This is very interesting & I hope something comes from all these positive ideas.
A few months ago a mate & I had a chat in the pub about organising a Cannon Ball Run "run what you brung" type race around the Isle of Wight.
The main aim was to have a properly organised event that was great fun & safe.
From memory the main points were as follows:
Select a weekend where the tides were favourable & there is not another organised event taking place in the Solent.
Liaise with all the necessary authorities to let them know what is happening, seek permission where necessary and take advice.
Create basic classes for boats, based on length & power.
Have all the correct insurance in place, with the cost divided by the number of competitors and included in the entry fee.
Have a passage plan, together with safety & emergency procedures, prepared & laminated for each competitor. This would be issued in advance and gone through in detail at a safety briefing before the start.
Now, here is the potentially difficult part. Put on the goodwill of some of the many instructors on this form to act as safety boats. I thought that perhaps five or six marshall boats strategically placed around the course would be sufficient. They would have a list of competitors and see tham all safely past their point. What's in it for them? Well once the last boat is safely past their point, they can then join the race
Finally, once the last competitor is safely back at the finish, a debrief over a pint with prize giving ceremony. And hopefully a few requests do do another one.
Unfortunately business commitments this year have meant that this remains just an idea at this stage. However, if someone fancies working with me to get it moving, or can make suggestions for improvements, please get in touch.