Coast Guard approves Spinnaker Cup Marine Event Permit

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard has approved the Marine Event Permit for the Spinnaker Cup offshore sailing race scheduled to begin Friday, May 25.

In the wake of the April 14, 2012 loss of five lives from the sailing vessel Low Speed Chase during the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco called for an offshore yacht racing safety stand down to provide the time necessary to review their safety procedures.

The April 28 Offshore Yacht Racing Association Duxship Race and the May 12 Singlehanded Sailing Society Farallons Race were the races affected by the safety stand down, and both events were adjusted to stay within the demarcation line that runs from Point Bonita and Land’s End. No other races were impacted by the safety stand down.

US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing, has released its preliminary independent review of the Low Speed Chase casualty and Bay Area offshore racing safety procedures. The preliminary findings are available from US Sailing.

Spinnaker Cup event organizers resubmitted their permit application with a number of safety enhancements. These enhancements are consistent with the US Sailing Independent Review Panel’s preliminary recommendations. The Coast Guard will be working with the newly formed local offshore racing council to ensure similar safety enhancements are incorporated into future events.

“The Coast Guard appreciates the tremendous support of the offshore race organizers and sponsoring yacht clubs during this safety stand-down,” said Capt. Cynthia Stowe, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of San Francisco. “The coordination and support from this local community will help further our common goal of ensuring all mariners return home safely.”

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