Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tips for Spectators

Once again, racers' positions will be available at oregonoffshore.swiftsure.org.

Those of us watching the race unfold from home while our loved ones compete often spend restless nights refreshing the tracker, cheering our favorite boat on to safely finish in Victoria. When the boat’s position fails to update, our minds can invent all kinds of horrific reasons for it. We want to remind you not to equate a tracker in distress with a boat in distress. There are several reasons why the trackers may not update, including a failure to communicate with satellites, an unsuccessful GPS fix, or battery failure. Often the crew are quite involved with racing and fail to notice when the tracker stops transmitting (pro tip: as a spectator, if you are prone to worry, ask your crew to regularly check the operation of the tracker during the race).

In case of a lifesaving emergency, each boat is required to carry an Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Every crew member should be trained in the operation of this device. If a boat is in immediate need of assistance, a crew member will activate the EPIRB to coordinate a rescue.

The US Coast Guard has issued a permit for the race and is aware of each yacht's participation in the race. This is just a reminder... the trackers are meant more for your vicarious enhoyment, and not to replace an EPIRB or PLB. Sit back and enjoy the fun from your armchair!

1 comment:

SeaGann said...

Great info Cathy. Thanks. We'll be talking soon. -c-