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Offshore Racing Stand-Down

The Coast Guard suspends permits for offshore races following April 14's Full Crew Farallones Race tragedy.

April 27, 2012
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Sailors competing at this weekend’s Duxship Race in San Francisco will be sailing an “In the Bay” alternate course rather than the traditional longer race out to Duxbury Reef. In the aftermath of the tragedy of the Full Crew Farallones Race on April 14, the Coast Guard has suspended offshore racing in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Singlehanded Farallones Race, on May 12, will also be affected.

The Coast Guard released some details on their unprecedented decision yesterday:

Recent offshore accidents have highlighted the need to assess offshore race organizers’ safety plans and procedures. Races inside the bay are still being permitted per the current procedures. The Coast Guard is calling on all offshore race organizers and participants to conduct their own safety stand-downs during this period.

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In the meantime, US Sailing will review offshore safety procedures and determine if new safety regulations should be implemented.

Latitude 38 spoke with Laura Muñoz, the executive director of the YRA, who noted that the investigation should take about a month. After she received the news from Captain Cindy Stowe of the Coast Guard, she said, “I was blindsided.”

This is the first time the Coast Guard has ever canceled permits after an offshore racing tragedy.

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