The "Challenge" was how do we get money from business people to support this new sport? We knew the long term answer lay in working out how we could get sponsors to field teams with their own people actually in our boats-the trick was to make it fun.

The success of the fundraiser lay in creating an event that let potential sponsors express their rivalry against their own competitors.  "The Bay Business Challenge" was born...

The concept of the "Bay Business Challenge" was introduced to the Club many years ago by the one who likes to call himself "God" (Glenn McLean) and the event still continues to be a roaring success eight years later.

There was only one rule in the very first "Bay Business Challenge" - the fastest team was the overall winner. We had bribes being accepted left, right and centre by the Organisers and whoever else might have been wearing an outrigging shirt on the beach at the time. We had steerers paying extra money to tip boats while racing, buckets being tied onto boats to slow them down, paddlers in the crew being bribed to tip their own boats, anything went.

Bribes increased the profits by an extra 20-30% but then as the teams became more competitive bribes were no longer accepted and FAIRNESS was introduced to the "Annual Challenge".

The second "Challenge" in 1995 brought in 32 teams which was the biggest ever and this was the year that one particular member organised 8 teams to compete. Three of the teams were from local Apex Club and this person was also their Apex Treasurer.

I'll never forget him approaching me with a cheque saying "I thought that Service Clubs were half price"!! At the time I didn't recall ever saying this but because he was a Solicitor I of course agreed that this was a good point even though as the organiser I was having difficulty recalling such a rule. Needless to say, 4 years later I ended up marrying this Apexian and I still continue to believe everything he tells me!

Now days it is always pretty tough competition in the water (and fair play) to see who can cross that finish line first and claim the glory of winning the "Annual Challenge".

Christine Dixon