No worries JRP.
HERE IS A LINK TO THE GR SITE AS IT CURRENTLY STANDS.
The sign-up is not active yet - but you can see the current courses and rules.
The very simple gist of the GR is this:
Sailors in a particular area lay out a triangular course (either a 5nm short course or a 10nm long course - or both) with 3 GPS coordinates on their body of water. The course can include physical marks (buoys, etc.) or not. Your choice.
Personally, I think an "invisible" course is coolest - because only GR racers will know it's there. Kind of an underground RaceClub.
Regardless, you have to use your GPS to race around these lat/lon "markers", and record your tracks around the course. You then send us the KML or GPX file of your race along with your time - so we can confirm everything. Then we post the leaders and update it all season long.
You can race the course any time you like, as many times as you like throughout the year. The best time around the course for each particular yacht division wins. That's it.
Then, because the courses are all exactly the same distance, we can start comparing times from different areas to see how racers match up in different conditions, water types, etc. It becomes a true global regatta. Should be fun.
And here are the "formal" rules as they stand:
1. BFS Global Regatta Courses are established by 3 latitude/longitude "marks" on any navigable body of water. The courses can be a Short Course (5 nautical miles), or a Long Course (10 nautical miles), or a combination of both if the body of water will accommodate them. Some bodies of water, for example, may be too small to accommodate a 10 nm course. Below is an example of the Long Course for the Philadelphia-PA/Delaware-River area:
2. Each City/Body-Of-Water combination can only have 1 set of courses (e.g. - a Long Course of 10 nm and/or a Short Course of 5 nm). For example, the Chesapeake Bay can have multiple sets of courses close to various cities surrounding it. But Annapolis, MD can only have one set of GR courses on the Chesapeake Bay.
3. Once the marks have been established, the course or courses will not change. The only modifications that will occur will be in cases where safety and/or navigability issues arise with a particular course.
4. All courses are submitted by sailors in their respective sailing areas*. Submissions are made via the sailing forum Sailnet here:
Global Big Freakin' Regatta. Possible?
We've done it this way so people can debate the courses as much as they want to make sure that the courses are the best, most equitable, and safest possible configurations.
5. You MUST use a GPS device in your race that has the ability to track your course and time, and output KML files for this data(or GPX files which you can convert to KML). Your entries in the BFS Global Regatta will be with these files - which will tell us all the info we need to score the races. You will have the ability to submit your KML files via the home page in your account. You can submit as many as you'd like as your time keeps improving. We will not accept any other form of time submission.
6. The BFS Global Regatta community can call "BS" on any entry. You will have the ability to flag entries that just don't smell right. Though that entry will not necessarily be deleted, it will be marked with a "BSterisk" - kind of like Barry Bonds' home run record. And this allows for good brawls which are the underbelly of great sailing.
7. All complaints, discussions, protests, trash-talk, etc. will happen via the Sailnet thread above. We'll keep an eye on the thread - and join in when it gets really crazy.
8. You must agree to all the rules, disclaimers and special regulations governing the BFS Global Regatta upon the creation of your account. And you must understand and agree that you are taking part in these races at your own risk and responsibility.