2015 ORCV Melbourne to Geelong Race, sign on gremlins

It was the famous Scottish poet Bobbies Burns who said “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray”!

So it was to be for the sign-on for the 2015 ORCV race to Geelong. Originally the sign-on was to be by SMS through the TopYacht system which has served us very well in the past for large fleets. We only found out on Friday morning that after the recent migration of TopYacht to a new server, that feature was not yet available! Not to be deterred, a change to the Sailing Instructions was posted and race management arranged for a Brighton shore-based mobile VHF radio to complete the sign-on. A check just before the sign-on with one of the boats in fleet seemed all in order but once into the actual sched, it soon became clear that the calls from most boats in the fleet were often not being received.  It turned out that the receiver in that radio had failed and was only receiving very strong signals. The start boat had its hands full at the time; short-handed to begin with, one crew man sick and the other who’s car would not start.

So that other famous adage came to the fore; “necessity is the mother of invention”! XLR8 stepped up and was able to complete the sched as planned ( calling boats as planned, photographing the sign-on sheet which was sent by SMS to the start boat!) and the race soon was under way after a short delay due to incoming shipping. Despite best efforts, these sorts of failures can happen and fortunately for us, we usually have a number of options available so as to be able to cope with most unexpected situations.

So thank you for your patience and I hope to see as many of you as possible in Stanley or Geelong next year

Simon Dryden

Race Director