Latest News and announcements from ORCV


Double and Then Something!


For the first time ever, the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria will start three major Ocean Races at the same time on December 27, 2008.


After the traditional Boxing Day, Cock of the Bay Race from Port Melbourne to Blairgowrie, the ORCV will, as usual, conduct both the Melbourne to Launceston and Melbourne to Hobart ‘West Coaster'. However, following on from the success of last year's centennary celebrations, where the fleet sailed East across Bass Strait to join up with the Sydney-Hobart fleet coming down, a new ‘East Coaster' has been introduced.


This promises to add even more excitement to racing with the leading contenders for both Melbourne-Hobart races now challenging each other to see who can make port first! "It should be fantastic to watch ‘Short Air' and ‘Helsal II' as they sail off in different directions. I know I'll be tracking their respective progresses on the web! It is a rare occurrence within global yacht racing to have challengers pursue different courses - we're delighted to be associated with the ORCV and these races." said Heemskirk Consolidated CEO, Mr Kevin Robinson.


Indeed these two yachts are as different as the routes they have chosen. ‘Short Air' is an ultra-modern TransPac52, while ‘Helsal II' is the venerable Adams 20, whose innaugural race was the 1979 Sydney-Hobart! "It is great to have such a magnificent fleet of around 60 boats partaking this year - it will make for a superb spectacle at the Portsea start line. We have the latest and greatest, true classics and some real pocket rockets, like the 8m ‘Godzilla'. Favourable winds will make it a spinnaker start and the footage will be tremendous. Some of these boats can make 50kmh!" said ORCV Commodore George Shaw.


"Last year's winner, the Geelong based ‘Extasea', will be right up there too - ready to pounce on any mistake made by the bigger boats. ‘Ninety Seven', the 1993 Sydney-Hobart Line Honours Winner, will also be right up there if it is an upwind race. The West Coaster will be very special too for Robin Hewitt and his crew aboard ‘Yoko'. They will be completely their 27th consecutive West Coaster - a truly remarkable achievement that says a lot about the thrills and safety requirements this race is held under." Shaw went on to say.


The whole season really is a true ‘Spirit of Co-operation' event. "The Sovereign Series comprises the Cock of the Bay, the West Coaster and then the King of the Derwent, which we run in conjunction with the Derwent Sailing Squadron in Hobart. This race, on January 2 2009, attracts entrants from our two fleets, as well as the Sydney-Hobart race, often including the Maxis. You have a lot of the best sailors in the world pitted against each other with the need for local knowledge from Tasmanian Skippers as crews master the very flukey conditions. We are delighted that Wrest Point has again chosen to be involved with us for this great local event that sees a fleet of around 60 yachts cover the course in a sea of colour. And the Launceston fleet up North doesn't miss out either. They complete their own in-port race, the TasPorts, to collect points for the Rudder Cup, which is Cock of the Bay, Melbourne-Launceston and TasPorts." said Race Director, Simon Dryden.


"This year, with the East Coaster also being added, we are proud to announce that the three race series for this fleet will be called the Salamanca Series. This is apt not only for the local Hobart market and café precinct, but also as our sponsor, Heemskirk Consolidated, has operations in Salamanca, Spain, close to where the America's Cup is now conducted." added Dryden.


So look for the Hobart fleets and the crews who raced them, on the Southern side of the Elizabeth Street Pier, somewhere between two and four days after the Start! The Launceston fleet will be at the Tamar Yacht Club at Beauty Point, on or around 28 December.


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Latitude races this weekend (22 & 23 Nov 08) POSTPONED due to the weather forecast. 

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2008-09 Latitude Overnight Race can be selected from any of Port Phillip Bay Long Distance Races. 

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The Stanley fleet had a challenging race for the season opener. The yachts started in a southerly wind of 20 knots which meant one tack was favoured, but as the wind was predicted to move south-east and later more east, which side of the rhumbline was going to favoured?


At the first sked it was obvious that opinions varied over the fleet, with lots of boats to the east and west of the rhumbline. As the day progressed the wind did move south-east, but it dropped to six knots. The yachts progress was hampered by a short sharp sea, which inturn lead to some seasickness and 2 retirements.


The Ocean racing Club of Victoria was trialing a new yacht tracking system which was working well, but the yachts were moving so slowly that it wasn't very exciting watching them crawl across the screen.


At the 5pm sked the wind had swung more east and increased to 18 knots, the question was who was in the best position to take advantage of the new wind. For Georgia and Shogun who spent most of the race insight of each other just east of the rhumbline it became a drag race to the finish. As the two boats approached Stanley the wind increased to 25 knots, and neither boat was able to gain the advantage and Shogun crossed the finish line just 5 seconds in front of Georgia. They were followed by Goldfinger, Chuzpah, Shamrock(the ex Secret Men's Business) and Oceanskins.


The remainder of the fleet had increasing wind and sprung sheets with many of the boats surfing across the line and the last boat was in by 10.30am on Sunday morning.


Chutzpah who was fourth across the line just 45 minutes behind Shogun had a great race and won both the IRC and the AMS handicap divisions. It is great to see Bruce Taylor and his crew rewarded for all the hard work they have put in to optimising their yacht. This should put them in great position to challenge for overall handicap honours in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. Martin Vaughan's Wild Side had a great race finishing at 6.30am on Sunday morning well ahead of many larger boats and won both the performance handicap division and finished second in the IRC and AMS division.


In The IRC division second by 13 seconds was Martin Vaughan in Wild Side and third was Ian Murray in Cinquante. For full results click here


In the AMS division second was Andrew Munro in Godzilla and third was Martin Vaughan in Wild Side.


In the Performance division first was Martin Vaughan in Wild Side followed by David Bingham in Mirrabooka and Robert Sill in INXS.


The Lions Club and the community of Stanley organised a great function for the finishing yachts and were on hand from 2am on Sunday morning to welcome the crews with a cold beer and some hot food.


At the prize giving there was great anticipation as to who was going to win the prizes donated by Gill for the divisional winners. George Shaw the ORCV's new Commodore then raffled a reel Dyneema rope donated by Donaghys (valued at $700) which was won by Godzilla.


Most of the yachts waited for the southerly change on Sunday night for a fast return passage to Melbourne

It has been a very exciting early morning in Stanley, the race was won by Shogun by five seconds from Georgia and then Goldfinger. The next boat in was Chutzpah not far behind the leaders and looking good on handicap. From the on it was a steady stream of finishers. Please click here to view the finish time on the yacht tracker.


At the 4am schedule the smaller boats are not far from the finish so it looks like the small boats might be wearing the great gear supplied by Gill.