Coast Guard calls for offshore racing safety stand-down

11th Coast Guard District NewsSAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard is working with offshore racing organizers to amend their courses for the next two offshore sailing races pending a review of safety plans and procedures in the San Francisco Bay area.

The April 28, 2012 Offshore Yacht Racing Association Duxship Race and the May 12, 2012 Singlehanded Sailing Society Farallons Race are the affected races. The Coast Guard is working closely with race organizers to implement alternative courses for the impacted races. All other races that stay within the demarcation line that runs from Point Bonita to Land’s End are not impacted.

Recent offshore accidents have highlighted the need to assess offshore race organizers’ safety plans and procedures. Races inside the bay are still being permitted per the current procedures. The Coast Guard is calling on all offshore race organizers and participants to conduct their own safety stand-downs during this period.

US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing, is conducting an independent review of Bay Area offshore racing safety procedures to provide an independent assessment of existing plans and procedures.

“The San Francisco Bay Area sailing community is one of the most vibrant, experienced, and capable sailing communities in the world,” said Capt. Cynthia Stowe, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of San Francisco. “This temporary safety stand-down from offshore racing will allow the Coast Guard and the offshore racing community to further our common safety goals.”

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One Comment

  1. Don Durant says:

    Years ago we had a sailing school director at Club Nautique who wisely stated, “It’s not the ocean that gets you, it’s the jagged bits around the edge.” The Gulf of the Farallones is a demanding place to sail with challenges including high winds, shoals, fog, ship traffic, lee shores, rocks and cross currents, to name a few. Never the less, we’ve been successfully training sailors here for over 30 years and I’m confident we can all learn from this tragedy and continue to revel in the awesome wonders that sailing has to offer. I’m glad to see US Sailing taking the lead in the investigation and recommendations to follow.