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YNZ Race Regulations Cat1-Cat5; Anomalies and concerns

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As stated above this is now a reality

People get hung up on needing something that doesn’t fit their situation but is in the regs

If you have a valid reason why you don’t need something and you have the experience to back this up then this will be accepted

Experience is a big one for me, I don’t give a fart if they have dived with sharks, done ten coastal or run Fletchers Building, you never know how people will react until your out of sight of land and the sea state and wind gets up. In my experience about half at this point no longer want to be there.



Sounds about right Jon. I've said before on this site, my opinion of the cat one regs is that they are more flexible in practice than they look in writing, the inspectors are normally reasonable, and there is little in the regs that I wouldn't comply with if left to my own devices.

I think the ongoing, sometimes heated discussion complaining about them are mostly just people don't like being dictated to. Some parts are outdated, and updates are very slow, again IMO, because no officials or organizations want to be first to accept new stuff, and therefore potentially have some liability.

I agree with both the posts above, accept that, given current track record, I wouldn't use Fletchers as an example of a successful business.

But specifically I agree that, when discussed with an inspector, there is flexibility in the current regs. The main issue is that this is not conveyed by the current inspection system. Its an exception rather than the norm.

I think pulling apart some of IT's comments gives some insights into how the overall system can be improved. Specifically that some parts are outdated, and updates are very slow. But that many parts are valuable and do work well.


I'm kind of struggling to verbalise how to explain it, but its basically to do with the 'culture' of the system. When you first read the safety requirements, they come across as a prescriptive list. This is a 'compliance culture', being, if you do all of this (tick box list) then you shall comply.

By having a risk based system, the message is "the skipper must think about and address all of these issues in order to be safe". The culture change is from 'compliance culture' to 'risk management culture'.


Possibly the best example of this in action is again in industry. Construction companies (successful ones, not Fletchers) do not have H&S reps writing up SoP's in isolation in their office anymore. They ask the guys doing the work (the guys in the trenches, driving the cranes or fabricating on a motorway bridge pile) how they do their job, how they could do their job better, and what it is they need to do it better and safely. Sure, there is still mandatory requirements, like drug and alcohol policies, but otherwise the ownership is given collectively to the guys doing the work. It empowers the workers to think and also take ownership and pride in what they are doing. This is how strong and effective safety cultures are created.


The parallel here is effectively getting YNZ to ask the skipper how they are going to manage the risks, but mandating the risk topics to be addressed. It sounds like, with the Platino documents requirements they are most of the way there. If the enthuses is removed from the list of requirements, the focus then shifts to the risk management documents. In reality, I'd expect the existing list of requirements becomes a reference document. And for those confused that what I am saying sounds like what is already there, the fundamental change in the system is the placement of ownership and a change in the culture around the system. I hope that makes sense.


I'd be curious to know how this all lines up with the processes used for risk management of race organisation, i.e. the risk management protocols for the SSANZ racing etc?

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My concern is that your are replacing one set or arbitrary requirements with a new set of arbitrary requirements. And these ones are likely to have a number of unintended consequences (more so than th

Just a heads up, I won't be giving any direct answers to requests for change - I'm not a subject matter expert on some of this stuff. What I'll do is take your feedback, constructive criticism, sugges

Ignore the age,  anyone checking (with a brain) will just look at the expiry date.

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Below is the start of the SSANZ safety plan

I won’t bore you with the whole doc.

By the way I was taking the piss with F. Was thinking Fonterra but that’s maybe a bridge too far, my point was people get to the point the believe their own BS and think they can’t fail





SSANZ Triple Series 2019 – Safety Plan

This safety plan has been written to assist with managing competitor, volunteer, and third party safety during the SSANZ Triple Series races.


The Race Officer, and the members of the Race Committee are the people responsible for executing this plan.


This plan will be published on the event notice board, and its general tenor will be explained to competitors at the event briefing.



In scope:

- Long Haul, Short Haul, Multihull, and Small Boat divisions competing in SSANZ Triple Series races

- On-the water competitor safety

- Safety of the general public interacting with competitors or volunteers on the water






- All other yacht racing (separate safety plans)

- On-shore safety of competitors, volunteers and the public, other than those performing a race management function

- Safety of competitors while rigging and de-rigging yachts

- Safety of competitors while delivering yachts to or from local marina’s on race day

- Safety of competitors while delivering yachts to or from Auckland to compete in any race in the SSANZ Triple Series.

This plan recognises the difference between (a) safety and (B) compliance with safety regulations. A person who complies with safety regulations may not be safe, while a person who does not comply with safety regulations may be safe. This plan will compensate where the safety regulations do not adequately address a safety issue.


Reference Documents:


- Notice of race

- Sailing instructions

- Appendix 1 – Risk analysis and treatment

- Appendix 2 – Safety equipment

- Appendix 3 – Safety inspections

- Appendix 4 – CAT 4 Monohull Safety inspection worksheet

- Appendix 5 – Multihull Safety inspection worksheet

- Appendix 6 – Mitigation tasks

- Appendix 7 – Briefing notes

- Appendix 8 – Failed communications plan

- Appendix 9 – Crisis Management Plan





RCCNZ – Rescue Co-Ordination Centre NZ​​RO – Race Officer​​RC – Race Committee




Severity of Harm


1 – Little or No Harm


2 – Some Harm


3 – Moderate Harm


4 – Significant Harm


5 – Extensive Harm


Likelihood of Harm


A – Very Unlikely


B – Possible


C – Even chance


D – Likely


E – Almost certain

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By the way I was taking the piss with F. Was thinking Fonterra but that’s maybe a bridge too far, my point was people get to the point the believe their own BS and think they can’t fail


That is a salient and very valid point.


And this bit in the safety plan is gold

This plan recognises the difference between (a) safety and (b compliance with safety regulations. A person who complies with safety regulations may not be safe, while a person who does not comply with safety regulations may be safe. This plan will compensate where the safety regulations do not adequately address a safety issue.

This line above, the bit that people may comply with all the regulations but not be safe, is why I believe a refreshed appraoch is needed to the cat regulations.


What I was expecting from the SSANZ safety plan (and not having cheated and gone had a look on the SSANZ website, where I've seen it located before) is that you are using a risk based model, the cornerstone of which is risk (severity) and likelihood. That gives the platform for managing everything else through the process. This is a good example of the type of approach I believe the YNZ processes would benefit from.

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That reminds me we haven’t included this on our new website.


Just because we have a plan doesn’t mean we run safer races, in someways it allows us to run closer to the edge

However if or when sh*t happens, because it will, we have a document that states we will do a,b,c then d

The other thing we do is document decision making, just a pad on the committee boat (something I need to get better at) this was done for the last race


0700 hrs forecast has remain the same strength over night and is likely to last longer, decision made to drop Gannet Rk from the following divisions Pied Piper, Baltic 1 and 2

And drop Cow Is and Black Rks from Doyle’s and PIC divisions


0730 NTC posted on website as per decision above.etc.....


I do the same type of thing as skipper offshore

Pad on chart table, first thing before departure I put down a safe water waypoint, so if we had to go to a handheld gps then we have a position that we know we can head for, that will be within sight of destination but in plenty of water, often 10+nm off

Many times I won’t add anything else but something I’ll record our position at noon and distance covered over last 24hrs.

But generally even though we have two chartplotters running everyone onboard uses my iPad with a route showing all details that are required, USB socket in cockpit table is very useful

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A word of caution around qualitative risk scoring systems, like the probability consequence model above.


Watch for the high consequence/low probability events as under some scoring systems they are not given much weight due to the low probability. If it does happen, its a catastrophe so its worth giving them due regard.


I might be telling people here to suck eggs, apologies if I am but it bears repeating. 

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  • 7 months later...
On 1/03/2019 at 12:31 PM, ex Elly said:

Lead lines got removed from the rules about 8 years ago. I was surprised there wasn't any outcry at the time.

Cheaper and lighter than a leadline.


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On 21/04/2020 at 8:06 PM, Deep Purple said:

Theres a catch to  those ,must be stopped and smooth water.Tried one out ,thought for the price cant go wrong.might be ok in a kayak.

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When I  was looking for boat I had my eye on a few in Oz ,  all quick T yachts .   Two of them had fishfinder/chartplotters for plotting and GPS speed .

Way cheaper than a yachting specific plotter and they readily fit onto a swivelling arm bracket .

Our backup GPS for Cat3 is a Bad-elf pro but we leave it on full time and Bluetooth our phones to it . Makes plotting apps work faster (Cmaps and Navionics) especially in weak cell areas .

you are right about unnecessary costs and rubbish you end up with a boat full of plastic crap that mostly gets left at home for club racing . 

you will quickly find out your new boat is not phone friendly ! 

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