The Little Britain Challenge Cup (LBCC) is the premier event for the construction and property industry. Based at Cowes, with racing on the Solent, it regularly attracts several hundred competitors to the race circuit. If you are thinking of entering this year, perhaps for the first time, consider these Top 10 Tips to ensure you have a successful regatta!
1. Set your objectives. What is your priority – winning or having fun and team building? Your answer will affect how you shape your programme. E.g. changing crew during the regatta means more people get to take part, but a more consistent crew tends to get better results! And if you want a podium finish, a training day will definitely boost your chances! Also - consider which class you want to race in.
2. Invite your Crew early. LBCC is 6-9th September 2012 - Get the date in the diary now so your crew have time to plan their calendar around it. Mary Scott-Jackson on the Little Britain organising committee comments “We appreciate there will always be last minute changes, so you can amend your crew list right up until just 2hrs before the first race!” But advance planning helps reduce last minute disappointments.
3. Plan your budget. There are so many elements to the event that it is easy to let your budget spiral out of control. You’ll need to factor in entry costs, yacht and crew charter fees, yacht branding, crew clothing as well as accommodation and subsistence too!
4. Charter a good yacht. If you don’t have your own yacht you’ll need to charter. Make sure the yacht will come race prepared (hull-scrubbed) is MCA coded for commercial charter and has good quality racing sails. Also check if waterproofs are provided. Sailing Logic provide fully race-prepared racing yachts, with an experienced skipper and can help with all of the shore side logistics too. Island Charters provide the widest range of bareboat solutions.
5. Learn from a top skipper. Unless you are an experienced race crew, it’s generally best to opt for a skippered charter and minimise risk of damage or injury. A good racing skipper will add a lot of fun, increase your competitiveness as well as coach your crew to improve your skills - they won't take over your day, they'll add to it.
6. Consider Logistics – there’s a lot to plan! Travel, lunches, evening entertainment, branding, accommodation. You can do all this yourself, your yacht charter agency may help or consider a logistics agency such as NCC Consulting.The only thing you really have to do yourself is to enter the event!!
7. Book accommodation early. Not only do you get a better night’s sleep, you have somewhere to leave your spare kit whilst racing! Crew houses are usually the best option, sleeping between 2-10 and most are within a minute or two walking distance from the marina. Accommodation is at a premium during the LBCC – so do book early. Cowes based agencies like Regatta Lets will help you find the perfect property.
8. Look the Part. Make sure your company name and logo stand out! In addition to having your logo applied to the hull of your yacht, crew clothing is a must – your crew will feel like a team and look the part ashore. Printing Crazy can print or embroider your logo onto nearly any garment! To really stand out – consider investing in a branded spinnaker, go for bright colours as this attracts the photographers!
9. If you’re on a tight budget: Do still get the yacht branded, but opt for branded polo-shirts instead of technical sailing clothing. Book a smaller crew house if a couple of crew are prepared to sleep onboard each night. Host a drinks reception at your own crew house instead of the bar. Or even opt for a social entry only.
10. Enjoy! (And don’t forget entries open end of April!)