Round Australia Event Cancelled. Round Britain Starts.


There are hundreds of good ideas in sailing. Perhaps a few too many. While many great potential events can be concieved, making them work requires some risk taking in a finite addressable market for competitors, partners and investors.

Despite generating a large level of enthusiasm and regsitrations from 97 boats, organisers of the Round Australia Rally and Race have cited a lack of logistical and sponsorship support for its cancellation.

Sailing around Australia is not a small undertaking. The country has about 25,000 kilometres of coastline which requires a very fast boat or a lot of time on your hands to complete. The concept has a lot of merit and unsurprisingly there has been expressions of interest and enthusiasm from potential event hosts, councils, ports and yacht clubs.

Organisers say:

Despite exhaustive efforts and the depth of enthusiasm for the inaugural Rally event, it is with deep regret that Ocean Events advises the 165 Rally competitors, their crew and associated supporters who have registered to participate that we have run out of time to secure the logistical and sponsorship support necessary to stage the Rally event in 2011. Whilst there is more time available for the inaugural race preparations there is a need for a similar level of logistical and sponsorship support. We cannot guarantee our 97 Race competitors who have registered to participate that the support will be secured in time to stage the inaugural Race in 2011.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race 2010 started on Sunday, which took us a little by surprise. This is not the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race which starts in August, but another round Britain race for tw0-handed crews. The race has a fairly sizable fleet, let out of Plymouth yesterday by Alex Bennett from Devon and Malcolm Dickinson on the Class40 – Fujifilm.

Unfortunately we can’t tell you much more than that because the website has been unavailable for most of the morning. Luckily, some of the competitors are more media savvy with several Twitter hashtags providing some insight.

If you can load it, the website provides a stark example of how far some parts of the sport need to move to become relevant to a modern audience.