Ocean Racing Club of Victoria
Steb Fisher


Click HERE for the 2012 Sovereign Series NOR .


Click HERE for the 2012 Westcoaster SIs. V1.00.

Coming soon!


Click HERE for the Leave at Home document


Click HERE for the 2012 M2HW Sked Sheets


Go HERE to complete
your entry.



Click HERE to see who 
else is going.


Shortwave in 2008 @ 1:17:28:59.



Get the results HERE.


Go HERE for the Race Documents


Read a little more HERE


When the race is on, watch them on the tracker, HERE.


A very big thanks to our major sponsors, the global miner, Heemskirk Consolidated.














Ocean Race: 440 nm

Race Start: 1230hrs @ Portsea Pier, 27th December 2012






Arguably Australia’s most challenging ocean race, the 41st Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster will start from yhe Portsea Pier on Thursday 27th December 2012

The course takes the competitors out of Port Phillip Heads, across Bass Strait then down the rugged West coast of Tasmania, around the Southernmost tip of Australia, past Maatsuyker Island, before heading up the Derwent River to the finish in Hobart.

This is a race run for yachties by yachties. It presents an amazing challenge to the participants and is run with a level of spirit and camaraderie not often seen. There are no fat wallet boats here, just great sailors working hard.



Melbourne to Hobart Fleet Ready to Set a Cracking Pace to Hobart

Skippers and crews from the near 50 boat fleet are counting down the days to the start of the 50th anniversary of the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s (ORCV) Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race and as final preparations are made, several boats are in contention for line honours.

One of the top performing boats to watch is Damien King’s Frers 61, Margaret Rintoul V (MRV). King, from the Sandringham Yacht Club (SYC), is certainly in form, taking line honours in the short coastal Apollo Bay Race earlier in the year, sailing the classic beauty to victory in a close race.

King, a multiple world and national champion sailor, boasts one of the classiest and most experienced sailing crews in the fleet who are not only hot shot sailors but also lifetime friends of the popular skipper.

Smaller Damien King on Margaret Rintoul V Photo Steb Fisher

Damien King on Margaret Rintoul V Photo Steb Fisher

Mark Byrne is the navigator on MRV and is an accomplished yachtsman in his own right.  King will be sharing the helming duties with close friend Grant Allen, and will be looking to America’s Cup campaigner, Ben Morrison-Jack, to give MRV the drive and tactical advantage on the trip to Hobart.

“I’ve never competed in this race before, but if it’s anything like the Sydney to Hobart, the race can be won or lost in the River Derwent. Luckily for us we have international sailor Tim Burnell on board. Tim is a local and has sailed on the Derwent for the past 35 years,” said King. Burnell will be hoping for a touch of family luck as he tries to repeat the previous success of his father, Rob Burnell, who won the race on two occasions.

Sailing with close friends is important to King. “Apart from Nick [Sayer], we have all grown up sailing together from 14 years of age, and while we are lifelong competitors, we are all the best of mates, so we have plenty of laughs among the serious competition”, said King.

Launched in 1996, MRV is widely regarded as one of the finest and most luxurious cruising yachts ever built in Australia. The yacht was built for then Sydney-based sailor, Stan Edward, under the experienced eye of the late international yachtsman Tasmania’s Graeme ("Frizzle") Freeman, who was appointed to oversee the build and fit out, a task he performed for many successful campaigns.

Previous winner and champion offshore sailor Paul Buchholz will push his Cookson 50, Extasea, hard and fast to Hobart with an eye on the 2022 line honours prize while fending off Gerry Cantwell’s Marten 49, Carrera S, and Antony Walton’s Reichel/Pugh 46, Hartbreaker which could also be in contention for first home if the conditions suit them.

smaller Extasea is set for a cracking race to Hobart in the 50th anniversary of the Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race Image Steb Fisher

Extasea is set for a cracking race to Hobart in the 50th anniversary of the Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race Image Steb Fisher

The prestigious Heemskerk Perpetual trophy will go to the handicap winner on AMS and the field for this is wide open.

Rob Date’s Carkeek 43, Scarlet Runner, also from the SYC is in hot contention for the handicap win and, if the conditions are right, could also push the larger boats for line honours. Launched in 2022, she is designed to the Fast 40+ class rule and has achieved outstanding results on the competitive European circuit.

Challenging Scarlet Runner will be Victorian entry, Ginan. While an unknown quantity in the Westcoaster, skippers Nigel Jones and Cam McKenzie bought the J111 specifically to campaign her for the 50th race. The skippers have engaged the expertise of a J111 expert who will be onboard for the race and driving the crew for peak performance. Jones is no stranger to success, skippering Paladin to an overall win in the 1990 race and Cadibarra 7 in 1999.

smaller Jazz Player on her way to line honours in the Two Capes Race Colleen Darcey picBrent McKay's Jazz Player will be pushing the leaders all the way to Hobart in the 50th anniversary of the Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race Image Jane Austin.jpeg

Not to be underestimated is Andrew Jones’s Inglis 47, AdvantEDGE from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club and Brent McKay’s Bakewell/White Z39, Jazz Player, which took line honours in 2009 under the guidance of skipper Andrew Lawrence.

McKay has his sights set on a hard and fast sail to Hobart.

“To win the race, we need to be smart about how we sail – making the right choice around King Island and making the most of the conditions when we sail up the Derwent. We will be working the boat hard, but one thing we know, when she’s off the wind, she’ll get up and boogie,” said McKay. (In the 2021 race, 80 percent of the fleet went west of King Island including eventual winner, Faster Forward, a rare feat in the race’s history books).

The 435 nautical mile Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race, organised by the ORCV with the cooperation of the Derwent Sailing Squadron, starts off Portsea Pier at 12pm on 27 December.

AdvantEDGE skippered by Andrew Jones from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club will be a boat to watch in the 50th anniversary of the Melbourne to Hobart Yacht race smaller Image Jane Austin

AdvantEDGE skippered by Andrew Jones from the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club will be a boat to watch in the 50th anniversary of the Melbourne to Hobart Yacht race smaller Image Jane Austin

In it to try and win again

Winners of the Hobart
There's something about a big milestone race that draws prior entrants to try it again.  Eight entrants in the 50th Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster are prior winners of the race.
Nigel Jones is one of our skippers who has attempted the race on different boats, first in 1990 as skipper of Paladin, then 1999 together with Cam McKenzie where they were the only finishers on Cadibarra 7. This year they race on Ginan, a J111.
Tevake II, Sadly Angus Fletcher is not longer with us but the crew of Tevake II will sail her in the race and once again will be looking to make Angus proud in adding to his wins of 2012 and 2013.
Justin Brenan, knows the road to Hobart along the Westcoast well, being overall winner 2009, 2011, 2017 and has 4 other podium places to his name.
From SA, we have John Muirhead on Enchantress back, who cleaned up on all divisions in 2010
Paul Buchholz, skippered the earlier Extasea to an overall win in 2015 and has 4 Line honours and 4 more podium places to his name.
There have been a number of Cadibarra's in the race but it was Paul Roberts (our current Sail Captain) on Cadibarra 8 who was the overall winner 2016
2019 In one of our slower races, where crews saw rare glass conditions on the Westcoaster, it was Jeff Sloan (our current Vice Commodore) on Archie
And Matt Fahey on Faster Forward will be trying to claim a back-to-back win after taking the West of King Island route last year and claiming the overall win. Meet the fleet herehttps://www.orcv.org.au/sailing/races/hobart-races

Westcoaster debutantes all set for Hobart

Sandringham Yacht Club’s Gerry Cantwell, skipper of Marten 49 Performance Cruiser Carrera S, credits Victorian boat builder Bernie Webber, with piquing his interest in sailing the Melbourne to Hobart (Westcoaster).

“Bernie encouraged me to buy Carrera S and filled me in on his Melbourne to Hobart adventures, sailing on ‘Ailsa’ the winning boat in the first race in 1972, so the 50th anniversary race provided the perfect opportunity for us to do our first race.

A sailor all his life, Cantwell is a relative newcomer to ocean racing. “We have sailed the Auckland to Noumea race, competed in several Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach Race Weeks. Basically, we split our time between Melbourne and Sydney / Queensland.”

Cantwell is excited about the upcoming race and admits that the crew will have a relatively comfortable ride down south.

“Carrera S is a race boat with a cruising fit-out, beautiful timber, and separate cabins, offering all the creature comforts compared to pure racers, but while we may be racing in style, we will certainly not be down below cooking roast dinners. We will be up there having a real crack at this race.”

While it may be the first Westcoaster for Cantwell, Carrera S will be raced to Hobart by a mixed crew with significant ocean racing experience. “Our boat is strong and well-prepared, as is our crew, with the likes of sailing master, Bretlyn Brown, Ryan Epstein and Jackie White, who has raced in ten Sydney to Hobarts, winning on Wild Rose in 2014.”

“At the end of the day, we go sailing for the memories, and while I can tick this race off my bucket list, what’s really important to me is the people I sail with.”

Image 1 Carrera S celebrating the end of the 2021 Sydney to Hobart race Photo credit Steb Fisher

Carrera S celebrating the end of the 2021 Sydney to Hobart. Photo credit: Steb Fisher

 Carrera S has crew from across most states including Tasmania’s Leigh Johnston (navigator) who has a reputation for meticulous preparation.

“I’m lucky to be on board such a well-prepared boat for this year’s race. The 50th will be the first taste of racing down Tasmania’s West Coast for some of our crew, so I’ve done a bit of extra navigation preparation to show them the average wind direction and strengths we might expect at different points over the racecourse.”

Patriot’s skipper Jason Close is also heading down the West Coast for the first time. Close will skipper the J133, built in Rhode Island in the United States, and has a strong sailing pedigree in offshore racing. Close has sailed multiple ORCV Melbourne to Devonport and Melbourne to Hobart Eastcoaster races and has experienced the spoils of victory in the Sydney to Hobart, winning Division Five on IRC and Division Four on ORCi in the 2019 75th anniversary race.

Close is likely to feature in the results and says things have just fallen into place as they put the final touches to their campaign. “We were all keen to support the hard work of the ORCV in getting this anniversary race underway. The fleet will be top quality, and the better they are, the better we will sail. This year, I’d planned to celebrate Christmas at home, so doing this race means that I can stay in Melbourne for that and then jump on the boat for the race,” said Close.

Close expects the west coast swells might offer up some interesting conditions, but as the boat goes well up and downwind, the enthusiastic skipper rates their chances. “Each crew member is successful in their own right, and if we get some consistency across the paddock, I think our preparation and experience will see us do well.”

“It will be interesting to see whether we sail in one weather system all the way to Hobart, or in three or four [systems] like the Sydney to Hobart. We are expecting some stiff competition from Jazz Player (Brent McKay) and Ryujin (Alex Toomey), but if the breeze is light, expect it to be a small boat race.”

Image 2 Patriot will be a force to be reckoned with in the 50th anniversary race Photo credit Steb Fisher

Patriot will be a force to be reckoned with in the 50th anniversary race. Photo credit: Steb Fisher

The Royal Brighton Yacht Club’s Mark Buckley, skipper of Moana, a Beneteau First 45, is also sailing the Westcoaster for the first time, and is feeling very relaxed about the race. Buckley considers Hobart to be one of the most fantastic destinations to sail to over the summer. “We are expecting some intense sailing, but our mixed and experienced crew is ready for the challenge, so other than a few rocks to watch out for on the sail down south, we are feeling good. It is a real credit to the ORCV that we have close to 60 boats on the start line for the 50th anniversary with many competitors completing various training courses with the ORCV in preparation for the race.”

Image 3 Moana a Beneteau First 45 is all set for the sail to Hobart photo credit Steb Fisher
Moana, a Beneteau First 45, is all set for the sail to Hobart. Photo credit: Steb Fisher

One thing is for sure, Tasmania’s rugged and remote west coast, with its lee shore and spectacular birdlife, will be a breathtaking sight for all competitors.
The 435 nautical mile Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race, organised by the ORCV with the cooperation of the Derwent Sailing Squadron, starts off Portsea Pier at 12pm on 27 December.

For Entry, Notice of Race and List of Entries, please visit: www.orcv.org.au

Jane Austin/ORCV media


Preparations in full swing for 50th Melbourne to Hobart

Preparations are in full swing for the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s (ORCV) 50th Melbourne to Hobart, as entrants make their final preparations for the ‘Westcoaster’ as it is colloquially known, which starts on 27 December at 12pm from Portsea Pier on the Mornington Peninsula.

The ORCV is proud of the numbers their anniversary race has attracted. There are 60 boats, covering fully crewed, Four Plus Autohelm and double-handed, which will make a breathtaking sight for spectators ashore and on the water.

Entrants cover the full gamut from the regulars to first-timers and represent Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and NSW, all desired to be part of this historical race. And from those who have left their trail on the racecourse multiple times, the words, “challenging, tactical, exhilarating, like climbing a mountain, scenic,” are mentioned.

“We’ve fortunate to have great support from the Victorian community and from interstate, all-embracing our 50th race. We have a number of first-timers who are accomplished sailors and winners of other major events who are doing the race for the first time,” says ORCV Commodore, Cyrus Allen.

According to the regulars, the Westcoaster is a race of four parts, where it can be won or lost at any turn: Bass Strait; which route to take around King Island and down the west coast of Tasmania; rounding Maatsuyker Island and running across the Southern Ocean towards Hobart.

Finally, there is the Derwent River to conquer. It is famous for either having the wind gods on side or shutting down completely. Terrible for those in close sight of the finish line that can sit for hours and hours before finishing.

On the line is the race record, set in 2008 by Matthew Short’s TP52 Shortwave in the time of 1 day, 17hrs, 28mins, 59secs.

Those primed to take line honours, proven boats that will unleash in the right conditions, include Damien King’s Frers 61, MRV; Antony Walton’s RP46, Hartbreaker; Paul Buchholz’s past winner, the Cookson 50, Extasea; Gerry Cantwell’s Marten 49, Carrera S and Rob Date’s new Carkeek 43, Scarlet Runner, which was built with this race in mind.

Date’s 13th yacht of the same name recently underwent some tweaks to make it faster in their first assault on the race. If he gets it right, the pair could well take the double of line and overall honours, as the boat was specifically designed as a fast 40+, the design delivering outstanding results on the competitive European circuit.

“We think this is the boat to win the 50th Anniversary Westcoaster. We just want to do more local ocean racing from Melbourne," explains local, Date, an uncanny knack of building young and effective crews.

Date will have opposition from all quarters, including past winners such as South Australian, Enchantress and newcomers. Weather, good preparation, tactics and luck play their part in deciding the fate of the fleet.

Scarlett Runner new and aiming for glory Salty Dingo pic WestcoasterScarlett Runner - new and aiming for glory - Salty Dingo pic 

Lord Jiminy will be a major threat. A Class 40 yacht built in France for French owner, the boat was sold to Australian interests and shipped to Australia in 2015. Renamed Lord Jiminy, she took Westcoaster line honours in 2019 and 2021, also winning the Performance division in 2021. Sold this past weekend to Kevin Curtis and Jim Ooosterweghel, she marked the last entry received for the race.

“I’ve done the race six or seven times on my boat, Sea Eagle and one on Addiction,” Curtis said. Jim’s done the race a lot too, including on Sea Eagle.”

The Melbourne yachtsman reasons, “I’m pretty sure I did 25th anniversary race, so it’s good to do the 50th as well. I like the proximity to Melbourne and the scenery of the west coast is beautiful. Arriving in Hobart after the race is rewarding.”

In the lead-in to the race, Curtis says, “We’ll be sailing to Geelong and back on Saturday and also and also do the qualifying miles. The previous owner of the boat, Guillaume (Leroux), is sailing the race with us – he knows the boat so well,” Curtis ended.

These boats, along with others, will be sailing for the Heemskirk Trophy, awarded to the overall winner of the measurement handicap systems with the greatest number of starters.

Lord Jiminy took line honours in 2019 and 2021 Steb Fisher pic Westcoaster

Lord Jiminy took line honours in 2019 and 2021 Steb Fisher pic Westcoaster

The double-handed boats will give the rest a run for their money for the Trophy. With a handful of Westcoasters behind him, Jock MacAdie is a front runner with Alex – Team MacAdie, a Jones/Hart 14 that has received a few makeovers. He knows the taste of success, having taken line honours in the 2007 Melbourne Osaka double-handed yacht race with his son Hamish.

With Hamish overseas, David Scott will co-skipper. “We’re hoping for a northerly at the start and then a westerly. We’re at our best sailing slightly sprung sheets,” MacAdie says.

MacAdie is au fait with his double-handed competition: “Ryujin (Alex Toomey’s Sayer 12 co-skippered by Andrew Hibbert) is a quick boat with water ballast and very light. It will come down to how well the new owner sails her.

Alex Team MacAdie should be quick Steb Fisher pic Westcoaster smaller

Alex Team MacAdie should be quick Steb Fisher pic Westcoaster

“The guys on Joker on Tourer (Grant Chipperfield and Peter Dowdney) are very competent and the Elliott 1250 Tourers can be quite quick. It’s the same size as us and possibly faster than us, so it will be good competition. Both boats will be serious contenders.”

MacAdie is aware too, of the vagaries of the race: “Last year we got to the bottom Bruny Island and the wind went from 25 knots to zero. It stayed that way for a day. Really frustrating. We were sitting at the Iron Pot for three hours, tide going out and very little wind. Finally, the tide turned and we could finish…”

For the List of Entries and all information, please visit: www.melbournehobart.com

Women skippers get behind 50th ‘Westcoaster’

Seasoned and respected women sailors are among those so far signed up to compete in the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s (ORCV) 50th Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race - or ‘The Westcoaster’, as it is simply known to most - which starts at midday on 27 December, 2022.

Clare Olding turns 22 this month and is currently the youngest skipper in the race. As in other races, she will share helming responsibilities with her dad Tim, owner of the Summit 35, Vertigo. Olding, from Victoria, has also skippered the yacht twice in the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta for female sailors only, in which she placed third this year.

“I grew up sailing with Dad, but I’ve only been racing with him for the last four years. He’s given me the opportunity and encouraged me all the way, even loaning the boat to us for us for the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta,” says Olding, who has over 5,000 nautical miles behind her.

The Victorian sailor says her love of ocean racing comes from, “A million different unknown variables and watching crew to work under those variables. It’s awesome to see people deal with difficult situations and see them come out the other end in good shape.”

Clare Olding at the helm of Vergito in the Melbourne toDevonport race Paulina Hryniewiecka pic smallerClare Olding at the helm of Vertigo in the Melbourne to Devonport race - Paulina Hryniewiecka pic

She would love to see an increase in younger women racing offshore: “It makes you realise how competent you are. You learn a lot of skills, like keeping your head under pressure, problem solving and an appreciation for where you are. You see dolphins and whales and it all sticks with you. Sailing is incredibly empowering.”

Vertigo won the ORCV’s Launceston to Hobart (2019). She also won the ORCV’s 2021 Melbourne to Devonport ‘Rudder Cup’, Australia's oldest ocean race and the fifth oldest organised ocean yacht race in the world. The Oldings are aiming for a hat trick with the 50th Westcoaster.

“My hope is we go in properly prepared, that we’ve done the training required and are ocean ready,” says Olding, who will be joined by “at least five other women, “Mostly around my age.”

Clare Olding confident at the helm of Vertigo Paulina Hryniewiecka pic smallClare Olding - confident at the helm of Vertigo - Paulina Hryniewiecka pic

Living further up the eastern seaboard, Northern NSW yachtswoman Annette Hesselmans will skipper her yacht, FIKA in the race.

Joining her on the Najad 1490 design are her partner Gerry Snijders, their 24-year-old daughter Sophie Snijders, Annette’s older sister Mary-Jane Wagenfeld and Sophie’s boyfriend, Simon McKenna. Also aboard is Annette’s friend and experienced inshore and offshore sailor, Sue Bumstead, whom she met through the two’s shared experience of the 5500 nautical mile Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race on separate boats.

Annette Hesselmans left and sister Mary Jane Wagenfeld at the helm pic courtesy Annette Hesselmans SmallerAnnette Hesselmans (left) and sister Mary-Jane Wagenfeld at the helm - pic courtesy Annette Hesselmans

 “We were blown away that Sophie is joining us with her partner. We didn’t set out to have more women than men, it just worked out that way. We have a range of really experienced to novice sailors that will hopefully complement each other,” admits Hesselmans.

Hesselmans competed double-handed on her then yacht, Red Jacket, with brother, Andrew Hesselmans in the 2017 Westcoaster. She took Red Jacket again in 2018, skippering a four-female crew, including daughter Sophie and Sue Bumstead, in the Four + Autohelm division.

 “Sophie was my incredibly competent crew sailing home from the 2018 Melbourne Osaka (Hesselmans and her partner finished seventh over the line and fifth in PHS) and in the Westcoaster. Sophie introduced her partner to sailing on her Duncanson 34, Nakama. They’re currently cruising in the Northern Territory.

Annette Hesselmans and daughter Sophie Snijders sailing together pic courtesy Annette Hesselmans smallerAnnette Hesselmans and daughter Sophie Snijders sailing together - pic courtesy Annette Hesselmans

 “My sister is fairly new to the concept of ocean racing. She did Bass Strait with me in February but otherwise sailed a dinghy in her teens.”

 Until recently a remote nurse, Hesselmans has switched gears and now runs ‘Paper Sailors Rock’, providing sailing adventures and sail training RYA courses via FIKA.

 “My goal is to make sailing inclusive for all. Being a female skipper is my passion though, so I like to encourage more women onto the water and to develop confidence. I’m in the process of becoming RYA accredited so that I can offer a range of sailing courses.”

 FIKA’s owner says she has reasons for participating in the 50th Melbourne to Hobart with family and friends: “The camaraderie, festivities and of course celebrating the 50th and being part of such an iconic race.”

 There are many other women also taking part in the race across those yachts already entered.

 The 435 nautical mile Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race, organised by ORCV with the cooperating of the Derwent Sailing Squadron, starts off Portsea Pier at 12pm on 27 December.

 For Entry, Notice of Race and List of Entries, please visit: www.melbournehobart.com



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