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US Sailing convenes panel on Newport Bermuda fatality

by US Sailing 1 Jul 03:36 PDT
US Sailing convenes panel on Newport Bermuda fatality © US Sailing

In light of the tragic incident that occurred during the running of the 51st Newport to Bermuda Race, US Sailing, at the request of the race organizing authority, has convened a panel of experts to study the incident.

The panel looks to fact-find on contributing factors including, weather conditions, crew experience, safety regulations and more to produce a chronology of the causative events and quantitative lessons learned to help make the sport of offshore racing safer. US Sailing estimates the report will be completed in the fall.

The Panelists include:

Greg Miarecki (Chair) is a member of Chicago Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club. He has raced hundreds of distance races in Lake Michigan, including 35 Chicago Yacht Club Races to Mackinac. He served as Chair of the Race in 2008 and 2009, the former being the 100th Race to Mackinac, which attracted over 450 boats to the starting line. Greg served for many years on the Flag and Board of Chicago Yacht Club, including two years as its Commodore in 2015 and 2016. Greg was one of the five founding Commodores of the Chicago Area Sail Racing Association, and currently serves as President of the Chicago Yacht Club Foundation.

Ed Cesare is a financial professional who is also a competitive offshore sailor. He owned and campaigned a Class 40 (doublehanded) and regularly navigates for several high-end programs. In the course of sailing over 100,000 miles offshore, Ed has raced all five of the world's great 600 milers, including 18 Bermuda Races, as well as three transatlantic races. He serves as Commodore of the Storm Trysail Club, is past Overseas Rear Commodore for the Royal Ocean Racing Club, past Commodore of the Norwalk Yacht Club, and is a Trustee and committee chair for the New York Yacht Club.

Andrew Clouston is US Sailing's Senior Vice President of Programs and Services and is responsible for offshore, youth and adult programs, competition, education, race administration, and information technology. Andrew brings a great depth of experience from an accomplished background in the sport including thirteen years with Yachting New Zealand, the National Governing Body for sailing in New Zealand, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. Andrew's former roles also include Nominated Expert and Regional Development Coordinator for World Sailing as well as Maritime New Zealand's Operations Manager for the 36th America's Cup. Andrew is a skilled keelboat sailor whose experience includes extensive coastal racing as well as one design, match racing and cruising.

P Leslie Crane is the Past Commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (2002-3). He has been a skipper in 7 Newport Bermuda Races and has over 40,000 miles cruising experience including three Atlantic crossings.

Matt Gallagher is chair of the Offshore & Technology Division of US Sailing. Previously, he served as Chair of the US Sailing Offshore Committee and served on the Safety at Sea Committee. Matt was chair of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac and has organized numerous local, regional, and world championships in sailing. Matt has skippered in ten Chicago Yacht Club Races to Mackinac and has raced throughout the Great Lakes as well as in the Southeastern US and in Europe. He is a member of the New York Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club.

Captain Jonathan Kabak is the Chief Executive Officer of Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island and is the Master of the SSV OLIVER HAZARD PERRY. Jonathan is an internationally recognized expert on maritime training and education under sail. Having sailed in command of vessels ranging from landmark tall ships to high performance racing sailboats, maritime academy training vessels to luxury motor yachts. When not involved in vessel operations, he is sought after as an instructor and curriculum developer, specializing in STCW and Coast Guard approved training for commercial mariners, and as well serving as a Moderator for US Sailing and World Sailing Safety at Sea Seminars. Jonathan serves on the Board of Tall Ships America, where he is the Chairperson of the Ship Operations and Safety Committee.

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