What is the Engineering Challenge Cup
Across Europe there are many large organisations that encourage their staff to participate in the sailing of large yachts. As a reader of this article you may have experienced the term “team building”. The term has been used, negatively, as a way to extract from an organization’s staff ideas to promote efficiency by corralling them in a room and giving them tasks to accomplish, as a group, but with a specific goal of gleaning from them ideas which can be put into practice when delivering major projects. I believe that a more positive method to develop the leaderships skills, that are required when under pressure, is to encourage staff to put themselves out of their comfort zone and observe how they react. The zone they are encouraged to enter, in this case, is into a yacht when racing under international racing rules.
The Engineering Challenge Cup (ECC) originated with a small group of sailors who where employed in European engineering organisations. Those people initiated an event that takes place every year in the Mediterranean Sea. Currently, approximately 56 yachts are entered into the competition with the aim of racing each other, over the course of a week , in individual daily races. The overall winning crew take the honour and responsibility to stage the following year’s event. Needless to state the social events that take place after each days racing are very well attended.
Can individuals find a place as a crew member on board.
In the first instance, the ECC organisation invites the skippers (Captains) who are registered with the ECC committee to apply to enter the following years event. Each skipper will have to nominate his supporting crew members for the event. The crew is generally in the order of 8 in number including the skipper. However, as the closing date for crew nomination approaches, it often happens that a skipper has not achieved a full crew compliment. In that case, the skipper will show a crew requirement on the website of the ECC. Clearly, the skipper would prefer a very experienced racing crew member, however, if the crew compliment is not reached the individual costs, on each nominated crew member, will escalate.
Where when and how much does the event cost per crew member
The weeks racing takes place, based from a designated port within the Mediterranean Sea, at the end of April or first weeks in May. The organisational cycle for the following years commences in July. The lead time to organise the charter of the circa 56 boats determines when individual payments need to be with the organising commodore. All committed crew payments need to be with the commodore at the start of the last quarter of the year.
The designated port is set very early by the organising team. Factors affecting the choice of port is the availability of charter companies and support companies, security and boat availability.
Individual costs vary slightly in accordance to the port location. The key costs are personal crew registration, cost for charter, pre flight hotel, flights (Easy Jet), travel insurance, victualling cost, socialising costs. The total cost is in the order of £1000 per crew member.
For ECC 2017 information
For information on the ECC 2017 event go to domain under ecc-sailing.com
Previous Event TV interviews
AND A VIDEO MADE IN THE 2013 EVENT ( ignore reference to Alemania)