Guidelines for Solo Sailing Background
There have been instances where competitors in organised Keelboat races have come to grief. This also applies where novice crew are on board. Every racing yacht should have all of the prescribed safety equipment and should have safety procedures clearly defined, understood and practised by all crew members. However, with solo skippers the typical “man overboard “procedure does not apply. Prevention of such an incidence is the best procedure. Organisers of races have a duty of care to ensure the safety of competitors notwithstanding the decision to race or continue is the skipper’s responsibility.
Safety Requirements: Solo Racing between Sunrise & Sunset
1. Solo skippers to advise race control of their intention to race solo.
2. VHF radio to be carried.
3. Solo skippers to sign off by race finish or retirement advice to race control. Race control remains on standby until all yachts are accounted for.
4. Where noted in sailing instructions, additional flag to be flown from backstay to indicate solo operation. (code flag Y)
5. Solo skippers to wear PFD with safety tether capability.
6. Jack stays to be fitted.
7. Solo skippers to be tethered at times of heightened risk
8. Effective means to get back on board. Why is it Important? Prevention is better that trying to recover from a loss. Most of us never have issues but is that more good luck than effective management? Let’s implement, at least, a code of practice so that we do not have the need for Government intervention and impractical over regulation.