RYA launches support framework after change to Offshore Special Regulations

The RYA has launched a new framework of support for yacht racers and owners following a change in World Sailing’s Offshore Special Regulations.

As of January 1, 2022, yachts competing in OSR category 0 to 3 races must have been inspected by a qualified person within 24 months of the start of the race or after a grounding, whichever is later.

Following numerous enquiries from members and clubs about how best to comply with the new rules, the RYA has launched a dedicated page on its website to allow owners to demonstrate to organising authorities that they are compliant in a manner which is simple and cost effective to owners, and which can be readily understood by organising authorities.

Although the term ‘qualified person’ has not been defined within the OSR, the RYA has worked with coding surveyors to provide access to a professional network who can conduct the inspections to a scope set by the RYA, based on the OSR requirements, at a reasonable cost to owners.

The new requirements have been brought into place in order to draw owners’ attention to the critical safety aspects of keels following a number of high-profile incidents. Keels have been breaking off yachts for many years, with sometime catastrophic consequences.

The yacht types losing keels and rudders range from cruising to high performance racing yachts and from newly built to old.

This regulation is designed to require a visual inspection every two years. It is designed to capture visual signs (cracks, movement, corrosion, loose keel bolts, loose or irregular rudder bearings) that may indicate a potentially serious problem. It is expected that once noted, the owner would undertake a more detailed investigation or get it repaired.

Subject to satisfactory inspection, the RYA will produce a simple ‘Statement of Compliance’ which can be used by owners to demonstrate to organising authorities that they have complied with the new OSR requirements.

For more information or to find our approved inspectors see https://www.rya.org.uk/racing/technical/osr-inspections or contact technical@rya.org.uk.

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