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March 9-10, 2019

University of Massachusetts, Boston Campus

University Hall - 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston MA 02125

saslogoThe Marion-Bermuda Race in association with the Marblehead-Halifax Ocean Race biennially offers a Safety at Sea Program that helps to prepare skippers and crew for the race.  As always, the public is welcome to attend. The innovative two-day program being offered March 9-10, 2019 at University of Massachusetts Boston includes a one-day classroom program and a full- day hands on session. Both programs, taken together qualify for the  World Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Training Certificate.  The SAS Symposium fulfills the requirement for the US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea Certificate.

Courses and Certificate Qualification Outcomes

CourseCourseQualifies ForValidity **
2015 or 2017 In-person SAS Symposium 2015 or 2017 SAS Practical Add-ons (Medical/Weather/Pool) * US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea Certificate * 2020 or 2022
2019 In-person SAS Symposium     US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea Certificate 5 Years
2019 In-person SAS Symposium 2019 Practical Courses (Pool/Fire) World Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Training Certificate Thru 2025 Marion Bermuda Race
US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea Online Course 2019 Practical Courses (Pool/Fire) (365 Day Limit on Online Course) World Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Training Certificate Thru 2025 Marion Bermuda Race
US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea Online Course Not connected to any practical course offering   Not valid for 2019 MBR
                                   Note * The practical courses offered in 2015 and 2017 did not meet the new World Sailing requirements.
                                   Note ** This table refers to courses offered by the Marion Bermuda Race in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Courses taken elsewhere will have their own validity dates.

2019 Safety at Sea Symposium and Practical Training Sessions

 On-Site Registration - University HallSaturday March 9, 20197:00AM - 8:30AM 
 On-Site Registration - University HallSunday March 10, 20197:00AM - 8:30AM 
SAS1Safety at Sea Symposium
Seminar / Break-out Sessions
Includes continental breakfast and lunch
University Hall
Saturday March 9, 20198:30AM - 5:30PM $ 150.00
SAS2Practical Training Courses
Clark Athletic Center
Saturday March 9, 20198:30AM - 5:30PM $ 250.00
 Repeat of Saturday Sessions/Courses
SAS3Safety at Sea Symposium
Seminar / Break-out Sessions
Includes continental breakfast and lunch
University Hall
Sunday March 10, 20198:30AM - 5:30PM $ 150.00
SAS4Practical Training Courses
Clark Athletic Center
Sunday March 10, 20198:30AM - 5:30PM $ 250.00
 Combined Sessions
SAS1 +
See SAS1 + SAS4 $ 350.00
SAS2 +
See SAS2 + SAS3 $ 350.00
Note that for additional crew for the combined sessions for the third and more crew there is a $50.00 discount on those registrations.

Marion Bermuda Race Safety Requirements - Skills

4.3.1 Safety at Sea Training: At least 30% but not fewer than two members of the crew, including the Person-In-Charge and Navigator or a Watch Captain shall have attended a one-day or two-day US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea Seminar. At least two members of the crew must hold a World Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Course Certificate. Any certificate obtained more than five (5) years prior to the start of the race or as a result of exclusively internet-based training will not be acceptable for the purposes of this paragraph. For Double Handed yachts, both members shall hold a World Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Course Certificate.

Note from Race Administration: We also recommend that the majority of your return crew, especially those who have never sailed offshore, attend. It is not required (currently) that return crew attend, but we strongly recommend it. Safety is just as important cruising home from Bermuda as it is racing to Bermuda.

For other Symposiums scheduled see http://www.ussailing.org/education/safety-at-sea/.

This symposium features a very experienced group of speakers to address a series of topics which are of vital interest to all serious sailors. In addition to the safety topics there will be breakout sessions for the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race and the Marion Bermuda Race

Overview of One-Day Classroom Curriculum (SAS1 and SAS3)

Details of the course offering are being finalized but courses will comply with US Sailing and World Sailing certification requirements.

Overview of One-Day Hands-On Curriculum (SAS2 and SAS4)

Module C - Pool: Safety and Survival in the Water. Personal safety gear, preparing to abandon ship, in water life raft experience.

Module D - Fire: Fires, Signals and Disaster Management. Understanding fires and extinguishers, flares and emergency signaling devices, hands-on experience with real fires and incendiary devices.

Safety at Sea Symposium Presenters and Bios for 2019

The Speakers presenting the Symposium and Hands-on Curriculum will be available shortly.

Bill Biewenga - Moderator

Bill BiewengaBill Biewenga is an offshore sailor who has accumulated over 400,000 sea miles in virtually every ocean of the world. His experience includes 41 transatlantic crossings, several TransPacs, numerous record attempts, deliveries and races, as well as participation in four round the world races and multiple listings in the Guinness Book of Records. He has experience as skipper, navigator, weather analyst/router, watch captain, helmsman, deck hand, and project manager. He uses his extensive marine background as a photojournalist and weather routing consultant while continuing his participation aboard a variety of vessels in the world’s major offshore events, delivering vessels throughout the world and mentoring individuals and crews. Bill also has offered educational weather seminars in cooperation with North U., and has presented a series of online seminars through his website at http://www.weather4sailors.com and provides other learning tools through his site at http://www.WxAdvantage.com. Email:

Edward J. Stott

Ed StottEd has logged over 60,000 ocean miles via numerous Caribbean deliveries on private yachts as well as his own Swan 44, cruising in the Caribbean and South Pacific, and racing offshore to Bermuda and Transatlantic. He has served in leadership positions as Skipper, Watch Captain and Navigator. Ed is knowledgeable in passage-making, preparation for an offshore voyage, mechanical repairs at sea as well as meteorology. He has authored articles about sailing preparation, safety and boat maintenance which have appeared in Cruising World and Blue Water Sailing magazines.

Ed is a member of the Blue Water Sailing Club, one of the sponsoring clubs to the Marion Bermuda Race, where he has served on the Board of Governors as the Offshore Chair and a member-at-large. Since 2010, Ed has served on the Safety at Sea committee and Marketing committee for the Marion Bermuda Race.

He has spent his career in sales and marketing within the Insurance, Software Technology and Marine industries. Ed is currently the owner of Stott Marketing, a business to business marketing strategy and consulting company. Ed is also an accredited business counselor for SCORE.

Betsy Allison, Adult Director US Sailing

Betsy AllisonCurrently responsible for all Adult programs at US Sailing including: Safety At Sea; Keelboat Programs; US Powerboating; Adaptive Sailing; Adult Championships; and First Sail.




Dan O'Connor- Speaker & In-Water Training

Dan OConnorDan O’Connor - In Water Training - Saturday March 9, 2019 and repeated Sunday March 10, 2019 Clark Athletic Center - has been involved with US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Seminars since 2002 due to his expertise in marine safety equipment. Since that time Dan has been a key person in the development of the “hands on training” component for the Safety at Sea Seminars and provided the first ISAF personal survival course in the US. In the intervening period Dan has crammed over 1000 sailors into life rafts during the hands on portions of the Safety at Sea Seminars.

In addition to providing practical training for offshore sailors, Dan has developed and taught other marine safety training programs for a wide variety of mariners. As a USCG approved marine safety instructor Dan has worked to develop national standards for commercial fishing vessel safety training, and has also designed and delivered other training programs for a wide variety of mariners.

Dan has been a board member of the United States Marine Safety Association since 2006 and a director since 2011. He also serves as an advisor to US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Committee. Dan lives in Little Compton RI with his wife, and two boys. He was very excited to sell off his boat last year, and swears that he will never get another one, but is known to continually be looking at used boat listings.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Emergency responses and seven steps to survival
  • Survival Kit necessities
  • Immediate and delayed onset emergencies
  • Cold water survival skills
  • PFD care and usage
  • Boarding a life raft
  • Abandon ship preparation
  • Proper release, righting, and boarding survival craft
  • Improving life raft stability
Pool attendees should come prepared with a towel, change of clothes, and drinking water. In addition they should be prepared to enter the pool with their full foul weather gear including their boots, as well as their life jacket and tether. For those who cannot bring their life jacket a few will be available to borrow. Trash bags will be provided to stow wet gear in after the conclusion of the pool work. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Dan O’Connor, email: .