1. Q. What is the Pocket Yacht GeoChallenge?
A. The Geochallenge is an on water, on land small boat sailing, paddling, rowing, pedaling, solar powered, you name it experience based on fun on the water with a GPS on board. It is part strategy, tactics, stealth, treasure hunt and time on the water with friends in small boats.
Q. What do I need to bring?
A. Your favorite boat, a GPS, a chart of the area and safety gear. Registration reply will include a waiver and safety gear list.
Q. How does the Geochallenge work?
A. Here it is in a nutshell. Trailer, sail, paddle, row or drag the small boat of your choice (events are open to all boats regardless of size or type but small may be smart (hint) to the event start line venue and join the skippers meeting. This means open sailing boats, pocket yachts, trailer sailors, beach cruisers, kayaks, canoes, trimarans, cartoppers, pedal boats, solar powered rides, beat up aluminum rowboats, you name it…………………..but each has to meet safety requirements based on integrity and safety gear. Safety requirements to be published here).
After the skippers meeting and safety inspection boats will be lined up on shore and at the gun a set of between 5 and 10 GPS waypoints or GeoMarks will be displayed. Each sailor and crew if you have one will then determine the best route and strategy for reaching all the GeoMarks in the most efficient manner possible. There will be a daily completion time posted.
Q. Setting a strategy. How does that work?
A. Great question. At the start the GeoMark way points will be posted. Each boat crew will write them down and quickly develop a strategy based on wind direction, current, tides, distance, type of boat (draft, size etc) and then off you go. Another strategy is to set off immediately and develop your best course for the run as you move. Strategy is all important as GeoMarks may be up creeks, on the shoreline, in the woods (near shore), in deep approaches and in shallows. They will be located up wind, down wind, all around the compass rose.
Q. What is a GeoMark?
A. A GeoMark is a GPS waypoint and will mark a small container holding GeoMarkers, one for each boat participating. Once located the sailor or team will take one GeoMarker and set off for the next GeoMark until all have been located. Once all GeoMarks are located and GeoMarkers collected its off to the finish line.
Q. Is this another rigorous blood and guts on the water competitive event like some of the small boat races or a low key no schedule event where sailors stand around looking at each others boats and talking?
A. Hopefully this completely new type of event will fill a spot for many small boat enthusiasts who are put off by too much or too little. It can be as competitive or as lazy as you want it to be. The aim of the Pocket Yacht GeoChallenege is fun and an event that moves at your pace. It is not meant to be a flat out race or a collect mileage, sunburn, blisters death defying, life changing event. Instead GeoChallenges will be held in near shore waters and on each of the two days all GeoMarks can be reached in a matter of hours with a daily return to the start area.
The 2017 GeoChallenge Series
Registration Opens On April 1st!
3. Q. How long will the event be on each of the two days?
A. The skippers meeting is at 9am both days. The boat and gear safety inspection happens during registration, which is the day before (see schedule below) and the morning of the event (7am-8:30am). The start gun time will be announced at the skippers meeting and is scheduled for one hour after the meeting. Time is also being allocated each day for safety and boat handling/seamanship presentations. There will be a short course morning GeoChallenge run with a set finish time for lunch and an afternoon run with a finish time to allow for a group cook out/dinner and sea story swappin evening event. Prizes will be drawn each day. The second day will conclude earlier than the first to allow folks to pull boats and have ample time to begin the drive home.
Q. Is there anything for family and friends while I am out having fun?
A. Great question. The answer is yes if there is interest. The plan is to make this an event as much for participants as for for family and friends including kids. How this will happen we are not 100% sure but envision an on land GPS GeoMark Challenge for kids, time each day for parents, friends, etc, to take others out in small boats and most importantly evening and lunch social times (cookouts) where everyone is together. We envision evening cook outs where each participant has brought a dish to pass, camp fires and the age old tradition of sea story swapping!
Q. This event sounds great. Why is there just one?
A. Our hope is to test the waters with one event this season after the first we ran last year. If successful then next season we plan to add to the venue list including such possible places as Cedar Key Florida, Port Aransas, Texas, Rockport, Maine, tide water Virginia, etc. With any new event bugs need to be worked out and refinements made and our hope is that participants will be the driving force behind the creation of this event series, a series for and by small boat enthusiasts.
Q. OK, how do I sign up?
A. It's easy just go to our registration page to sign up!
Dates and Venues
Crooked Lake, Michigan- August 5th-6th
Registration Fee- $100
Enrollment limited to 20 boats
The Pocket Yacht GeoChallenge Q/A
2. Q. OK, so what do I do with the GeoMarkers I have collected?
A. At the finish you will turn them in to the finish line official and each being numbered will be noted as yours. Your GeoMarkers will go into a drawing bin for a prize drawing during the evening cook out. Everyone entered in the event who collects GeoMarkers will win a prize during the GeoMarker drawing. There will also be a few GeoMarks that contain random special prize GeoMarkers that list specific prizes and very cool ones at that…………. A good incentive to press on to find all the GeoMarks.Type your paragraph here.
Q. Back to the race aspect. So I gather up GeoMarks and sail back to the finish but can I also compete to win the event based on lowest time to finish?
A. Yes you can. The GeoChallenge organizers will be noting the order of finish and the boats finishing within the designated time limit each day. Results will be posted and at the end of the 2nd day ribbons will be awarded including for finish placement, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on. There will also be ribbons for the Coolest Ride, Last In, Most Creative Strategy, GeoTrash Champ, etc. The only way to win or place in the event based on time is to collect all of the GeoMarkers.
Q. Huh? GeoTrash Champ! What is the GeoTrash Champ trophy for?
A. Yes you can be a Geo Trash Champion! It’s all about your GeoChallenge strategy and about giving something back to Momma Nature and the local community we will be in for the event. Before the start each boat will be supplied with Pocket Yacht GeoChallenge logo trash bags. It’s your choice to compete in the very cool and smart GeoTrash Challenge.
As you sail, paddle, row, pedal, etc you are encouraged to pick up flotsam, jetsam, cans, bags, bottles (bona fide trash we will list before the start) from the beaches and shorelines. Collect it and bring it to the finish line for an official weigh in where a time allowance will be deducted from your overall time based on weight of the bag or bags. Extra minutes will be deducted for finding dangerous (to marine and waterfowl life) trash such as plastic six pack holders, fishing line, etc. Your strategy may be to zoom around looking for the GeoMarks but may also include time spent making the world a better place and thus reducing your total time. Participation in the GeoTrash aspect of the event is an important part of each event but is not mandatory.
Q. How will the GeoMarks be set and who will set them?
A. The event organizer will be on site sometime before the event to secretly and with great stealth set the GeoMarks. The GeoMarks will be removed after the event.
Q. So the GeoMarks will be set on land. Does this mean on the beach?
A. Some will be on the beach or shoreline, others will require a bit of searching as in the sport of GeoCaching, a few may be located on the water or an arms reach under water!
Q. What happens if several competitors reach a particular GeoMark at the same time?
A. No worries…..Proper GeoMark etiquette (Har!) will be explained at the skippers meeting.
Q. Do I have to complete the entire course?
A. You can join in the fun and do a single GeoMark or any number within the daily time limit.