Originally Posted by TomLinley
It is however really important you see Hugos response on the challenge websites forum, where this is addressed.
From HMS post on the Challenge forum:
"I fully understand what you’re saying and we too are feeling the pinch with it, with 2 boats entered.
Perhaps I can relate the background to this. Originally, we had well over 120 team applications and yet had no idea how many would actually commit - even two weeks ago we had well over 30 confirmed but through either injury or business commitments this figure has reduced to 27. Gauging how many would eventually be on the start line was literally impossible. The extent of our fuelling needs, likewise, was impossible therefore to predict. But as the event grew/shaped, it became increasingly clear that more and more harbours were becoming increasingly concerned about the fuel situation. Also, those persons who initially had volunteered their support to carry and fetch the fuel via jerry can etc, likewise began to express their concerns over the quantities involved.
The original plan was the hiring and towing of a 2000L fuel bowser ourselves but as the event size increased we realized even the largest available for us to legally tow was far too small and carried the potential danger of spillages & untrained users. We then started searching for oil companies who might be interested in coming to our aid. One after the other turned it down or had no means to convey the fuel into the boats at quayside. Donegal were the only Co who had both the means and the ability to take up the challenge.
When it was made clear that a charge was to be made for the service in light of what was needed in terms of equipment and manpower etc, we tried seeking a sponsor to cover the cost of this - we were unsuccessful in our efforts. Then we intended to swallow half the cost ourselves with a smaller contribution added to the literage charge and our picking up the shortfall, but this has proved impossible for us.
In taking counsel with DFC, it was decided that the most transparent and workable means was to use the model they have done for all the motorsports events they provide this service for - namely a fee to be equally shared by all, separate to the litre cost. No one is being underhand here - its all above board, as event organiser we are not creaming anything off, and with two boats entered myself I too will rightly have to pay my share toward this service. Although it’s costly for us all, it is fair and reasonable for a bespoke land support of 5 star professional standard.
The entrance fees have paid towards the massive amount of time and expense it has taken to organise this event - all those areas either detailed or eluded to in the documentation originally supplied to teams. Such includes: event creation, documentation origination and dispatch, liaison with all harbour authorities, meetings and telephone calls with such authorities, full liaison with teams by phone and electronic means, official Team update origination and dispatch and being on hand to answer all questions that arise personally from such. Also, website design, facebook page creation - management of all online activity, all PR - including regular press releases and story leads, coordination of event - both logistics and personnel, accommodation sourcing, hospitality arrangements, prize creation and awards, liaison re RI kit offers and the securing of such, fueling management and logistics, event management and provision of a mobile event office and personnel, oversight of RI teams land support in conjunction with Suzuki - the list is almost endless! This event and its organisation has dominated every aspect of our work here at PBR for months'.
All other comparative events such as Ronda os Acores, Round Britain Race, Venture Cup, London to Monaco etc cost thousands and thousands of pounds to enter - quite literally. We on the other hand have genuinely done our best to keep our event an 'everyman' styled event whilst at the same time meeting the needs of not only the authorities but also our entrants at every stage. This is always a challenge of course and the end result may not be perfect, but I promise you we have done our best - openly and honestly whilst including ourselves in all arrangements so that we are not maneuvering ourselves in a privileged position. I hope this clarifies things a little more.
As you can see we have tried very hard to avoid this charge to teams, and do appreciate it’s a chunk of money for everyone to come up with late in the day including ourselves, but I hope that the experience of the event will make the investment truly worthwhile and a real once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Kind regards, HUGO."