The Friendly Boat Club

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Entrants MUST register at the BBYC Office PRIOR to race to be included in race results and prizes .

Race Instructions
Race Results


Welcome to the crazy and often bizarre world of Friday afternoon rum racing. The following is a short brief intended to give an insight of what rum racing is all about. By reading this, you’ll have all that it requires to become a good rum racer. Now couple this together with a good sense of humour and desire to meet some interesting characters, read on, but be warned it’s at you own risk!

Friday Afternoon Rum Racing is staged each Friday afternoon, all year round (except through the Easter & Christmas break). It is a chance for all who sail to step back and unwind after a hard week and have a few laughs in a laid back atmosphere. The mass starts at 3.30pm (summer hours) or 2.30pm (winter hours) at Grangers Point, an exciting spectacle, and three times a year we run ‘MAJOR’ rum races with mark foy starts, where the slower boats go first. The finish of these races are renowned as a spectacle as the ‘greyhounds catch up to the rabbits’ all in the sight of the finish line.


 Rum Race History

Rumour has it, that many rums ago a couple of our more colourful yachties decided, after a few too many rums one night, to settle once and for all whose yacht was the fastest. The plan was simple; they would race for a 40oz bottle of rum. Starting at the old yacht club race control tower at Grangers Point on the following Friday afternoon at 2.30pm race to Illomana light and back to the finish line at the race control tower. First yacht home would be deemed the winner, collect the rum and have full gloating rights over the other. Well that’s the rumour anyway.

 Rum Race Objectives

To encourage new sailors into the sport
To help with the transition from cruising to racing
To promote good sailing skills
To promote good seamanship
To promote the racing rules
To promote basic navigation skills
To promote basic race tactics


 Ordinary Rum Races

Ordinary rum races are held every Friday afternoon, starting at 2.30pm (Winter Hours) and 3.30pm (Summer Hours). There are several courses that can be sailed and are shown in the BBYC yearbook with the appropriate course chosen by the race officer on the day. All rum races start and finish at the old yacht club race control tower at Grangers Point, with all racing ceasing at 5.30pm (Winter Hours) & 6pm (Summer Hours).

Rum race courses range in distance from six to fourteen miles and take approximately one to three hours to complete depending on weather conditions.

All crews and supports are encouraged back to the yacht club, as soon as possible after racing, for an informal prizegiving, generally held at 6.45pm. Prizegiving’s are held in a light-hearted manner with everyone present participating in the festivities, which include the following

The presentation on a 1 litre bottle of rum to the handicap winner. The presentation of several 700ml bottles of rum, as spot prizes for participating in the rum race. Also three spot prizes for the crew.

 Major Rum Races

There are three major rum races held each year on dates, as shown in the BBYC yearbook. These races comprise a Mark Foy start, with a one minute starting sequence, thus seeing the smaller and slower yachts starting up to an hour in front of the larger and faster yachts, with the intention of all yachts finishing at the same time. The first yacht crossing the finish line deemed the winner.
The last major rum race of the year is held on the last Friday before Christmas (if possible) and is coupled together with the yearly rum race prizegiving. This is generally the ultimate rum race of the year and should not be missed.


 Rum Race Rules

On the water: All rum races are sailed under the BBYC general sailing instructions as shown in the yearbook. Off the water: The only rule is – there are no rules.

As rum racers we're here for a good time, not a long time, hope to see you there.

Race Instructions