Home' Afloat : AFLOAT January 2016 Contents Take monthly with water January 2016 27
You may think the adrenaline junkies hitting the
water in extreme sailing events are only thinking
about the roar of the crowd as they cross the
finish line, but the top prize for these sailing
teams is making sure everyone makes it back
to shore safely.
The Extreme Sailing Series welcomed Transport
for NSW aboard as their safety partner for
the race run at Sydney Harbour last month to
promote the importance of wearing a lifejacket.
The Transport for NSW Wear a Lifejacket
campaign featured heavily in the international
racing circuit with the support of OC Sport and
Australian skipper Katie Spithill whose entry 33
South Racing was branded with the lifejacket
The lifejacket campaign also received support
from the Race Director of the Extreme Sailing
Series Phil Lawrence who praised the safety
partnership with Transport for NSW.
“We take safety very seriously at the Extreme
Sailing Series and welcomed Transport for NSW
as the safety partner for our Sydney event,
presented by Land Rover,” Phil Lawrence said.
“This recognises that wearing the right safety
gear, which includes lifejackets, and having a
sound safety plan on the water, is vital for all
The ‘stadium racing’ spectacle, in its second
year on the harbour, put the high-performance
multihulls through their paces in a tight racing
course that ran extremely close to shore on the
waters from Bennelong Point across towards
Garden Island, south of Fort Denison. The course
by Neil Patchett, Transport for NSW
layout ensured the navigation channel north of
Fort Denison remained open to harbour traffic.
Transport for NSW was involved not only through
its strategic safety campaign team but through
the management of water traffic controls
delivered by Roads and Maritime Services.
Other key local partners in Sydney were
Destination NSW which promoted tourism
through its web portal sydney.com, and the
Royal Botanic Gardens which hosted the centre
of activities as the race village was set up at
Fleet Steps in Farm Cove.
The statistics are in for the last financial
year and they show recreational boating
fatalities and overall boating incident rates are
continuing a long-term downward trend.
While this is great news, the stats also contain
some sobering messages for boaties.
Long term data suggests that more than 60
per cent of recreational boating fatalities
could have been prevented if those who
drowned wore a lifejacket. Indeed, 12 out of
the 14 recreational boating fatal incidents last
year occurred through people being forced
into the water –highlighting the need to wear
All 15 recreational boating fatalities in 2014-
15 were male, and nearly two-thirds of the
fatal incidents occurred in a boat less than 6
metres in length. Weather and sea conditions
also played a part – factors in more than 40
per cent of the fatal incidents. This stresses
the need to always check the weather before
going out – and to keep an eye on it while you
Collisions, particularly with another vessel or
with a fixed object, were a factor in serious
injuries. Skippers need to watch their speed
and distances, and always navigate in
accordance with the rules... if in doubt, slow
The storms of April 2015 also left their mark in
the incident data, with almost double the usual
rate of incidents affecting moored vessels. A
large number of vessels were torn from their
moorings or dragged on their moorings. Boat
owners need to be ever vigilant in checking
and maintaining their mooring apparatus and
need to make sure that the mooring gear is
suitable for their vessel and its location.
For more helpful tips and useful information
about your safety, why not check out http://
You’re the Skipper
LIFEJACKET CAMPAIGN GOES
Katie Spithill ponders a night of boat repair.
33SouthRacing - racing towards the Opera
Katie Spithill and crew fly their Wear a Lifejacket gennaker in fleet racing past the Opera House.
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