list. Given the increased number of Safety at Sea trained crew required for a boat to enter the race, those with a current World Sailing Hands-On Training Certificate will be in high demand for the NBR in 2020.

We also call to the attention of skippers that ALL skippers must now hold a World Sailing certificate to be qualified to enter the race. I know from my own experience as a skipper that the hands-on training sharpens focus on all safety issues and deepens understanding and confidence in making decisions at sea when it matters most.

Jay Gowell chairman bermuda race organizing committee

Jay Gowell
2020 Newport Bermuda Race

(photo NYYC/Dan Nerney Collection)


Streamlining a Robust Safety at Sea Training Program

The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee is making significant efforts to streamline the process of entering the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race. We would like to make you aware of some of these actions in regard to Safety at Sea training that you may wish to take advantage of now, well before the race.

  1. All require the same Safety at Sea course: The major US offshore races, e.g. Marion to Bermuda, Marblehead to Halifax, Newport Bermuda, etc., now all require the same US Sailing-approved “International Offshore Safety at Sea with Hands-on Training” course to meet their Safety at Sea training requirements. Only this course meets the Newport Bermuda Race Safety at Sea training requirements.
  2. Simplified crew-training requirement: The Newport Bermuda Race requirement for who on your crew must be trained has been simplified, maximizing flexibility in who gets trained on your crew. The requirement is simply 30 percent of the crew, including the skipper or person in charge (PIC) – see table at bottom.
  3. Extended certificate validity: We have made a change to the race safety rules (2020 safety rules are not yet published – you are getting this early). Instead of training being valid for five years, we will honor Safety at Sea training for the three consecutive Newport Bermuda Races after the date of your course. Therefore, there is no incentive to wait until next fall to get coverage for three races. You can do the training NOW.
  4. More courses are available than in the past. The Cruising Club of America courses are now offered fall, winter, and spring every year. The next courses are January 12 and March 16 at Roger Williams University, in Bristol, RI. Courses are also offered by other organizations such as the Storm Trysail Club. Your crew can find courses and sign-up links at: https://www.ussailing.org/education/adult/safety-at-sea-courses/find-a-course-near-you/
  5. Hands-on training cost reduced. The cost of attending the course has been significantly reduced through the use of an online component, coupled with the hands-on component. The Cruising Club of America offers the online course, the one-day hands-on course in Bristol RI, the text book, and a one-year US Sailing membership or renewal as a package for $300. You may get a 10 percent discount if your crew does the course together with four or more crew members.
Safety at Sea life-raft training
Hands-on safety training includes boarding life rafts in foul weather gear & inflated lifejackets. Chris Museler photo


Crew size # crew that must have training
2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 2 (including skipper/PIC)
7, 8, 9 or 10 3 (including skipper/PIC)
11 to 19 4 (including skipper/PIC)
20 or more 30% x (total crew) including skipper/PIC

If you have any questions regarding Safety at Sea training, please contact Bermuda Race Organizing Committee member Mark Lenci.

A note about emails available to competitors and fans:
Leading up to the 2020 race, we are sending Competitor Bulletins to those who raced in 2018 and those who have opted in as prospective competitors for 2020, unless they change their email preferences (see link in each mailing). Those who haven’t done so are encouraged to sign up in the footer of any page on the website to receive Competitor Bulletins AND our Newport Bermuda Race newsletter OR the newsletter only.


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