From a US Sailing press release:
A goal of US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Committee has been to overhaul the Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) so that they become more popular for race organizers, and more understandable to owners and boat inspectors. Based on some excellent initial work by the Northern California Ocean Racing Council in 2012, a task force has been working on a simplified list of equipment and boat characteristics that will serve the needs of the majority of coastal and offshore racers.
The key differences between the proposed US Safety Equipment Requirements (USSER) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) OSRs are as follows:
1. The requirements are easier for yacht owners and pre-race inspectors to understand.
2. The requirements are self-contained and do not refer to external documents.
3. The number of categories has been reduced from seven to three: Near Shore, Coastal, and Ocean. Race organizations can then add or delete gear requirements based on the nature of their individual races.
4. The requirements are more specific about certain pieces of gear that lacked definition in the OSRs.
5. The OSRs contained both recommendations and requirements which proved confusing to users, and which increased the size of the document. The recommendations have been removed from the new version.
6. The requirements are far more compact, and can easily be included in their entirety in a Notice of Race or on a yacht club website.
US Sailing wants your input on the proposed requirements. You can download a spreadsheet with the new requirements and instructions on how to provide input on the US Sailing Safety at Sea site. Please return the spreadsheet with your comments and feedback to [email protected] before September 23, 2013.