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.


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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.



Bass Strait Blues

Everybody knows Bass Strait can be a cruel place.  Various yacht races have reported the heavy seas and gale force winds that have forced their yachts to batten down.  Today has been cruel for a different reason, no wind at all in the middle section.  At different intervals during the day the Melbourne to Devonport fleet have been lucky if they could eke out even a knot of boat speed.  This afternoon has seen a welcome change with the wind filling in as promised. 

Scaramouche had made a choice last night to track a long way west of the rhumbline and is now some 32 nautical miles away from Gusto Solo and Vertigo.  MetEye reports that they now have around 10 knots from the northwest and that this will build as they close in on Devonport.  Notoriously the wind then drops close to the coast and the entrance to The Mersey River.  Depending on the tidal flow, progress to the finish line has, in the past, proven to be agonizingly slow.  They will be expected to finish around 2-3 am.

The Melbourne to Hobart fleet is enjoying much better conditions and the tactics of which side of King Island are starting to play out. 

The crew of Vagabond sent a video to Race Director Jeremy Walton in which they have declared themselves ‘Westies’, having joined most of the fleet in going to the west of King Island. 

The next crucial decision then became, when to tack back.  Most seem to have decided to try to make the next leg of the race, a two-sail reach to the corner that is the South West Cape.  Blue Water Tracks, Alex-Team Macadie, Tevake ll and Lord Jiminy all went a long way west before making the tack back towards the rhumbline.  Faster Forward and Foggy Dew have chosen to tack earlier.  The angles this affords navigators will play out over the next eight hours supporting each boats individual strength.

They know that as they travel south, they will all encounter a windless weather hole to the west of Point Hibbs.

Audere and Alien decided to stay to the East of King Island and Joshua Thring skipper of Audere is making good progress on the rhumbline in 20 knot southerlies.  Given the weather hole that lies ahead, he may have made a longer-term strategic decision to stay close to the coast, where he can ‘rock hop’ taking advantage of any Land Breeze.

Audere and Blue Water Tracks Photo Michael Currie

Audere and Blue Water Tracks Photo Michael Currie

The race will most likely be decided by who can get into and out of that hole the quickest.  Currently even after taking such vastly different routes the distance to the finish only varies among the fleet by approximately 20 nautical miles.

Whoever rounds the South West Cape first will without doubt be in the box seat to also make the finish line in Hobart first.


ORCV media

Tactical Race as King Island ‘Splits’ Melbourne to Hobart Race Fleet

Lord Jiminy leads fleet down Tasmanian West Coast

As the sun set on the first day of racing, tacticians onboard Melbourne Hobart yachts began making defining race decisions. The critical question for all tacticians was which way to sail past Bass Strait King Island, do we sail the traditional course east of King Island, or West to find favourable winds?

Sailing west of King Island has rarely been a race-winning course the past 49 Melbourne to Hobart races. This year’s weather has made it an option with most of the fleet deciding on the westerly course. Blue Water Tacks has chosen the most westerly course, searching for increased wind further west in Bass Strait

resized Lord Jiminy in hot pursuit Photo Steb Fisher

Lord Jiminy takes the lead as the fleet come around the bottom of King Island Photo Credit Steb Fisher

Currently leading the fleet is Lord Jiminy with Alex-Team Macadie and Tevake ll close behind with Alien currently leading in all three handicap divisions and sailed the traditional course, east of King Island,

As always, the Melbourne to Hobart ‘Westcoaster’ yacht race, is a race with many stages.  Sailing across Bass Strait past King Island is the first stage with West Coats of Tasmania second.

Track the fleet at https://race.bluewatertracks.com/2021-melbourne-to-hobart-westcoaster

ORCV media

A leap of faith or a question of belief

Based on the predictions for the start of the Melbourne Tasmania races tomorrow, it is either a leap of faith for the Westcoasters or a question of belief for those going to Devonport.

PredictWind.com routings for the Westcoaster show a preferred course outside King Island for all weather models. In the past this has been disastrous for all who attempted it. It will be interesting to see if any of the fleet take the ‘Leap of Faith’ required and go to the West of King Island. Previous experience has seen competitors try this unusual strategy but never with any success. However never have we seen the modelling look so clear on the Western route.

Westcoast Route

The picture is a lot less clear for the Devonport race. Here the routes for each of the different models shows a completely different course to Devonport. Which one navigators choose to bet on will depend on which model they believe is more accurate, making this decision a question of belief.

Tomorrow’s weather briefing for all competitors will not just be compulsory but essential listening.

Big Swell for Start for the Tassie Bound Melbourne Fleet 

Make or break decision to be made for Hobart fleet 

The combined Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport fleets had a very civilized start time of 14:30 today in the vicinity of Portsea Pier, allowing for excellent spectator viewing.

With 20 knots of offshore breeze and a good length start line the fleet had a clean reaching start carving away to the first mark of the course at Shortland Bluff.  Grant Dunoon’s Moody 54, Blue Water Tracks was closely followed by Vagabond and Alex -Team Macadie

Resized A fast start to the ORCV races Photo Michael Currie

A fast start for the Hobart and Devonport crews Photo Michael Currie

One of the pre-race favourites, Lord Jiminy skippered by Guillaume Leroux had a delayed start.  The Class 40 that took Line Honours in the 2019 Westcoaster crossed the line 33 minutes after the fleet.  A time difference that could cost multiple places at the finish.

resized Lord Jiminy in hot pursuit Photo Steb Fisher

Lord Jiminy making up ground Photo Steb FIsher

First through The Heads of Port Phillip in challenging 2 – 3 metre swell was hotly contested with Alex-Team Macadie nosing just ahead of Tevake ll.

The Melbourne to Devonport fleet will be hoping to make ground before they hit the predicted weather ‘hole’ in the middle of the course.  The entire fleet is currently tracking well to the west of the rhumbline, Gusto Solo sailed double handed by Brian Pattinson and his son Tristan are leading the fleet in his new Don Jones 42 with Nigel Cunliffe’s Scaramouche slightly further west.  Presumably Cunliffe’s tactic is to attempt to maximise his wind and set the best line for his tack back later in the race.

The Melbourne to Hobart fleet has a weather dilemma that has rarely been seen in this Westcoaster race.  Current the modelling suggests that the fastest course to Hobart is to go West of King Island.  This track is well away from the direct rhumbline and adds approximately 25 nautical miles to the course.  Tacticians will have to make some race defining decisions around six or seven tonight.  

Currently Tevake ll and skipper Paul Nielson are closest to the rhumbline followed by Audere.  While Macadie on his double handed Alex are tracking to the west and enjoying a good boat speed of close to nine knots.  Vagabond, Blue Water Tracks and the Sydney 38 Faster Forward have all chosen to point this way as well.  Late starter Lord Jiminy are making excellent boat speed and have also manoeuvred to this more westerly position.

While tracking to the west of King Island maybe risky, this year’s unusual weather conditions may be the year to try.

Race director Jeremy Walton said tonight, “We are very happy to have had a clean start and are intrigued to see the tactics, particularly in the Westcoaster play out over the next eight hours.  On current forecast we expect to see the Devonport fleet somewhere near the finish line by midday tomorrow.”

Follow the fleet on the tracker:

Hobart Fleet https://race.bluewatertracks.com/2021-melbourne-to-hobart-westcoaster

Devonport Fleet https://race.bluewatertracks.com/2021-melbourne-to-devonport

ORCV media

Race Director Update of the 2019 Melbourne to Hobart Westcoater

Martin Vaughan, Race Director of the 2019 Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster provides an insight into the race conditions and predictions for the fleet as of December 29th.

orcv logo reversed

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