2018 Winter Series - Race One Round Up

Our new format Winter Series kicked off today, on what could only be described as a perfect Melbourne winter’s day.

All hardy crew members up early to head out to one of the 18 yachts that met us at the start line off the RMYS Breakwater, ahead of our scheduled 10:30 start, were met with a chilly 40 air temperature, and soothingly warming sunshine.

For almost a week, all competitors (and Race Managers!) were anxiously watching the forecast to see what sort of breeze, if any, we were to expect today, and although the early morning forecast suggested there may have been very little to work with, there was enough to get the fleet away on time and all yachts made steady progress on a beam reach to the first mark approximately 500m from the start, before bearing away and setting spinnakers for the next 2.5nm leg to the next mark adjacent to Station Pier, Port Melbourne.

The next leg was a reach out to R3, and this period of the race was destined to challenge all crews, giving everyone the opportunity to put their very light air sailing skills in to practice, and although a slow leg, most teams managed to maintain momentum and keep their boat moving, with only one crew finding their patience leaving them only minutes before the breeze filled in a little, to ensure the rest of the fleet had enough to keep their sails filled to find their way around the rest of the course, and back to the finish line at the RMYS Breakwater.

Tony Walton’s Hartbreaker took Line Honours at 13:31:18, and was followed closely by Russell Hibbert and his crew on Next Step, the exciting MC31.

The remainder of the fleet followed suit in a steady procession, with all 17 finishers crossing the line by 14:17.

The results were as follows:

Line Honours:

1st – Hartbreaker (Tony Walton)

2nd – Next Step (Russell Hibbert)

3rd – Schuss (Denis McConnell)

IRC Division:

1st – Schuss (Denis McConnell)

2nd – Alien (Justin Brenan)

3rd – Antagonist (James Lynch)

AMS Division:

1st – Espresso (Steve Thompson)

2nd – Xenia (Koos Theron)

3rd – Dictateur (Allan Gontar)

PHS Division

1st - Espresso (Steve Thompson)

2nd – Xenia (Koos Theron)

3rd - Next Step (Russell Hibbert)

Double Handed Division:

1st – Dictateur (Allan Gontar)

2nd – Sunshine (James Oosterweghel)

We would also like to that our Race Management Team of Robin Hewitt, Trish Peart and Matt Fahey for all of their efforts to run today’s race.

With Race One complete, we now turn our attention to preparing for our first Winter Series passage race to Blairgowrie, and we are assured the hospitality shown to the ORCV fleet by our hosts at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron will be even warmer than it is in December at the end of the Cock of the Bay race.

We hope to see even more competitors join us for this fantastic race down the bay.

WINTER SERIES RACE ONE SET TO BE A TEST OF PATIENCE AND CONCENTRATION IN LIGHT CONDITIONS.

LightAirsIt is now June, and Winter has finally arrived in earnest with the first real cold snap of the year sweeping across the State earlier in the week.

As we all know though, June can be a mixed bag of biting cold fronts, and pleasant highs, with light airs.

This year for the first time, we have chosen to open our Winter Series ahead of the Mt. Buller ski lifts, and as luck would have it, conditions are shaping up to once again deliver light, challenging conditions, to test the patience and seldom-used light air sailing skills of our new-look winter fleet of 21 competitors.

Having had the opportunity to compete in the ORCV Double-Handed bay race in early May, in what proved to be extremely light and (barely) variable conditions which challenged most of the fleet, it has prompted me to look a little harder to find some tips to help us avoid the pitfalls of sailing into the proverbial “hole” in the breeze, as our rival competitors somehow ghost away for no apparent reason.

Or is it?

When you go looking for some tips, you find that a lot of the sound advice has been gathered from years of sailing in European or other Northern Hemisphere conditions, which experience a much higher prevalence of light air racing than we do here, in more-often-than-not, sunny, windy, Australia.

So what do the experts say?

A collection of basic tips, might look something like this:

  1. Start Fast. Arriving at the line on time, at maximum speed in clean air, is crucial in light conditions. Dave Flynn of Quantum Sails says the best way to start is to run up and down the line close reaching, with the correct weight placement throughout the start sequence, and avoid getting caught in clumps of boats, which will take all of your clean air, and smother you for room to build speed to “accelerate” away from the line.
  2. Steer With Minimum Rudder Movement. Captain John Jamieson says that you should steer with absolute minimum movement to reduce resistance and drag over the Rudder. He states no more than 20 of rudder angle should be applied, to maintain momentum and keep you moving, because once you stop, it takes a lot of effort to get moving again.
  3. Maintain Momentum. This sounds pretty obvious, but Steve Benjamin tells Jonty Sherwill of Yachting World that it is vital to keep the boat moving by limiting movement of crew, maintaining heal to leeward which will use gravity to assist whatever breeze there is to fill the sails, and avoid the temptation to change sails, and build apparent wind by maintaining a close reach.
  4. Speed over Height. The experts call it “footing”, steering down 50 to 100 from the usual close-hauled course. Bill Gladstone of North U says this should be combined with easing all sheets, halyards and backstay to promote more shape to your sails to improve airflow over both sides, and introduce twist to the top of both sails to also improve airflow and build apparent wind speed.
  5. Downwind Sailing. Australia’s Michael Blackburn says it is crucial to be just as subtle with your movements when sailing downwind. Big pumps or movements will cause your sails to loose contact with the wind for many metres and take much longer to connect and fill again. He says downwind sailing is largely about “…just sitting still and letting the air hit the sails and push you along.” He also says you should “Take a deep breath occasionally and relax!”

My brief desktop study to find useful tips for light conditions gave a myriad of other tips to help in all sorts of light conditions, including the use of tide and current, reducing sail size for light air sailing, reducing drag, and above all else, practice, practice, practice.

There will be no better conditions to practice than what we will have on offer this coming Sunday, so If you haven’t yet entered, grab your crew, take a few unwanted provisions of your boat, and come and join us for an interesting race in light conditions and test your skills.

The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are available from the Race Documents tab above, as is our link to Race Entry.

See you out on the water!

By Matt Fahey.

MeteyeSunday

 

Information Sessions Continue for new 2018 Winter Series format

Lex Bertrand 1024x724

As part of introducing an exciting new format, including a new schedule of races and all new divisions for the 2018 Winter Series, the ORCV is committed to talking to as many members and supporters as possible, through a series of information sessions to be held all supporting yacht clubs on Port Phillip.

 Following on from the success we have had at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, Safety Beach Sailing Club and Hobsons Bay Yacht Club over the last few weeks, our Winter Series Sub-Committee move on to Three additional clubs this week, to hold brief information sessions for the all new format Winter Series.

This Thursday evening, 10th of May, 2018, commencing at 7:30pm, Sandringham Yacht Club has invited our Sub-Committee to present at the conclusion of its Member Information Night with Guest Speaker Lex Bertrand, following his insightful presentation on Local Weather and Sailing on the Bay.

SYC would also like to extend an invitation to all ORCV members, friends and their guests to attend this special presentation, and remind everyone that bookings are not necessary.

On Friday evening, our sub-committee has been offered an opportunity to present information to the attendees at the 2018 Victorian Keelboat Presentation evening at Royal Brighton Yacht Club, commencing at 7:00pm, and once again, all are welcome to attend.

In conjunction with the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series presentation, this will be an excellent opportunity to showcase the introduction of our Female-based Crew Division, which is an exciting addition to this years new format Winter Series.

This coming Saturday, 12th May, 2018, following Race One of the RYCV Brass Monkey Series, and the RBYC May Fleet Series, ORCV Committee member Matt Fahey, and Immediate Past Commodore Neville Rose, will present to members at Royals and Royal Brighton respectively, to provide all you need to know about our 2018 Winter Series.

Winter Is Coming!

All interested skippers are encouraged to download a copy of the Notice of Race and make their way to Race Entry page, via the Winter Series Mini Site here.

The Safety Category requirements for eligible yachts day races is Cat 5, and Cat 5N for our Overnight Navigators Challenge Race, and interested yachts can enter each race individually, or as a series entry.

The new 2018 ORCV Winter Series - Format Explained

 

Ray S

Dates

The dates for the 2018 Winter Series are as follows:

  • Race One - Sunday 3nd June, 2018. Format: 20 – 30nm Passage Race.
  • Race Two – Saturday 7th July, 2018. Format: Blairgowrie Passage Race.
  • Race Three – Saturday 4th August, 2018. Format: 20 – 30nm Passage Race.
  • Race Four – Saturday 1st September, 2018. Format: Geelong Passage Race.
  • Race Five – Saturday 15th – Sunday 16th September, 2018. Format: Overnight Navigators Challenge Race.

Divisions

The divisions available for this year’s Winter Series are as follows:

  • Monohull Racing:
    • Traditional Monohull Racing divisions:
      • IRC
      • AMS
      • PHS
    • Female-based Crew Division (PHS)
    • Double-Handed (PHS)
  • Multihull Racing (PHS)
  • Cruising (PHS – non-spinnaker)

New Race Format Explained

The new format for the 2018 Winter Series is based on a series of passage races of varying distances, from medium distance races around fixed marks at the top end of Port Phillip Bay, to several longer distance passage races to popular destinations for warm hospitality from host clubs, at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron (BYS), Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC), and Hobsons Bay Yacht Club (HBYC).

Races One to Four will commence via a Tower Start from either RMYS or RBYC – to be confirmed in the Notice of Race (NOR) and Sailing Instructions (SI’s). Race Five will commence simultaneously from several different locations, designed to offer convenience to each participant.

Race One. A medium distance passage race similar to the “Long Race” held in previous ORCV Winter Series, and will follow a course around fixed marks, set to offer the fleet a range of conditions to suit the prevailing wind direction on the day. A different course will be set for the cruising fleet, designed to ensure all competitors complete the course in similar time, based on the conditions on the day.

Race Two. A Passage Race to BYS. Commencing from a tower start at either RMYS or RBYC (TBC), the fleet will round several fixed marks as they head south past Sandringham Yacht Club (SYC), before crossing the open expanse of Port Phillip Bay, as they make their way around the Hovell Pile and on to the finish line at BYS.
“Shortened Course” options for the racing fleet, and motoring provisions for the cruising fleet will be included in the sailing instructions, to ensure that the fleet make it to Blairgowrie in time to enjoy the warm hospitality on a cool winter’s night.

Race Three. Another medium distance passage race of approximately 20 – 30 nm around fixed marks at the top and middle sections of the Bay, with the finish line to be set at the same location as the start.

Race Four. Geelong Passage Race. RGYC has graciously agreed to our request to change the date to the first weekend in September, ensuring that all competitors can join us, without any scheduling conflicts with other Winter Series events around the Bay. The race format and course for the Geelong Passage Race will be similar to previous years.

Race Five. Navigators Overnight Challenge Race. For the first time as part of the Winter Series, we will be running this very popular event which has been part of our “Beyond The Bay” training program. 
This event will commence at 12:00 on Saturday the 15th of September from several nominated locations designed to be convenient for competitors. All teams will create their own course by selecting various legs between fixed marks all over the Bay, with the intention of sailing as far as possible in the time allocated, and arrive at the finish line in Hobsons Bay as close as possible to the finish time of 9:00am on Sunday morning. All competitors will then be hosted at HBYC for a hearty breakfast and the event presentation.

Divisions Explained

For the first time, this year’s Winter Series will see a variety of divisions offered for all events throughout the series.

  • Traditional monohull racing divisions (IRC, AMS and PHS), will be offered as standard.
  • Female-based Crew Division. The ORCV is very proud to announce the introduction of a Female-based Crew Division for the 2018 Winter Series. Eligibility for this division will be based on the key crew positions of Skipper / Helm, Strings (Office) and Bow, being performed by female crew. This division will be scored based on PHS, and all entrants of this division will also be eligible to enter the IRC and AMS divisions.
  • Double-Handed Division. In keeping with our ongoing commitment to Double-Handed sailing, we are also running a Double-Handed Division for all Winter Series events. As with the Women’s Division, Double-Handed teams will also be eligible to enter the IRC and AMS Divisions.
  • Cruising Division. In addition to the racing divisions, and in keeping with our commitment to training through our “Beyond the Bay” program, we are also offering a Cruising Division for all Winter Series events. This division will be a non-spinnaker series scored on PHS, and is intended to give the cruising fleet an opportunity to participate in the winter series events in a racing format against similar boats and crew, as well as enjoy the comradery of the ORCV and the warm hospitality of our host clubs for our destination events. 
    The rules for this division will also include provisions to ensure that the cruising fleet finishes at a similar time as the general racing fleet, so that all Winter Series teams are off the water at a similar time. These provisions will be further explained in the Sailing Instructions.
  • Multihull Division. As with previous seasons, a dedicated division will be held for Multihull competitors for all Winter Series events, based on similar criteria of eligibility that has been applied previously. Details for multihull eligibility will be outlined in the Sailing Instructions.

Click RACE DOCUMENTS tab for Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions.

Click ONLINE ENTRY tab to enter the series or individual races.

ORCV Announces all new format for 2018 Winter Series

Ray S

The Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV) is excited to announce the development of an all new format for its 2018 Winter Series, to be held on the waters of Port Phillip Bay, commencing Sunday 3rd of June, 2018.  As the proud organising club of the longest running winter series on the Bay, the ORCV conducted a review over the summer months, to ensure that it continues to provide an exciting format to meet the needs of the Port Phillip Bay keelboat fleet.

The key changes to the 2018 Series:

  • Passage Race format for all events
  • Results awarded for each event, as well as overall series
  • Two “destination” long-distance passage races (Blairgowrie and Geelong)
  • Overnight Navigator Challenge included as final event of the series
  • Specialist Divisions introduced for all events:
    • Womens
    • Double-Handed
    • Cruising

This new format sees the ORCV continuing to partner with the traditional Port Phillip Bay keelboat clubs, with Royal Geelong Yacht Club continuing to host the very popular Geelong Passage Race in early September, Hobsons Bay Yacht Club to once again host the ORCV fleet at the conclusion of the Overnight Navigator Race, which has been a feature of our very successful Beyond The Bay training program in recent years, and for the first time in the winter months, we are excited to be joining with Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron as the host club for an additional destination passage race in early July.

The ORCV is also very excited to introduce for the first time this season, a dedicated division for Women’s keelboat racing for every Winter Series event, which will see teams competing with women sailors responsible for key positions within the crew, including Skipper / Helm, Bow and pit / office.

In keeping with the ORCV’s ongoing support of short-handed sailing, this year also sees the introduction of a double-handed division for all Winter Series events, as well as a dedicated cruising division, which will give many of the Beyond the Bay program graduates the opportunity to participate in ORCV events throughout the winter, without having to race directly against the traditional Port Phillip Bay racing fleet.

The dates for the 2018 Winter Series have now been confirmed as follows:

  • Sunday 3rd June, 2018 – Short Passage Race (Approx. 15 - 20nm) around fixed marks
  • Saturday 7th July, 2018 – Long Distance Passage Race to Blairgowrie
  • Saturday 4th August, 2018 – Short Passage Race (Approx. 20 – 30nm) around fixed marks
  • Saturday 1st September, 2018 – Long Distance Passage Race to Geelong
  • Saturday 15th of September, 2018 – Overnight Navigator Race

 

Over the coming weeks, the ORCV will be arranging information nights at each of the Port Phillip Bay keelboat clubs to speak with skippers and crews to discuss the changes to the Winter Series in more detail, as well as other exciting ORCV initiatives and programs. The details of these nights will be published when confirmed.

The Notice of Race and Top Yacht entry system for the 2018 Winter Series will be published in the coming weeks, and more information will be added to the ORCV Website as we get closer to the event.

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