2016 Melbourne to Devonport Race Report

The Bass Strait Series consists of races: Cock of The Bay, The Rudder Cup Melbourne to Devonport and The Top of the Island. This year we had a larger fleet bolstered by some newcomers based on the dispensation to allow Sat Phones to qualify for Cat 2. This is a great innovation for boats wanting to get into ocean racing as it reduces costs.

Leg one of the Series, the Cock of the Bay saw Devonport boats feature in the Top 20 finishers including Christine, Soiree Bleu, Summer Wind and White Noise on PHS.

The main Rudder Cup race from Melbourne to Devonport, Leg two of the Series, started with some major traffic jams at the start and unfortunately a little damage. All yachts continued on and made running repairs. While all this was going on Christine was experiencing engine problems caused by contaminated fuel and had to withdraw, just prior to the start, very tough after a big preparation.

The winds were light and fickle outside the heads so progress was slow for a while. Then the sea state became more like a washing machine and winds varied a lot. This worked all the crews hard trying to maximise sail. Reefs in, reefs out, headsail changes at regular intervals. As if this wasn’t enough the rain was saturating and chilling everyone on deck. BKT Jamhu withdrew due to taking on a little water and returned safely home unassisted.  The fleet arrived in a pretty tight bunch with Peccadillo Line Honours multi hull and Soiree Bleu first monohull.

The fleet all closely followed the escort boat up the Mersey due to shifts in the channel due to floods.  Phoenix retired with rudder damage and limped in late.  They were repaired by a team of locals for the return.

A Rest day to dry out and then the Top of the Island race. This was a testing race with stiff breeze along the coastline course.  It was fast and furious with Summer Wind taking out the major result. 

A number of boats headed home early to take advantage of a good weather window and enjoy family New Year celebrations.  For those remaining the presentation and dinner were enjoyable.  The prizes for divisions and handicaps were spread around.  Local member Mike Gaffney helped out with the prize giving and we had great media coverage.

Well done to all the competitors. Thanks to our sponsors for trophy prizes, Vivere Coffee and Chirping Bird wines.  Our appreciation to our very hard working volunteers in our Race, Incident and Media Management Teams, all the volunteers at Mersey Yacht Club and Grant Dunoon for the yacht tracker.  See you and hopefully more yachts next year.

Results – The Rudder Cup Melbourne to Devonport

Line Honours – Multi Hulls

  1. PECCADILLO, Charles Meredith

Line Honours – Mono Hulls

  1. SOIREE BLUE, Douglas Lithgow
  2. WHITE NOISE, Daniel Edwards
  3. MAGIQUE, Maurice Contessi


  1. SUMMER WIND, Paul & Angela Woodman (Rudder Cup winner)
  2. WHITE NOISE, Daniel Edwards
  3. ARCHIE, Simon Bell & Jeff Sloan


  1. WHITE NOISE, Daniel Edwards
  2. ARCHIE, Simon Bell & Jeff Sloan
  3. MORE NOISE, Jason Close


  1. MAGIQUE, Maurice Contessi
  2. WHITE NOISE, Daniel Edwards
  3. SUMMER WIND, Paul & Angela Woodman

For Full Results including Bass Strait Series results http://www.orcv.org.au/results/2016-17/2016M2D/series.htm


Scroll down below for video and photos.

2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart & Devonport - ABC TV News 27-Dec-16

The ABC News coverage of the start of the 2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport ocean yacht races.

ABC TV Reporter Cameran Best reporting form onboard ORCV Media Boat.


2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart & Melbourne to Devonport races start from Committee boat

Exciting and chaotic start in the 2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport races, which resulted in two protests. Footage from the Committee Boat.


2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart & Melbourne to Devonport races, pre-start and start

Activities surrounding the start of the 2016 Melbourne to Devonport and 2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart West Coaster yacht races. Includes footage from the Press boat of the exciting and chaotic start in the 2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport races, which resulted in two protests.

Video Camera: Keving Manning and Ian MacWilliams
BYS Rib/Media boat driver: Phil Beattie
Photographer: Karen McCloskey
Production: Ian MacWilliams


Paul and Angela Woodman, SUMMER WIND  IMG 3533

Paul & Angela Woodman, SUMMER WIND, and Mike Gafney, local MLC

ORCV Radio Communications Van on station on the finish line
IMG 3539  IMG 3573 
Mersey Yacht Club Hospitality SUMMER WIND and WHITE NOISE heading south in the Mersey river after the Top of the Island race
IMG 3559  IMG 3587 
Time to dry out at Mersey Yacht Club Trophies including sponsor prizes from Chirping Bird Wines and Vivere coffee
IMG 3589  IMG 3614 
Vivere coffee hampers for the podium place getters Daniel Edwards, WHITE NOISEand Mike Gafney, local MLC
A fast and furious start – review of day 1 ORCV ocean races to Tasmania

Crash bang coming through! Some of our competitors caused dramas on the start line of the Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport ocean races, with four yachts caught up in collisions. They mustn’t have got the memo about it being a long race so 15 seconds on the start line probably doesn’t matter. Luckily winds were moderate but it was still enough to cause an early retirement of BKT JAMHU which was taking on water as a result of their collision. No doubt it will be a busy protest room in Hobart after the race, see our Facebook site for video of the start. Experienced competi [ ... ]


Three nights before the start of the Devonport race In the pictures below it shows which crew members do not have a photo, can I please ask that you send your photos and bios as soon as possible. What I would like is a short bio of your ocean racing career 60 to 100 words and a head and shoulders picture. The picture of Neville below shows what it will look like on the Tracker website. Send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloak53829476c849c080e898a4798552653a').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = ' [ ... ]


2016 Mersey Yacht Club Flood Relief Raffle! Our very good friends at the Mersey Yacht Club (MYC) in Devonport are the finish host club for the ORCV's Melbourne to Devonport ocean yacht race. Many will recall this devastating footage in June 2016 that we shared on the ORCV Facebook Page of Mersey Yacht Club marina pontoon berths collapsing in wild weather that lashed Northern Tasmania, causing floods and debris in the Mersey river at levels that have never been seen before. In the carnage, the outer marina was wiped away and pieces of it washed up along the river and various isl [ ... ]

2016 Devonport Yacht Race

Famous Mersey Yacht Club Hospitality     It’s time again to join in the fun and experience the world famous Mersey Yacht Club hospitality. Commodore Mark Stephenson is supported by a fabulous team. Key players in the team are Vice Commodore Tony Jamieson and his wife Kerily. Tony does everything from race planning, escort boat driver, odd jobs, taxi driver, entertainment manager and problem solver to cheerleader. Kerily makes sure all the catering is organised, the dining area set up, the helpers are there to cook and serve and a myriad other tasks. Both these wonderful peop [ ... ]

2016 Devonport Race

Melbourne to Devonport is happening!!! Despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to wash away the Mersey Yacht Club they have survived and will again host this year’s race. After a very tough time losing a significant part of their marina and a great many vessels the club is moving forward. ORCV is committed to supporting the recovery and is looking forward to a large racing fleet supporting the event. Moorings have been arranged and with the Clubhouse and bar facilities intact the party will be as good as ever. MYC will use the race to support their fundraising for their marina redevelopment. [ ... ]


Halcyon takes the Double Handed option to Devonport.
2015 Devonport Race by Jeremy Walton Chris Tucker and Jeremy Walton have entered the Bass Strait Series as a double –handed crew aboard Chris’ yacht Halcyon, a Beneteau First 40. With the mantra of experienced sailor and SSSC Instructor, Robin Hewitt, they have put “PAT” to work and are well-underway with their preparations. Robin’s friend PAT= Prepare and Train! Jeremy forwarded this update. “Chris and I have put together a solid practice plan including doing the HBYC double handed series. We have already done three long prac [ ... ]


2015 Tassie Trio: Cock of the Bay, Devonport or the Westcoast!
The races to Devonport and Hobart via the West coast are a challenge in their own right and provide an opportunity for a short dash across Bass Strait  or for those with a longer leave pass, destination Hobart! At the recent ORCV committee meeting there was discussion around the viability of running three 2015 Xmas ocean races.  This was consistent with a request to review the viability from a significant number of ORCV members in the recent member survey. " We looked at competitor entries, and based on there being no e [ ... ]


2015 Devonport Race- Approval granted for use of satellite phones. The ORCV is pleased to announce that Yachting Victoria have granted approval for a variation to the Cat 2 Special Regulations for use of a satellite phone in lieu of HF radio for the 2015 Melbourne to Devonport race.
This approval comes subject to the following requirements:
• This is solely for the 2015 Melbourne to Devonport Race
•that  any boat carrying a Sat phone in lieu of HF radio demonstrate speed dialling to AMSA and the ORCV Race Director phone
• That any boats using a sat phone also have a fully set up VHF DS [ ... ]