As our season moves on, the Big Bay Challenge (BBC) event approaches, February 17, 2018.
The Sailing Committee has spent significant time discussing this specific event. I would like to share with you some of our thoughts and plans.
The BBC was introduced by RMYS many years ago as a 20 hour sailing event. Its purpose was to provide an on the bay race that gave, RO’s, skippers and crew the opportunity to experience long haul racing overnight. For me and many others this was the crucible in which we learned the challenges of crew living, crew watches, night sailing, 4 hourly reports to race control, and route navigation, (done in the early days on charts and with GPS that gave lat/long only – no on screen charts!).
But time has moved on – after some years of significant fleets competing the numbers dropped off, until last year we had 5 entrants. Also it became more difficult to gather volunteers to man “Race Control base radio” during the long hours. This was a signal to revisit and revitalize the concept of our BBC. Talking with other clubs it became clear RMYS was not alone with the issue of falling participants in overnight races.
So, for this year RMYS will join with HBYC to hold the Port Phillip Sea Pilots race and the Big Bay Challenge concurrently. The time frame for the race 10am – estimated finish 10pm will include some night sailing, race control reporting while also providing a long race where crew can experience on the water living for an extended time.
I encourage skippers to gather a crew and join the BBC so all can experience long haul racing. This type of race has often proved to be the first step toward joining Tassie ocean races. It is an unforgettable e experience to sail under the night sky while in Bass Strait or on the west coast of Tassie.
Take the first step, join the BBC to get firsthand experience of extended sailing. If we are able to build numbers, the SC will seek to collaborate further with ORCV and other clubs to build a more demanding event in the future.
NOR, SIs and entry coming soon.