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Thread: Comment on Ocean Racing Requirements Requested

  1. #1
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    Default Comment on Ocean Racing Requirements Requested

    http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/...2-11-05#Story2

    Comment on Ocean Racing Requirements

    November 5, 2012 – San Francisco

    "The Northern California Offshore Racing Council Safety Committee has posted a draft of the minimum equipment requirements for offshore races, and we're seeking public comment," writes OYRA President and Safety Committee member*Andy Newell. For those who were living under a rock this year, the NORCAL ORC was established after the tragic Full Crew Farallones Race in April when five out of eight crewmembers aboard the Sydney 38 Low Speed Chase perished when the boat went up on Southeast Farallon Island. The council has been tasked with developing and implementing standard race requirements for all offshore races that start from San Francisco Bay, and they would like to hear your feedback by November 16.

    - latitude / ladonna

  2. #2
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    This is copied from: http://offshore.ussailing.org/ (but it is blog style so may drift down the page)
    The spreadsheet link is this: http://offshore.ussailing.org/AssetF...aspx?did=19079



    September 9, 2013
    US Sailing Proposes US Safety Equipment Requirements

    A goal of US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Committee has been to overhaul the Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) so that they become more popular for race organizers, and more understandable to owners and boat inspectors. Based on some excellent initial work by the Northern California Ocean Racing Council in 2012, a task force has been working on a simplified list of equipment and boat characteristics that will serve the needs of the majority of coastal and offshore racers.

    The key differences between the proposed US Safety Equipment Requirements (USSER) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) OSRs are as follows:

    1. The requirements are easier for yacht owners and pre-race inspectors to understand.
    2. The requirements are self-contained and do not refer to external documents.
    3. The number of categories has been reduced from seven to three: Near Shore, Coastal, and Ocean. Race organizations can then add or delete gear requirements based on the nature of their individual races.
    4. The requirements are more specific about certain pieces of gear that lacked definition in the OSRs.
    5. The OSRs contained both recommendations and requirements which proved confusing to users, and which increased the size of the document. The recommendations have been removed from the new version.
    6. The requirements are far more compact, and can easily be included in their entirety in a Notice of Race or on a yacht club website.

    US Sailing wants your input on the proposed requirements. You can download a spreadsheet with the new requirements and instructions on how to provide input. Please return the spreadsheet by email with your comments and feedback to equipment_feedback@ussailing.org before September 23, 2013.

  3. #3
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    Another convoluted XLS spreadsheet. Great.

  4. #4
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    Some of us will be responding to US Sailing about this.

    So seriously, if the "US Coastal" column were our requirements for races outside the Gate (except SHTP and LongPac), what items would present a problem for any of you?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    Some of us will be responding to US Sailing about this.

    So seriously, if the "US Coastal" column were our requirements for races outside the Gate (except SHTP and LongPac), what items would present a problem for any of you?
    Now that the forums are back (Thanks Matt) I'd like to respond to the list. Can we make the SSS HMB race a simpler format? The NCORC and US Sailing list has a few problems for the race. From the NCORC list:
    10. 25 watt DSC radio. 11. Handheld DSC radio. 23. EPIRB. Doesn't the handheld have enough range to hail the CG along the coast to HMB? Do we need both? Plus an EPIRB?
    22. Fixed mount depth sounder. I like mine but... Maybe important if someone tries to tack along the shore but most of the course is at least a mile off because of Colorado Reef. (And I know some in the Moore 24 group and other classes don't want to drill a hole in the boat.)

    27-28. All those SOLAS flares? Plus two radios and EPIRB?

    30. 33.7 pound floatation lifejackets. Basically requiring everyone to wear inflatable PFD's when they may prefer foam. The Type 1 foam PFD is incredibly bulky.

    32. Crews must be aware of steering with disabled rudder. Very vague to have this on an official MOR list. How do you enforce this?

    35. SAS seminar required. For both crew in the double-handed divisions?

    I know the HMB race could have nasty weather someday but in August they are usually mellow affairs and modern weather info makes choosing to go or not go much easier these days. Also the race is part of the DH Bay series and as the only SSS ocean race that is safe enough to attract new ocean racers emphasis should be made to include more boats and bring back the classes that decided it's too much trouble and expensive to comply. In my opinion the HMB Race should be treated differently than the other SSS ocean races. Rant over. And sorry Bob about the XLS comment but some of us are Artistes not accountants. If only US Sailing could use charcoal drawings instead of spreadsheets... Or maybe cartoons for me.
    Last edited by Jonathan Gutoff; 09-17-2013 at 10:17 PM.

  6. #6
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    Hi Jonathan -

    I see nothing wrong or out of place with regards to the USSA 'rewrite' of the ISAF special regs (though I have absolutely no idea why USSA would want to do such a rewrite, as ISAF regs are quite clear - but that's another issue).

    To respond specifically to your comments:

    VHF radios are changing in functionality. At this point all radios you would want to purchase have complete (not partial) DSC functionality built into them. Our older VHF radios without (or with incomplete) DSC features are now outmoded.

    NCORC rule 10 - a DSC VHF radio is essentially a requirement at this point in time; you should not be able to purchase a radio today that is NOT DSC equiped. A 25 watt DSC radio equates to the typical VHF radio mounted belowdecks at the nav station. The high antenna at the masthead and high power output makes the local sailing fleet likely to hear the skipper, something a 5 watt VHF handheld is significantly less likely to do (my experience is 1-5 miles on a VHF handheld in the cockpit, 25-40 miles on a masthead VHF 25 watt radio).

    NCORC rule 11 - handheld DSC VHF radio, and yes, the handhelds are also going to DSC. Essentially all our existing VHF radios are now out-dated with the conversion to DSC. Annoying, but it happens.

    NCORC rule 23 - EPIRB. An EPIRB is a rather different tool than a VHF radio (fixed mount or handheld). n theory the USCG can hear a VHF broadcast on rescue21 via a handheld waterproof VHF radio, but the SARSAT folks sure won't - and that's what the EPIRB will do, plus the EPIRB continues to transmit even when the skipper is not pressing the transmit key.

    NCORC 22 - fixed depth sounder. My take on depth is it is a key ingredient to position plotting, allowing that paper charts have depth contours on them. I have done many many trips local ocean using compass, watch, depth, and the chart to know where I am. My take on it is that a depth sounder is part of self-reliance, and the skipper should know what the depth is (at least for local ocean as it's shallow enough to be useful when comparing depth to a chart's depth contours). A hand-held depthsounder is great in calm conditions, but does not work in reality in offshore bouncy conditions. There are transom-mountable transducers, should someone not wish to drill a nice big hole into the bottom of their hull (which I can also see as being something a skipper would like to avoid). A depth sounder can be a key ingredient for detecting the beach before you can see it.

    NCORC 26-28 - SOLAS flares. You should be happy the requirement has been reduced from 3 each to only 2 & 1! The SOLAS flares are really good and worth carrying should a skipper wish to draw attention. A total of 5 SOLAS flares doesn't seem unreasonable to me, and they will be quite a bit more expensive than the 12gauge flare that meet USCG requirements.

    NCORC 30 - lifejackets. The bouyancy is most easily met with an inflatable life jacket. I have some commercial Stearns vests that aren't bad to wear, they are on board specifically for purposes of abandoning ship and heading for the life raft as I believe a foam jacket will continue to work even when a hole is poked into it. The rule does allow USCG Type 1 life jacket. Personally I do not life jackets when singlehanding and prefer to be tethered to the boat... but that's a different argument.

    NOCRC 32 - emergency steering. I agree, that is vague. The requirement could be that each competitor carry a backup rudder (not just a tiller) - at least that would be specific (though an enormous amount of work and expense)! My take on it is that this rule at least causes people to consider the problem - though probably not actually arrive at a workable solution on the fly. Kind of a dumb rule, but it does make people think.

    NCORC 34 - SAS seminar. I suspect that 30% of those on board would equal 1 person on a doublehanded boat. Why would both persons on board in a double-handed boat need to take the seminar to meet at 30% of those on board requirement?

    As regards HMB conditions, over time I have found calm conditions and no seas up to 45 knots and 35 foot seas from the NW - all in August. Normally conditions are fairly benign that time of year. There is nothing trivial about the lee shore that exists once you are south of Point San Pedro - the cliffs and rocks will kill people (and boats) if they driven onto it. There is a good reason to ask people to carry gear that can help a rescue competitor/boat/helicopter locate a skipper in trouble in a hurry.

    - rob
    Last edited by tiger beetle; 09-18-2013 at 06:53 AM. Reason: clarification

  7. #7
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    Unless your tiller is metal, me thinks an emergency tiller is a good idea for offshore AND coastal. Not just optional.

    Also, a big one is missing entirely: each boat shall have at least one halyard that reaches the water and a primary winch. Granted, singlehanders don't need this. But DH'ers and crewed do.

    My two cents.

  8. #8
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    As to the depth sounder, for most boats lost on shore that I know of checking depth was not an issue. Autopilot error was the problem. Sleep, failing to be aware of position at night.... The skipper of LSC made the same choice as several others. As luck would have it, the boat was hit by a rare, but not unpredictable, wave.

    Navigation in general is important.

    As fas as the SAS requirement, will other courses than that offered by USSailing meet standard?

  9. #9
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    My tiller mount is made of Micarta. What is Micarta? It's just one more thing that needs inspection...
    http://www.norplex-micarta.com/

    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Unless your tiller is metal, me thinks an emergency tiller is a good idea for offshore AND coastal. Not just optional.

    Also, a big one is missing entirely: each boat shall have at least one halyard that reaches the water and a primary winch. Granted, singlehanders don't need this. But DH'ers and crewed do.

    My two cents.

  10. #10
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    Isn't that the stuff that causes bipolar disorder? I'm pretty sure.

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