US Sailing, the national governing body for sailing, has published findings related to two deaths which occurred during the 103rd Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.
The findings were contained in a detailed 70-page report authored by an independent panel, and are posted online
. Gary Jobson, Race veteran and US Sailing President, appointed the panel at the request of Chicago Yacht Club Commodore Joseph Haas. Jobson directed the panel to consider what lessons might be learned from this incident and to make recommendations for race organizers to consider in future years.
'We are grateful to US Sailing and to the panel for publishing a detailed and thoughtful report,' Haas noted. 'Sailing is a remarkably safe sport in large part because of the caring of its close-knit community. When a sailor dies, all sailors mourn and do what they can to see that such an accident does not happen again. This detailed report is yet another example of how sailors work together to ensure that sailing is as safe as possible,' Haas added.
The report addresses the severe weather experienced, and the consequences stemming from, the 103rd Race. It provides a list of detailed recommendations directed to race organizers and to US Sailing and its committees. 'We welcome the panel’s detailed and constructive recommendations,' Haas noted. 'While full and thorough consideration of the panel’s recommendations will take some time, we already see many good ideas and are beginning to incorporate them into our planning for the 104th Race,' Haas explained.
Many of the panel’s recommendations are directed to US Sailing, and will require close cooperation between US Sailing and its member clubs. 'We stand ready to work with US Sailing and our sister yacht clubs to improve the safety of our sport. Based on our initial review, we are confident that this report will play a key role in that effort. Both US Sailing and the panel have our sincerest thanks.'