Ocean Racing Club of Victoria
Steb Fisher

Skipper's Survey Results

From a skippers survey came the decision to run a Cat 2 race next February instead of the traditional Easter weekend. 

The survey extended to all yachts participating in ORCV offshore races in the past 3 seasons with an effective response rate of 75%.  

In planning the proposed event, the ability to start races early was a key issue. We asked skippers to review their experience in the 2022-23 King Island and Devonport races, which started at 5pm and 6pm respectively. The responses indicated that the early starts had not been a constraint on entries in those 2 events. 

  • 64% preferred the early start,  
  • 95% of the boats who planned to race were able to do so, albeit with the absence of some of their regular crew on 3 yachts. 
  • 86% of the skippers advised that the late afternoon starts had not caused crew constraints  
  • Only 2 boats advised that the earlier start times had led then to decide not to race. 

Forty-seven of the surveyed skippers advised that they are planning to race in Cat 2 races next season. We asked this group to indicate their start time preference. The result was a clear preference for late afternoon starts- 

  • Late afternoon - 68%
  • Early evening (after 7pm) -13%  
  • Traditional night Starts (first suitable tide after midnight) - 19% 

The level of interest for the proposed Cat 2 race in February was high. 72% of the boats reported that they would seriously consider participating and a further 11% supported the idea although they would not participate in 2025.  

Importantly, more than 80% Skippers who would seriously consider entering the February race advised that their participation would be in addition to their currently planned races. 

Port Fairy and Stanley were equally weighted by skippers as the preferred destination but if the race was run to Port Fairy, they would be more likely to continue to Adelaide and participate in the Port Lincoln Regatta.   

The New Race 

The Club has decided to run a race to Port Fairy starting at 1630 hrs on Friday 14 February 2025, thirty minutes before the start of the ebb. 

Port Fairy was chosen as the destination in 2025 partly because of its role as a feeder race for the 75th anniversary of the Port Lincoln races (which start one week later) but also due to the need to reliably meet two key design parameters for the race:- 

  • The ability for some crew members to return to Melbourne on Sunday night if required  
  • The ability for the remaining delivery crew to be back at their clubs on Monday night. 

Strong support from the Port Fairy Club and Community for the race and the availability of scheduled coach-rail service leaving late afternoon for the return to Melbourne are additional elements in the decision. 

We hope to attract a large fleet and look forward to seeing you on the water next February. 

Paul Roberts 
Rear Commodore & Sailing Captain  

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3 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park VIC 3206 Ph. 0493 102 744 E. orcv@orcv.org.au