Adventure sailing under threat


Chilean rescue authorities on the campaign trail to severely limit 'adventure sailing'.
A proposal to the International Maritime Organisation by Chile's rescue authorities over the problems caused by 'adventure craft', has caused a wave of angst to be sent through various sailing bodies around the world. At present the proposal leaves the term 'adventure craft' undefined and so could conceivably include yachts. As Chairman of the ISAF International Regulations Commission, Mike Devonshire plays a key role in this. He leads the ISAF delegation to IMO, where ISAF have 'organisational non-government status'. Remarkably, ISAF is the only small boat organisation to be represented on the all-important IMO. Devonshire says that although 'adventure craft' wasn't defined "an earlier paper two years ago had jumped up and down about a Frenchman who had tried to canoe around Cape Horn in the middle of winter." This had cost the Chilean search and rescue (SAR) authorities a great deal of money as the Chilean navy had to go and rescue them. Ironically France have some of the world's most stringent regulations governing what can and can't be done at sea and yet distinctly at odds with this is that per capita they have the most madcap individuals wanting to row or swim across oceans, not to mention sail singlehanded around the world or race 21ft skiffs across the Atlantic. At present legally you can paddle a canoe from England to France but not from France to England for example. Similarly the Mini Transat must get a special dispensation from the Affaires Maritimes and a government minister before it can be held, which would not be the case if it were to start in the UK. Alongside Australia and New Zealand, Chile is in the unfortunate position of being responsible for one of the largest search and rescue areas. Their patch covers almost a quarter of the Pacific

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