Oakcliff Distance Race is on
Published on July 8th, 2020
Following the inaugural event in 2019, Oakcliff Sailing will again be hosting has the 2020 Doublehanded Offshore Race on July 14-15 in Oyster Bay, NY. Held in a matched fleet of six Melges 24s, the mixed crew race will be live streamed for 24+ hours, allowing spectators to watch every step of the way.
Conceived as a test to demonstrate that mixed doublehanded offshore sailing is doable for the 2024 Olympics, Oakcliff was able to modify their fleet of six Melges 24s for double-handed offshore sailing with live stream capabilities. Modifications included a relatively low-cost live streaming tower equipped with an android phone and hotspot; navigation lights; a Melges 20 spinnaker; and reefable mains.
Race Program Director Patrick Burks designed a special race course and Sailing Instructions that allows the Principal Race Officer (PRO) to lengthen or shorten the course to have the racers finish within an optimal broadcast window.
This year, the COVID-19 outbreak has brought a whole new set of challenges but, despite them, Oakcliff intends to take what they learned from last year and improve the event. One new element this year is nighttime camera coverage with infrared light. They have also upgraded their tracking system to Yellow Brick and added a radar tower to the Committee boat.
There will be 21 people safely inside their fiercely-defended bubble for the event as a result of strict quarantine protocol. Every trainee is vetted before they enter the Oakcliff bubble with a three-day (or more) quarantine period and two nasal swab tests: one at the beginning and one at the end of the quarantine.