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Home > Racing > Offshore Skipper Brief
Home > Racing > Offshore Skipper Brief

Offshore Skipper Brief

In preparation for the 2024 offshore racing season, the Sailing Committee have been discussing a range of key issues related to safety and how best to support and encourage compliance with the regulations. It is worth remembering that a skipper is legally responsible for the safety of the boat and all the people on board and is also responsible for complying with all the relevant rules and regulations. The four main focus points below offer a brief outline of the key issues we have been discussing and are intended to support skippers in their preparations for a safe and enjoyable season offshore.

1. Crew Details & Skippers Terms of Entry Declaration

This is vital information that needs to be collated prior to the race to enable the Race Committee to manage the safety of all participants. Due to the recent lapse in response to this request, the Sailing Committee will be adding a clearly written statement into the Sailing Instructions requesting the submission of crew details and that failure to submit this prior to a race, will lead to disqualification and exclusion from the race results.

Crew Declaration List     

The terms of entry declaration will appear on the online entry form for each event.

Any changes in crew during a multi-port event must also be communicated to the Race Committee.  

2. Arrival at Race Destination or Retirement Destination

To assist the Race Committee with the co-ordination of an event and safety management of all participants, it will be a requirement to communicate your location at the end of the event. This may be as simple as the submission of your Race Declaration Form (link below) at the earliest opportunity. If you have retired and have sailed to an alternative port, or returned home, you still have an obligation to complete the Race Declaration Form and to notify the Race Committee or another competitor, as stated in the Sailing Instructions.

Race Declaration Form

3. Obligations to your Crew  

As any good skipper knows, you have an obligation to look after the health and well-being of your crew whilst at sea and good preparation for this is essential. Lets not forget, a successful race or passage is achieved working as a well co-ordinated and effective team. The Sailing Committee have created a document to assist crew members in their understanding and preparation for an offshore race or passage. Please take a look at this document to engage with your role in this process.

Read our guide to Crewing Offshore.

4. World Offshore Sailing Regulations

The Offshore Sailing Regulations are extensive and whilst the Sailing Committee do not currently intend to enforce the requirements via inspections, it is expected that skippers adhere to the full list of requirements for Category 3 during the 2024 Offshore Series, together with an appropriate life raft, which has a current service and inspection certificate.

The following focus areas and extracts should help skippers in achieving this:

a. Safety Equipment Location Chart (WSOR 4.12).

The OSR regulations state that there must be a safety equipment location chart, in durable waterproof material, clearly displayed in the main accommodation, marked with the location of principal items of safety equipment.

If you have yet to complete and display this chart or need to create a new one, you can use the link below to access a Word Template and instructions for creating your own chart based on your yacht and equipment.

You will notice that the Crewing Offshore Document (see 3. above) makes reference to this and states that the skipper will be required to use the location chart to brief crew prior to an offshore passage, showing them where each piece of equipment is located and giving reassurance that the equipment is in date.

Use this link to create a Safety Equipment Location Chart

b. Hulls, Keels & Rudders (WSOR 3.02).

Even for those not bound by the OSRs, it is good seamanship to periodically inspect your keel and rudder. The World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations for 2024- 2025 require the following:

Structural Inspections

WOSR Category 3  - at a haul-out within 2 years prior to the event, the owner or his/her representative shall inspect the integrity of the keel and rudder following the recommendations in Appendix L (3.02.04).

Link to Appendix L World Sailing Model Form (Example)

Link to World Sailing Q&A Sheet

Unintentional Grounding

WOSR Category 3  - Inspection after Grounding an appropriately qualified person shall conduct an internal and external inspection after each unintentional grounding (3.02.05). 

Click here for the full 2024-2025 Offshore Special Regulations.

Other useful links:

Happy safe sailing and have an enjoyable season!

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