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Support & Safety USA


Your Safety 

We take the safety of participants in all of our rallies very seriously. Over 450 boats and 1,800 people sail in World Cruising Club rallies each year. The job of a rally organizer is to provide a safe framework for participants, and to provide them with the information they need to make safe decisions for their boat and crew.

All participants will receive a comprehensive Rally Handbook when they join the rally.  This includes valuable information and advice for preparing your boat and crew to voyage safely offshore.  

“Fantastic organisation and support, fabulous fun and well organised.  It adds an enormous level of safety”  Bob Ramsay, yacht Texas T (GBR) ARC 2011

Safety Equipment

For our long distance rallies, we require all of the rally boats to carry a minimum quantity and quality of safety and communications equipment, and to have undertaken training in using that equipment, heavy weather sailing techniques, and managing emergencies. Our team of experienced safety equipment inspectors will come on board and check your equipment before the start of the rally, and of course, we’re always happy to help new cruisers talk through decisions about safety and communications at sea.

We expect the boat to carry a range of safety equipment that is fit for purpose and ready to use.  Our requirements are based on the ISAF standards, and include:  an offshore liferaft with a more than 24 hour pack, 406MHz EPIRB, a means of sending and receiving email at sea (satellite phone or SSB/pactor), AIS receiver and man-overboard equipment.  We also require every person on board to have an inflatable combined lifejacket-harness (PFD) with a face sheild (spray hood), crotch strap and tether.  Download a PDF of the Safety Equipment Requirements to learn more.

ARC DelMarVa Safety Equipment

Boats sailing around the DelMarVa peninsula will need to be equipped for going offshore. Leg 2 represents what for many will be their first blue water experience, and the boat and its safety equipment must be up to the task.

ARC DelMarVa participants will need to meet the following safety equipment regulations:

All USCG-required equipment – to see a checklist for boats registered in Maryland, click here . If you're not an MD-registered boat, contact your local authority to obtain their required equipment. 

Additional World Cruising Club Required Equipment for ARC DelMarVa includes:

  • lifejacket/harness combos with light, whistle, spray hood and crotch straps fitted
  • jacklines running the length of the boat on each side
  • fire blanket in the galley
  • a second, independent set of navigation lights (ie deck lights and a tricolor)

We also highly recommend, that boats carry an EPIRB (satellite distress beacon) and an ISO-9650 certified liferaft, or approved equivalent. Please call our US office if you would like more advice on liferafts or other safety equipment.

Prior to the rally, safety equipment checks will be conducted locally in Annapolis. Details of the safety checks will be included in your pre-start newsletters.

Going Further Offshore?

If you are considering sailing longer offshore passages, then take a look at World Cruising Club's safety standards for offshore rallies, such as ARC Caribbean 1500. These requirements are based on the ISAF Special Regulations which draw on lessons learnt from ocean sailing events over the last 30 years. Read on below, and watch the accompanying video to get familiar with the full offshore standards, and contact us if you have any questions.

ARC Caribbean 1500 Safety Equipment Demonstration - film by Ben & Teresa

Crew Training

Each boat has to have two people on board, including the captain. We recommend that the captain and at least one other person on board should have undertaken training within the last 5 years on a range of topics including using the safety and communications equipment, heavy weather sailing techniques and managing emergencies. The ISAF Offshore Sea Survival and related courses are ideal.

There are many schools and organizations that can help you get the proper training you need, from safety at sea to wilderness first aid. Please contact our USA office for information regarding training in North America. The ISAF link above also provides details of training centers in the US and worldwide.

Qualifying Passage

Every rally boat should reach the start port under her own keel, or to have completed a qualifying passage in the year before the start.  The length of the qualifying passage is specific to each rally, and details can be found in the Conditions of Entry.  This passage helps to identify any problems with the boat and equipment before the start of the rally.

Stay in Touch

Every boat will be fitted with a satellite tracker for the rally, so family and friends can follow your progress.  In an emergency we use the tracker to remotely monitor the boat, relaying location information to the emergency services.  Having a satellite phone or SSB radio with Pactor modem allows the boat to receive the emailed rally weather forecasts, and also to send blogs and pictures to be published on the rally website.

Rally Support

Our rally team will be with you in port, ready to welcome you in and to help with any problems; from finding an engineer to recommending a restaurant.  When you are at sea we monitor progress via the satellite trackers, send email weather and position reports and act as the central point of contact in an emergency.

Most people join a World Cruising Club rally for the security and peace of mind of an organised event; for the camaraderie and friendship of a large group of like-minded people; and for the fun of sailing in a fleet of boats.  It’s as much fun for experienced sailors as for those new to ocean sailing.