Time for a safety first approach

April 29, 2017

All of the America’s Cup teams are now on the waters of the Great Sound practicing on a daily basis.

These are exciting times and many of you will want to venture out into the sound to view these spectacular machines. The weather has warmed up and the winds have settled into their late spring and early summer directions between South and South West. Of course the Great Sound with its islands and protected bays has some of the best boating anchorages in the world, and for all of us who live here, it is our open space.

However, if you enter the sound and see the America’s Cup yachts training please give them plenty of room. Practice unlike racing does not have a set course although you may see racing marks placed around the sound.

The ACC’s have very sophisticated computers on board which feed data to the safety boats that follow them. While the boats are on their foils in practice they will sometimes change direction without notice or slow down momentarily, while the crews make adjustments.

The Bermuda Water Safety Council would like to ask the boating public to please give the teams PLENTY of ROOM while they are training. Safety is paramount to all of us including the teams as we build to the finals of this incredible event. It is only right that we give them courtesy and consideration by not interfering and coming too close. If they are headed towards you then please stop, they can manoeuvre around you.

Please use common sense and stay safe. We can all play a small part to the make this the best ever America’s Cup.

Paul Doughty is a board member of the Bermuda Water Safety Council, artist, author, professional sailing coach, RYA powerboat instructor and has more than 40 years of experience on the water.