The idea of a controlled event is to allow the organisers of an event to relax one or more aspects of the regulations provided adequate compensating safety arrangements have been made.

The Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations of 2007 defines a controlled event (see regulation 2) as follows:

"Controlled event" means a competition, event or regatta organised by a governing body or authorised agency, or a club or an organisation affiliated with a governing body, and includes:
arrow activities to prepare for the event that take place at the venue for the event and during the times specified by the organiser of the event; and
arrow practice for the event under the supervision of a coach or an official approved by a governing body or authorised agency, or a club or organisation affiliated with a governing body.

Regulation 33 goes on to define the authorised agencies powers and responsibilities opposite controlled events:

Exemption in respect of controlled events
arrow Subject to sub regulation (2), the owner and skipper of a vessel that participates in an approved controlled event in the Republic or in the territorial waters of the Republic are, in respect of such vessel and for the duration of the event, exempt from these regulations.
arrow Application for the approval of a controlled event must be lodged with the Authority or the relevant authorised agency not later than 10 days before the intended date of the event, unless waived by the Authority or authorised agent and must be accompanied by full details of the event and of the rules and manner of supervision, including safety measures, to be applied and by the other particulars that the Authority may require.
arrow The Authority or authorised agency may extend a standing approval under sub regulation (2) for any controlled event subject to such conditions as are considered appropriate by the Authority or authorised agency and may at any time on reasonable grounds revoke such approval.


The application must be in writing on the prescribed form and must include the following:
arrow The names, locations and dates of the controlled events for which approval is requested.
arrow The regulatory requirements that are being relaxed if any.
arrow The compensating controls and safety procedures being implemented.

The application should be sent for approval to the regional executive committee - or the regional controlled events committee if such a committee has been appointed.

arrow Download the controlled events application form
arrow Download the full controlled events procedure