As we prepare for the 2019 race, preparations are being finalized for a new and exciting safety-at-sea program. Responding to new requirements issued for most major off-shore races (including both the Marion and Newport to Bermuda Races) that skippers and crew members must complete offshore-safety training certified by US Sailing and World Sailing, we have designed an exciting new program that will cover several advanced topics for bluewater sailors, including specific race preparation. The new program, entitled "Bluewater Sailing--Safety and Fun Offshore", fully-sanctioned by US Sailing, builds upon the highly regarded Offshore Safety at Sea course offered on-line by US Sailing.
The new BWSC program emphasizes hands-on experiences in fire-management, emergency signalling and communications, and off-shore crisis management, along with advanced training in storm management, unexpected damage to the vessel, and evacuation procedures. The program includes in-water survival strategies training with full foul-weather gear, PFDs, life-rafts and ditch-bags. In addition to specific segments designed to help skippers and their crew prepare for and enjoy their races, whether Marion-Bermuda or Marblehead-Halifax, the curriculum will cover a variety of topics essential to making a fun and safe offshore passage, whether racing or cruising.
Everyone who successfully completes the on-line US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea course and the full hands-on training will be eligible for US and World Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea certification, which is now required for 30% (at least two members) of the crew of every vessel competing in the Marion-Bermuda Race. BWSC members Greg Koski and Anne Fogarty, both of whom have extensive experience in crisis management in medical and wilderness environments, have assumed responsibility for planning and coordination of this important event from veteran Ed Stott. Together with a host of BWSC members who many sea-miles and Bermuda races among them, Greg and Anne are working with Capt. Bill Biewenga, a US Sailing Certified Moderator, to deliver this special event.
The course will once again be held at the University of Massachusetts Boston campus on March 9-10, 2019. Stay tuned for additional details and be sure to sign-up early, as places will be limited. Registration should be available by January 12th. Watch this site for updates: https://www.marionbermuda.com/safety-symposium