Ocean Signal Supplies ‘Simply Fun’ Crew with Safety Devices For Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Communication and safety at sea specialist sponsors race team with rescueME MOB1s, rescueME PLB1s and rescueME EPIRB1 for famous Boxing Day event

Ocean Signal has supplied the crew of ‘Simply Fun’ with its rescueME MOB1s and rescueME PLB1s for this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Everyone on board the HH42 racing yacht will be equipped with a man overboard locating unit and a personal locator beacon provided by Australian distributor All Sat Communications when the fleet lines up for the 1pm start of the 72nd edition of the famous Boxing Day race. There will also be an Ocean Signal rescueME EPIRB1 on board.

By carrying both of the compact personal safety devices on their life jackets, the elite sailors will have the best chance of rescue in the event of a crew member falling overboard by ensuring they can send an alert both back to the boat and the rescue authorities.

Simply Fun owner Phil Coombs said: “All crew are mandated by the race organisers to have one PLB each, typically in the pocket of wet weather gear. However, we have elected to go beyond the mandated requirements and also have one MOB1 per crew member installed in their Spinlock Deckvest.

“We believe that the MOB1 makes an enormous difference to how quickly and effectively we could navigate our boat back to a MOB, particularly at night, in larger sea states, or if a MOB occurs when travelling downwind and high speeds, hence increasing the distance between the boat and the MOB rapidly.

“We chose Ocean Signal products as they are the market leader for size and weight with no reduction in functionality.”

The award-winning Ocean Signal rescueME MOB1 incorporates both AIS and DSC technologies to provide two methods of communicating back to the vessel, plus visual indication with the integrated strobe light. It is automatically triggered in the event of a man overboard situation, sending the first alert within 15 seconds. Once the MOB1 is activated, it transmits an alert to all AIS receivers and AIS-enabled plotters in the vicinity as well as activating the DSC alarm on the vessel’s VHF radio to alert fellow crew members.

The smallest PLB on the market, the rescueME PLB1 weighs just 116g (4.1oz). It will provide the location of a survivor to search and rescue services through the designated 406MHz Cospas-Sarsat satellite system with position provided by a 66 channel GPS, a 121.5MHz homing beacon, plus high intensity (1 candela) strobe light.

“We are very pleased to be providing the devices for Simply Fun,” commented All Sat Communications manager Ian Veitch. “Several crew members on other boats competing in the race have also chosen to use the rescueME PLBs and MOBs, so it is great to be contributing towards the safety of the competitors.”

Built in China and launched in late 2013, Simply Fun is a carbon fibre, 42 foot, bare bones racer. The design is a joint venture between Hakes and Hudson marine, hence the ‘HH’ name. She completed her first Hobart in 2014 placing 6th in Division 2 (IRC/ORC) and 2016 will be her second trip south. This year she has had a new bulb installed trading righting moment for a reduction in weight and drag.

She took line honours and 1st on IRC in the 2014 Melbourne-Launceston and Apollo Bay races (5 minutes short of race record to Apollo Bay) and multiple wins during Sandringham YC club series. Simply Fun has also been campaigned in South Australia at the famous ‘Lincoln Week’ and will be attending again in 2017.

Over half of the crew from 2014 are sailing south again this year. As usual the crew has deep Sydney to Hobart experience with a total of 62 Sydney to Hobart races between them, as follows: P Coombs (7), C Coombs (1), Averay (7), Schafer (5), Lawrence (6), Smith (8), Bannister (3), Bilham (5), Hore (6), McKenzie (11), Ajanko (3).

Organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia with the co-operation of Royal Yacht club of Tasmania, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has led the way in race communications and sea safety, maintaining the highest standards of yacht construction, rigging and stability for ocean racing yachts.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht race covers 628nm and first started in 1945. It has become an icon of Australia’s summer sport, attracting huge media coverage. For more information, visit www.rolexsydneyhobart.com, or go to https://www.facebook.com/simplyfun42/.

For more information on Ocean Signal’s range of products, visit the website at www.oceansignal.com or www.allsat.com.au.