ECC Charter

The Engineering Challenge Cup trophy

The Engineering Challenge Cup (ECC) is intended as an annual multinational fun sporting event involving non-aggressive, non-professional sailing with the focus on the social side. The participants are people who like sailing and have an association with the engineering and contracting industries. ECC entails visiting Mediterranean regions, meeting their people and enjoying their history and culture. Costs will be minimised so that employees at all levels may be able to participate.

Key Principles

Each year ECC week will involve 6 days of sailing around timed courses between overnight destinations. The week will score non-Commodores and Commodores separately in the Engineering Challenge Cup and in the Commodores Cup respectively. Participants in the Engineering Challenge Cup may be racing in two or more fleets, whereas all participating Commodores will be in the same fleet.

Commodores Cup

In memory of Jose Miguel Martinez who lost his life on Day 1 of the 2017 event, a special Jose Miguel Martinez Trophy (pictured) will be awarded for the winner of the first race (normally a short one held on Day 1).  This first race will involve all entries (Commodores and non-Commodores) and will not count towards the results of the other two trophies. 

The Jose Miguel Martinez Trophy

The purpose of the trophy, presented in 2017 by ECC founder, Arno Hemm and his crew, is:

  1. To remember each year Jose Miguel Martinez who died while participating in ECC 2017 at Solta, Croatia.
  2. To remind all participants that sailing is potentially dangerous, even for experienced skippers and crew.
  3. To be awarded to the winner of the first race each year.

The Commodores are (or were):

Year Commodore Year Commodore
1994 Arno Hemm 2008 Pieter van Beuzekom
1995 Eugen Gotter 2009 Craig Warrender
1996 Fred Greven 2010 Klaus Hütten
1997 Aad de Ruyter 2011 David Boocock
1998 Jan Kruiniger 2012 Kay Heinrichs
1999 Dennis Nunn, Eric Hamer 2013 Inken Braunschmidt
2000 Heinz Bädorff 2014 Jan Bonset
2001 John Hall Hall 2015 Jens Wilkens
2002 Peter Bisschop 2016 Oliver Tondorf
2003 Carlos Moreno 2017 Francois Abiven
2004 Michael Kuhn 2018 Berthold Schultz
2005 Andreas Klein 2019 Martin Fordham
2006 Peter Bisschop 2020 Pieter Hadjidakis
2007 John Hall Hall

The Commodore will arrange daily Skippers’ Briefings, publish daily results, organise a prize giving ceremony and appoint the winner of the Engineering Challenge Cup as the New Commodore.

Results will be provided separately for the Jose Miguel Martinez trophy, Engineering Challenge Cup and for the Commodores Cup. The results are to be presented so that each participant can compare how he/she might have fared if he/she had been competing against the other Divisions.

The published results should include as a minimum for each yacht: Boat Number, Skipper Name, Company, Yacht make/model, Class, Time Correction Factors (TCF), Finish Time, Elapsed Time, Corrected Time and Position (rank).

The Commodore will be responsible for the following safety-related items:

  • Each Skippers’ Briefing is to start with a Safety Moment, relevant to the risks of sailing.
  • Each skipper & co-skipper will be expected to possess an “International Certificate For Operators Of Pleasure Craft” or equivalent.

Crew lists will include contact details for each participant in case of emergency.

Each skipper will be reminded that he is responsible for the safety of his yacht and crew and nothing that is said by the organisers takes away from that responsibility.

The following documents will be put on the ECC Website and included within the Logbook:

  • ECC Charter Rev 17 (this document)
  • ECC Minutes No 11 2018
  • ECC List of Eligible Skippers for 2019

Use of the “Y Flag” to mandate use of life-jackets may be imposed by the Race Officer at his discretion if he considers conditions dictate.

If a Mayday is called before the race time limit by one of the ECC entries during a race, that race will be cancelled by the Race Officer and no results will be recorded.

The procedures for Mayday and Pan-Pan situations will be set out on a sticker to be issued by the organisers to each participating crew, who will be required to affix it in a visible location near the yacht’s VHF radio.

The Commodore appointed at the end of ECC week will be responsible for organising the next ECC week and for issuing a “Logbook” electronically at least 4 weeks before the start of ECC week.  He shall also prepare in advance and hand over an information pack to the next Commodore during ECC week.  The final accounts and transfer of all surplus money are to be provided to the new Commodore within a month of the event finishing.

Trophies and medals will be awarded for the three highest positions in the Jose Miguel Martinez race, Engineering Challenge Cup and Commodores Cup. The Commodore may also award additional trophies or medals such as for daily results, dinghy rowing race, etc.

The Commodore will appoint an appropriately experienced local professional team to assist him with assembling the fleet of yachts, obtaining accurate crew lists (with emergency contacts for each member of the crew), safety matters, local weather knowledge, deciding the routes, laying course marks, determining time correction factors, organising over-night berths and mooring up.  TCFs will be published at least 24 hours before the first race.  The Commodore will not be obliged to respond to a TCF challenge after the first race (unless associated with a clear error or a performance-altering change made after the TCFs were published).

Any eligible skipper that has participated in ECC Week will remain eligible for any future ECC Week if he has less than seven penalty points (see 12 below). The Committee will decide during ECC week on the maximum number of boats that can enter in the next year.  This will be based on the trends from previous years. For 2019 the figure agreed by the Committee is 52. If more than the agreed maximum wish to enter, priority will be given on the basis of the number of times an entry has participated, with previous Commodores having automatic right to participate. After ranking in order of participations, the band cut by the agreed limit will be selected by lottery.  The order for choosing boats will also be decided by lottery (without taking account of number of participations).

New skippers will be approved by the ECC Committee on a case-by-case basis taking account of previous association with ECC and/or the Engineering Industry. An eligible skipper may “retire” by passing his eligibility to his established co-skipper. Such a “retirement” will be approved by the Committee and will be irreversible. See Attachment 1 for the 2017 list of Eligible Skippers.  A crew may enter without their eligible skipper a maximum of three times. Non-eligible skippers who advise of their wish to participate before the entry list closes will be put on a waiting list on first-come-first-served basis.  Cancellations made after entry list closure will be offered to those on the waiting list in order.  Until a replacement crew is found the cancelling crew will remain liable for ECC Fees. Every effort will be made to find a replacement crew so that ECC Fees can be waived or returned.  Replacement crews are not required to be skippered by an “eligible” skipper.

Within a month of the ECC event each year, new skippers may be proposed by a Commodore giving reasons for recommending their addition to the eligible skippers list.  This is to address a concern that the eligible skippers are an ageing group and that new blood is required.

Any skipper who is found to have caused a collision which results in loss of all or part of his insurance deposit will be given four penalty points for each such incident, or two points if responsibility is shared with another skipper.  His tally will reduce by two points for each year without earning such points.  No skipper will be allowed to enter while his points tally is more than six.  A record of all skippers involved in collisions in which penalty points are awarded will be maintained by the Committee.

Resolution of any dispute is the sole responsibility of those involved.  When a collision involving damage occurs, both parties are expected to exchange incident reports within 24 hours.  A copy of each report is to be provided to the Commodore for record.  Unless it is a clear-cut case with one innocent and one guilty party, both parties are expected to share the cost of any loss of deposit and thus share the penalty points (two each).  If the parties cannot agree, each skipper is responsible for his own deposit in discussion with his charter company and each will receive 4 penalty points.  The organisers, Commodore, Race Officer or ECC Committee member may offer an opinion, if requested, to assist with interpretation of the facts but responsibility for resolution of the dispute remains with the parties involved.

An ECC fee payable by each participant will be used as the deposit to secure the ECC fleet.  All income and expenditure associated with organising ECC will be accounted for and any surplus will be passed to the new Commodore promptly after ECC Week.  The ECC Fee for 2019 was agreed by the Committee as €110.

Sponsorship of the ECC is welcome in the spirit of the event and in accordance with normal standards of ethical business conduct. It may be used to provide appropriate gifts normally carrying the ECC logo, to pay for entertainment of participants during ECC week or to reduce participating costs.

The Commodore will arrange charter deals for all entrants via his appointed agent.  Each entrant is required to charter his yacht through the agent and use the standard equipment supplied (e.g. sails are only to be replaced by the agent and only if they are not designed for that particular yacht or damaged). Any entrant who wishes to clean his hull will be allowed to do so at any time during ECC week and is not required to inform the Race Officer.  The Commodore will include this in the Sailing Instructions for the event.

The ECC Committee (led by the ECC Admiral and made up of Commodores who participated in the most recent ECC event) will:

  • Hold an annual general meeting (AGM) during ECC Week.
  • Approve deviations from and changes to these principles.
  • Maintain a record of the event’s history and development.
  • Approve the new Commodore if he is not appointed in accordance with paragraph 4.
  • Approve the date for ECC week taking account of key industry events (trade fairs, etc).  ECC week will normally be held between late April and mid-May to avoid high season prices.
  • Approve the location for ECC week which will be in Mediterranean waters, to take advantage of the warm climate and normally moderate winds.
  • Approve any new skippers and maintain a list of eligible skippers and their penalty points.
  • Maintain a record of ECC Committee votes.
  • Where required, the above will be achieved by majority vote of the Committee.

The fleets will comprise mono-hull yachts typically used for holiday charters (i.e. not fast racing boats) and in the approx 38-50 foot range.  Spinnakers will not (normally) be allowed.

These principles were first developed in discussions involving the Commodores participating in ECC week in 2006 in Greece (Andreas Klein, Arno Hemm, Carlos Moreno, Dennis Nunn, Eugen Gotter, Jan Kruiniger, John Hall Hall, Michael Kuhn and Peter Bisschop). They are updated annually following the Committee meeting during ECC.

John Hall Hall

February 2019