Forum: Share your SI/NOR language.

Notice of Race/Sailing Instruction Covid 19 Safety Clauses?

Mike Leyland
Nationality: New Zealand
(There is discussion of some of theses issues on another forum at this link

I am president of a one design class and we are currently redrafting regatta documents for events that were postponed due to lockdown.

Has anyone seen or drafted clauses/policy in relation management and mitigation of risk due to Covid 19?

Thoughts on items that could be included:
  • Elimination or minimisation of gatherings in line with whatever regulations are present
  • Sailors who are unwell or display these symptoms to stay home
    •  fever 
    • cough  
    • shortness of breath  
    • sneezing
    • runny nose 
  • Physical distancing where required
    • Reduction in crew numbers
    • Positions on boat to support (1M) distancing whilst not maneuvering 
  • Contact tracing
    • Crew contact tracing register
    • Venue/club contact tracing register
  • Hygiene
    • Cleaning & disinfection of boat
    • Hand hygiene and supplies before stepping aboard & whilst racing
    • Crew to wash and dry and/or sanitise hands, cough into elbow, not touch face
  • Protection
  1. Wearing of sailing gaiters (more about preventing face contact than filtering aerosol droplets)
    image.png 20.7 KB
  2. Wearing of sunglasses (some eye protection from aerosol droplets) 
  3. Wearing full fingered gloves
Your thoughts/input appreciated

Created: 20-May-03 19:12


Al Sargent
Nationality: United States of America
Thanks for starting the discussion. Here are my thoughts. I'm not a doctor, epidemiologist, or public health expert. Just a sailor. So take this with many grains of salt!

  1. Public health recommendation on what kind of COVID-19 testing is required for any competitor, support person, race management and yacht club staff. Which test(s) are supposed to be done, within which time prior to the event, and what results are acceptable? How is this verified?
  2. Enough WiFi to run the skipper's meetings, protests, and awards completely through Zoom, or similar tool. That means a lot of WiFi, or really good 4G cell coverage.
  3. Team briefings and debriefs with coaches must be done completely through Zoom or similar?
  4. Mandatory masks at all times both at the regatta site and on the water. What kind of masks work when wet? 
  5. Mask removal to perform hydration, eating, and sunscreen application needs to be done X feet / boatlengths from the nearest competitor, coach, or OA boat.
  6. Guidance on what kinds of masks are effective in a dinghy environment. Do buffs work? Have they been tested? They seem awfully flimsy in terms of filtering breath.
  7. Multiple flights of ~20 boats per race, with a line big enough for 60 boats. You'd mix up the flights like you do at big Opti/Laser regattas where the fleet is split into groups of 100.
  8. Practice starts every so often, so the race committee sees if boats clump up at one end or the other, and adjust line until a practice start is done with the fleet not clumped up.
  9. Offset marks and gates. These are "good to have" in normal regattas but crucial for social distancing.
  10. Assigned boat rigging spots that are sufficiently distanced.
  11. Hand sanitizer everywhere in the clubhouse and the rigging area.
  12. Plexiglass at the yacht club's front desk and registration desk to protect employees and volunteers.
  13. Protocol for safety boat or coach to provide assistance to a boat that is capsized or disabled, or a sailor that has become separated from their boat. That requires very close proximity.

Created: 20-May-03 20:27
Mike Leyland
Nationality: New Zealand
Hi Al,

Good points.

Check out thinking in the document at this forum.

A much wider scope than NOR/SI clauses but covers off some of your points.

Into the "day job" now but might see if I can pull together potential generic clauses for Sailing Instructions and Notice's of Race into their own Google or Microsoft document tonight.

Face covering when sailing is a challenge and seems a bit controversial. 

Surgical type masks are impractical on the water (especially paper ones!) and effective filtration will make it harder to communicate as you say.

Sailing gaiters however are in common use in some countries already and offer some protection.

I understand that sunglasses and full fingered gloves will also offer protection. 
This type of gear is not so much a barrier for aerosol particles but is more effective in terms of reduction of eye, nose, mouth contact with bare hands.

I also understand that washing/sanitising hands and cough/sneeze etiquette is still main priority.

Be good to hear some advice on practical sailing protection from a medical expert.
Created: 20-May-03 20:56
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
  • Club Judge
Personally I think I'd avoid putting any of this into race documents. With few exceptions, none of us are doctors, epidemiologists or public health experts, and maintaining public health is not really a function of the organizing authority or the race committee. So best for those entities to simply stay silent, in my opinion.

Shoreside, any restrictions or recommendations of the local public health authorities regarding distancing, mask usage, etc. should be followed, and the host venue (which I would consider to be separate from role of the organizing authority) may wish to have additional measures in place on their property.

On the water I think it's up to the sailors how they manage their own risk inside the lifelines of their boat. Does anyone want to entertain a protest if hikers are observed to be sitting too close together on the rail?
Created: 20-May-04 01:08
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
Mike, Below are some changes that you might consider to the NoR and SIs to encourage social distancing at notice boards, protest desk, etc. The numbering is based upon the guides in Appendix K and Appendix L. US Sailing is drafting language related to liability and waivers, which is being reviewed legal counsel.

Notice of Race

9.1. The sailing instructions will be available after _____ on ______________ on the regatta website.
9.2. Questions regarding the notice of race or sailing instructions, may be submitted in writing to the XYZ YC Race Office via email Responses from the race committee or jury will be posted to the official notice board and online.

Sailing Instructions

Notices to competitors will be posted on the official notice board located at []. A complementary notice board may be maintained at the [location of paper notice board], but should there be a conflict, the Official Notice Board shall control. [You can of course reverse this. Make the paper board the official and the electronic complimentary].

Signals made ashore will be displayed at the flagpole at xyz yacht club and sent by text and email to all competitors.

11.1 Races will be started by using US Sailing Rx to RRS Appendix U – Audible-Signal Racing System. This changes RRS 26. [Individual and general recalls will be hailed over VHF channel XX.]

16.1 Protests and requests for redress or reopening, may be filed either electronically at [], by email to [] using an electronic form such as [], or by submitting a paper form available at the Protest Desk.  All such requests shall be delivered within the appropriate time limit.
16.3 Notices will be posted no later than 30 minutes after the protest time limit to inform competitors of hearings in which they are parties or named as witnesses. Hearings will be held in the virtual protest room,
16.4 Notices of protests by the race committee, technical committee or protest committee will be posted to inform boats under RRS 61.1(b). 
Created: 20-May-19 17:14
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