The organisers of America's annual Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race, which many cruising sailors use as a way of travelling from the northern climes of the east coast of the USA to the Caribbean, have an overall mission in which the important part is to provide education for the sailing community.
To that end, they have a number of outstanding programs lined up and available to you, beginning with a Weather Webinar Series (Part I: Onboard Communications - Saturday, Feb. fifth) followed by the Safety at Sea Symposium weekend (March 19-20).
Day 1 Safety at Sea (Saturday, March 19) is comprehensive coverage of all major topics related to sailing offshore, including but not limited to: Basic Sailing Health, Safety Gear, Damage Control and Repair, Care and Maintenance of Crew, Life Raft Inflation/Abandon Ship, Heavy Weather/Storm Tactics and more.
(If you're racing offshore this summer, ISAF mandates that 30% of your crew, including Skipper, must have attended/received certification from a Safety at Seminar within the past 5 years.)
The knowledge, expertise and experience of the faculty is incredible - you'll learn from the pros - John Rousmaniere, Frank Bohlen, Shiela McCurdy, Steven Thing, Henry Marx, Mike Kenworth and others.
The ticket price of $130 ($5 discount for US Sailing Members) and includes a continental breakfast, lunch and the certificate of attendance from US Sailing.
Day 2 Safety at Sea (Sunday, March 20) digs in deeper with focused, personal hands-on training sessions (ranging from $50 - $125 per course). Courses offered: Weather/Gulf Stream (with Frank Bohlen and Ken McKinley), Medical Emergencies at Sea (Dr. Michael Jacobs), In-Water Survival Skills & Emergency Course (Dan O'Connor/Life Raft & Survival Equipment), with a brand new session just added: CPR/First Aid Certification (details will be posted shortly on the Safety at Sea section of the website.)
(The 2010-2011 ISAF Special Regulations section 6.05.2 requires one or two crew members (cat 2 and cat 1 races respectively) to hold a 'Senior First Aid Certificate'. In the USA, this American Heart Association Heartsaver Course meets that definition.)
The Weather Webinar series picks up where the Safety at Sea weekend leaves off, starting with February 5th Onboard Communications options, moderated by Bill Biewenga. Panelists: Phil Lee (Cay Electronics), Mark Freeberg (Ocens), Rick Garrison (KVH), Jim Corenman (SailMail).
These educational events are not only for those interested in Offshore Racing - they are of true consequence to all sailors who are interested in getting detailed knowledge about weather and safety issues related to sailing, whether it be coastal or long distance excursions.
Event website here