The Organizing Authority for the Swiftsure International Yacht Race promotes a safety culture in its running of the race and to guide skippers and crew who are participating in the race.
Two documents provide guidance to the running of Swiftsure:
- Safety Policy for Swiftsure 2017
- Meteorology Monitoring Protocol (used before and during the race to monitor wind and sea states and respond to dangerous weather conditions)
- How and When to Heave To (think MOB recovery)
- How to Avoid a Downwind Chinese Gybe by Yachting World
- How to Get out of a Broach by Yachting World
- Safety Materials from the Race to Mackinac (Courtesy of Chicago Yacht Club)
Offshore Personal Safety Course from BC Sailing
The BC Sailing Offshore Personal Safety Course is for experienced sailors who are participating in distance and offshore races and passages. The course includes classroom and practical sessions. Topics covered include safety equipment, storm sails, weather forecasts, heavy weather, man overboard, emergency signals and communications. Practical sessions include inflating and using lifejackets and life rafts in a pool environment. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a CYA-ISAF Approved Offshore Personal Survival Course certificate, valid for five years.
The NOR for the Four Long Courses in the Swiftsure International Yacht Race (i.e., Swiftsure Lightship Classic, Hein Bank, Cape Flattery, and Juan de Fuca) recommends that at least 30% of those aboard the boat, but not fewer than two members of the crew, including the person in charge, shall have attended a half-day, one-day, or two-day Safety at Sea Seminar within the last 5 years, or other courses as accepted by their national authority. The races starting in British Columbia that require a portion of the crew on each yacht to have taken Safety at Sea training include Southern Straits Race (GRANDE, LONG, AND MEDIUM COURSES), the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race, and the Van Isle 360 Yacht Race.
The seminar focuses on safe boating practices and safety equipment. The seminar, designed and conducted by sailor volunteers, all experts in their fields, provide novice and experienced mariners with information and skills required to prepare for sailing offshore, boat preparation, handling heavy weather, recommended safety equipment, and emergencies at sea. For more information, go to the BC Sailing Safety at Sea website.
The Sailing Foundation in Seattle also offers Safety at Sea seminars. For more information, go to the Sailing Foundation website.