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Long distance racing in Oz

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Just curious, if one was to plan a long distance event for off the beach craft in Australia...... What would be the necessary regulations and requirements that would need to me met.

How far can you sail both length and distance from shore before the event is classified as an offshore event.

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I think anything more than 2 kilometres offshore you are required to carry an EPIRB, V Sheet, Lifejackets with light, whistle luminescent strips and other bits & pieces.

For the monohull offshore racing fraternity its an extensive list with a minimum of 27mhz,HF/VHF radios, 12 up to date red,orange and parachute flares, medical kit,waterproof torch, spare batteries & bulb for,lifebuoys with working light & marker, man overboard dan buoy marker, life raft, navigation lights, radar reflector,anchors and chain,ropes, sea anchor & lines, GPS or navigation charts, and what are termed as adequate food,fuel and water.

This list is the minimum for the Darwin to Ambon race:


Catsailors in the Worrell 1000 used to spend heaps on their personal safety/survival gear

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ISAF Off Shore Special Regulations

2.01.5 Category 4 - .pdf"]http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/OSR2008_Mu4_181207-[4351].pdf

Short races, close to shore in relatively warm or protected waters

normally held in daylight.

2.01.4 Category 3 - .pdf"]http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/OSR2008_Mu3_181207-[4348].pdf

Races across open water, most of which is relatively protected or close

to shorelines.

Where do you draw the line for small, off the beach craft and how much if any of the special regs apply to OTB craft. It all seams very geared towards vessels with berths and the necessary equiptment needed is far too much for an OTB craft.

Consider this event to be

- raced in day light only

- Race lenght between 80 and 150kms

- 1 or 2 day event.

- Following the coast / land.

What safety equiptment would be required or recommended for an organised event in OTB craft.

- Mobile telephone in a waterproof container, that is switched on and working.

- Two litres of drinking water per crew member

- Approved PFD type 1 or 2 buoyancy vests

- A land based support person who is able to be mobile in case of an emergency.

- Tow line no less than 10 meters in length

- Knife

- Wire cutters

- Shackle Key

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From the Southport to Manly (The Great Race) NOR

The 4th Southport to Manly 70km (37nm) Endurance Race for Off The Beach Dinghy and


3. Safety:

3.1 All classes will be governed by the AYF Special Regulations Part 2 – Off the beach boats (page 259)

3.2 All Entered vessels must carry the following list of Special Requirements

• Mobile telephone in a waterproof container, that is switched on and working.

• a tow line no less than 1.5 times the length of your vessel (unless class rules conflict)

• two (2) Litres of drinking water per crew member

• approved PFD type 1 or 2 buoyancy vests

3.3 All entrants must have a land based support person who is able to be mobile in case of an emergency.

This person must be nominated with contact details on the Official Entry Form before close of entries.

Any changes to a support person after close of entries must notify the Organising committee in writing no

later than 08:00hrs on Wednesday the 7th February 2008.

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At the other end of the distance event scale- Round the world solo sailor Jesse Martin, his brother and father sailed a 14 cat from Cairns to either Weipa or Thursday Island before he went on his solo circumnavigation. From memory they were 35 k's offshore and had a shark longer than the cat rubbing itself along the keels..

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I looked into doing this in 2003 - We were going to race from Townsville to Port Douglas over 4 days - The event was going to be limited to F18 and I had individual Jet ski escort and planes from the local aero club to help with safety. We had interest from all over the world - by limniting to F18 we would have a better chance of getting manufacturers support and sponsorship

We were going to have

Day one - 87nm - Townsville to Hitchingbrook (Cardwell) Is via channel (that would cause a few brain explosions - has a tide of about 8 knts)

Day 2 - 24 Nm - Cardwell to Dunk Island - stay overnight on Dunk - PM round the bouys at Dunk

Day 3 - 82nm- Dunk Island to Green Is via inside of Fitsroy island

Day 4 - 55Nm - Green to Port Douglas rounding Low Is and inside Double Is off Clifton Beach


The water is warm and generally protected - by using the many islands close to the coast we could have ensured that we never went motre than 5 nm off the coast.

I still want to do it - maybe next year

[This message has been edited by catsailor.net (edited 09 June 2008).]

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I like the sound of this. Don't tell my wife.

Just out of interest, Sandy Pt (Palm Bch) to Manly (Syd Hbr) is about 26 miles. Kurnell is a further 17m.

Heading north, Sandy Pt to The Entrance is about 22m, and to Swansea is about 48m.

I did the Pittwater-Terrigal race the day 150,000 average Joes and Sheilas marched in protest against John Howard sending us to war in Iraq (relevance to this thread - nil; but an interesting point in history), in Deguello (Crowther 48, now in Tas). It was a very light and it took till nearly dark from a 10am start.

I went to the East Coast Piers Race at Blackwater in UK a couple of years ago. The course is from the Marconi Sailing Club in Blackwater, out the estuary and north up the east coast to one of two piers and return (still can't figure out the race name): 50nm for boats of 18' plus, 26nm for boats less than 18'. They generally make it in under 4 hrs. Goes off without a hitch every year. If they can do it....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was looking into this same time last year and had 5 boats up for a Sydney to Pittwater or Sydney to Botany.

Would be great to get a series together of around 30mile races.

Happy to get involved when our boat is back from the Worlds.


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OK, just to let everybody know a bit more about what I am looking into.......

I am relocating down to Melbourne at the end of the year. I have been thinking pretty seriously about organising a run from McCrae to Port Melbourne (about 80km), with possibly a second day leg from Port Melb to Geelong (About additional 70km).

Don't want to race too far in one day as I would been keen to keep it a fairly social event withing the abilities of most average sailors. Would look at seeking sponsorship, offer prizes, catering and entertainment of some sort. Likely around Jan / Feb 2010. This will give me a chance to get down there, sus out the scene, do atleast 1 run myself and plan the event if it looks viable.


It looks like I may have just sold my Capricorn, so will have to find another ride for it.

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  • 7 months later...

Are any of these distance races progressing? We have a couple of cats that would love to compete. Is there any more news on requirements? Our club is trying to set itself up as the off the beach distance club in SA but have only done 20-30km so far, next year I'm trying to organise 50km from Robe to Kingston SE but a Northern rounding mark down the Coorong can easily take the distance to 80km or 300km. Does anybody do it in conjunction with trailer sailors? I was wondering about inviting them and using them as a type of rescue boat as they would be spread through the course if we made it a stern chaser.

regards Jeff

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We where looking at this last year with Macca, three of us are doing the Marathon at Speers Point this weekend then up to Brisbane for the Great race but these are all inshore so safety requirements are different.

Give me a call as we have 5 F18's who will be part of any long races.


0400 701 878


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How long does a race have to be to be worth while for you guys to travel? We had an Infusion, Foiling Moth and nearly new 5.8 from Adelaide for a 20km race in January and about 4 are coming for our 20-30km buoy race at Easter. These are finished by everyone within 2 hours normally. The Easter race is listed on the forum as "Lacepede bay 20 km 1 lap bouy race"

regards Jeff

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I'm still keen, but work will stop me going beyond NSW (pathetic I know, and the Great Race sounds - great!). Palm Bch to Kurnell or Syd Harbour or similar would be fun.

What about VHF handheld instead of phone? Is there a risk we will get into a grey zone between base stations?

After our discussion on man overboard last year I bought an Icom IC-M33 with 99 channels, Ch 16 is default, fully waterproof and floating (although black is a dumb colour). I have used it once to check on a thunderstorm at Pt Stephens - hardly life threatening but handy. It works fantastically well - better than some big ones fitted to larger boats.

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