For the RORC Transatlantic Race, every yacht is inspected for ISAF Special Regulations, Category 1 plus a satellite phone to keep in touch with the race organisers. At least 30% of the boat’s crew, including the Person in Charge, shall have completed training for ISAF Offshore Special Regulations and gained a certificate from an ISAF approved Offshore Personal Survival Training Course and at least two members of the boat’s crew shall also be trained in First Aid.
Experienced offshore sailors, Stephen and Anthea Weekes, carried out the inspections on behalf of the Royal Ocean Racing Club.
“In general, the sailors have taken the safety regulations very seriously and very correctly,” commented Stephen. “Most of all, they understand what they have to do and realise how important safety at sea is to their success. We have suggested a few things to improve upon, but in the main all of the boats have been well prepared for this race. It doesn't matter which size of yacht you are racing, all of the regulations have to be met. Safety is of the utmost importance regardless of the age and size of the yacht. Most of the crew have done these sort of trips before and they understand that our role as safety inspectors is necessary. They know that having the equipment is vital and that if they need it, it has to work. It has been a pleasure to visit every boat. We have been welcomed on board and we have had no difficulties with anybody and the sailors have been quick to share experiences and ideas with us. One crew has a pack of cards in their grab bag to stop them getting bored in the liferaft, which I thought was a nice touch!”