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Newport Bermuda Race Safety at Sea Seminar taking registrations

by Talbot Wilson on 26 Jan 2012
The March 17-18 Newport Bermuda Race Safety at Sea Seminar in Newport features a new schedule with options. Here seminar organizer Ron Trossbach (rear) and Dan O’Connor demonstrate a life raft at a previous seminar. © Leslie Schneider
From March 17-18, the Newport Bermuda Race Safety at Sea Seminar will introduce a new approach to safety education that fits the needs of sailors in the 2012 New Port Bermuda Race as well as delivery crews and cruisers. The seminar will be sponsored by the Cruising Club of America and will take place at the Newport Hyatt Regency Hotel.

On Saturday, March 17, the seminar offers two programs. In one, anybody who has attended two or more US Sailing certified safety seminars since 2002 may attend a morning refresher course and then do hands-on in-water survival training in the afternoon. The other program is an all-day safety at sea seminar for people who have not attended a safety seminar recently.

On Sunday there are three options. Two are all-day courses in hands-on in-water survival training, and in Red Cross First Aid and CPR training. In addition, a Newport Bermuda Race Preparation Seminar will be held on Sunday morning. Race winners, race officials, and other experts will speak on advanced topics, including a presentation by the doctor who serves as the race’s special contact for medical advice.

'This is the first time we’re using this approach,' said seminar organizer Ron Trossbach. 'The more experienced people will qualify for the ISAF Approved Certificate in one day on Saturday instead of the usual two. Meanwhile, racers, delivery crews, and cruisers who gain a solid education in preparing a boat for long distance sailing in the all-day Saturday seminar will be awarded the US Sailing Sanctioned Safety Seminar Attendance Certificate, and will have the option of adding survival training and earning the ISAF Approved Certificate on Sunday.'

A theme throughout the two-day seminar will be the requirements and challenges of the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race, which starts on June 15.

'Many of the race crews attend as a team,' said Trossbach, who has organized this safety seminar for many years. 'They sit together in classes, do the hands-on courses side by side, and then go out to dinner to compare notes and make their plans for preparing the boat and sailing the race. The seminar’s a popular kickoff for the race.'

The seminar presenters are experienced ocean sailors. They and their topics include Ralph Naranjo (Moderator, MOB, rescue), Frank Bohlen (onboard weather forecasting), Dan Dyer (heavy weather), Howard Lapsley (crew selection and training), Henry Marx (life raft), Sheila McCurdy (damage control), Dan O’Connor (survival training), John Rousmaniere (lessons from recent incidents), Steven Thing (communications), Ron Trossbach (race rules, abandon ship), and Jeff Wisch (medical).

The official 2012 Newport Bermuda Race Program will be distributed over the weekend, along with the International Sailing Foundation (ISAF) Offshore Special Regulations. Many venders and suppliers will be on hand with displays of safety equipment, clothing, and other sailing gear.

The following rules concerning safety training apply to boats in the Newport Bermuda Race: 'A minimum of 30% of all crew members shall have attended a US Sailing sanctioned safety at sea seminar within five years of the start of the race. The captain and either the navigator or a watch captain must be included in the required 30%. In addition, two members of each crew must hold a First Aid/CPR certificate.'

The Newport Hyatt Regency Hotel offers a special room rate for safety seminar attendees who reserve no later than February 14 at (888) 421-1442.

More information about the Newport Bermuda Race Safety at Sea Seminar and the Newport Bermuda Race can be found here.

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