Andy Mclean
Sail Captain's News - The Planning Continues

We have been busy considering options, planning and adjusting so we can get back to sailing. We will take advantage of the scheduled race dates to whatever events are permitted by Government restrictions in two-handed, "autohelm plus 4" or fully crewed formats and with alternative course options where appropriate. Some of these are discussed below.

Deferred the September Coastal Sprint and launching the Go Coastal fleet development program which includes theoretical and practical training focused on entry and exit through "the Rip" will be run when possible.

Entry into Tasmania is unlikely for the traditional Melbourne Cup weekend race to Stanley and we will now run a "Councillor Islands Race". A round trip to Councillor Island (halfway up King Island on the eastern side) is 194 NM, we will be able to start in daylight and still be back in time for the Melbourne Cup. The NOR is now being prepared.

The scheduled Coastal Sprint on 21 November will hopefully be possible and then we have the Christmas Races.

New Format Christmas Races

If we are able to race and enter Tasmania, we will be offering a revised Melbourne to Hobart as well as Melbourne - Devonport. The race to Hobart will allow skippers to select an eastern course sailing north of Flinders Island and down the East Coast or down the West Coast leaving Black Pyramid Rock to Port. The cutoff date for course selection will allow skippers to review the weather before choosing the course which best suits their boat and crew. The Heemskerk Trophy will still be awarded to the fastest Westcoast boat on Handicap but all other awards will be independent of the course sailed. The difference in course length (east or west) is approximately 10 nm and should not be the deciding factor.

If we are not able to enter Tasmania this Christmas, we have an alternative "circumnavigation of King Island" planned. This course is just under 250 nm (which may offer some benefit in terms of insurance) but will also allow boats to return in good time for New Year's Eve celebrations.

Other Sailing News

There is some good news on crew qualification requirements. Although we have had to cancel the September Safety and Sea Survival (SSS) course, we remain hopeful the 14 & 15 November session will proceed and, if all else fails, we now have a dispensation from Australian Sailing which will allow the ORCV to relax SSS requirements where course cancellation prevents crews completing their SSS renewals.

Finally, a number of changes to the Australian Sailing Special Regulations are in their final approval stage, including a group of changes relating to electronic equipment. These will be fully covered in a separate newsletter when the decisions are final approval. The new requirements will not come into place before 1 July 2021 but it is worth mentioning at this stage that new regulations relating to Sat Phones are rather more stringent than those currently applied by ORCV. If you are buying new equipment it may be appropriate to contact the Club for further information.