King Island

Rozinante II wins slow dance to Grassy in 50th King Island Race

Rozinante II has won a protracted King Island Race from Melbourne to Grassy at the southern end of the Island, while John Newbold’s Primitive Cool took line honours in the time of 1 day, 3hrs 13mins 11secs, well outside the record he set in 2014 of 9 hours 50mins 21secs.

 Start with Rozinante II centre stage Steb Fisher pic King Island Race

Start with Rozinante II centre stage - Steb Fisher pic - King Island Race

Competitors will long remember the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s 50th race. On the positive side were the crayfish and steak sandwiches at the end of a very slow race that took nearly double the time it normally would.

Rozinante II’s skipper, Andrew Middleton, joined the race last year as part of the rally, which the ORCV introduced to encourage more owners to step up to Category 2 racing.  Since then, he has gone on to regularly do Cat 3 races, but the King Island Race was his maiden Cat 2 race – and he won. 

For the 50th, Middleton joined forces with Leo Cantwell, who usually skippers Magic Bullet and who also took part in the rally in 2021. 

Rozinante 11 winners

Rozinante II crew 

“I’d just like to thank the ORCV for presenting this opportunity. I think the rally was a great thing for us to do,” Cantwell said, clutching the King Island cheese package that formed part of his prize.

After spending much longer at sea than they all expected, Cantwell caused much laughter when he commented, “Some people have said this was a short race, but for me it was bloody long. It was a hard night, but it was a great team effort and I’m very pleased to be standing up here today.”

And a word from the elder statesman of the fleet, Laurie Ford, skipper of Spirit of Downunder), who also produced laughter: “The start was horrendous. I thought, ‘oh god, the boat’s going to get damaged and I’m trying to sell it’. But the latter part of the race was very enjoyable.”

Ford, whose sons Tim and Stuart, along with Paul Beresford, joined him in the Four + Autohelm division, continued: “I think I did my first King Island in 1992 and it hasn’t changed much!”

The 114 nautical mile race started in a 12-14 south/south-westerly under sunny blue skies at 3pm on Friday - glorious conditions. Primitive Cool got through the Heads first. Around midnight the wind dropped out. It remained light to the end and so favoured the smaller and lighter boats.

Happy winners with their crayfish prizes pic courtesy ORCV

Happy crayfish winners photo ORCV Media

Some sailed the rhumbline course, while others took an easterly or western route. The east paid dividends.

Normally the fleet would have been finished by around midnight Friday night, and that would have been the case had the forecast from a week earlier held. However, the reality was starkly different and it was a little more than a day later when the first boats trickled in. 

From midnight Friday the yachts were floating around in a negligible breeze and by Saturday morning nothing had changed. The scenario was there for all to see on the Blue Water Tracks race tracker. Boats not moving, some going backwards, others going around in circles.

At 8am on Saturday morning, Damien King’s Frers 61, Margaret Rintoul V, was just leading Brian Pattinson’s Don Jones 42, Gusto (being raced double handed by Pattinson and Bruno Carreto), both sailing well east of the rhumbline. Rintoul eventually retired, along with three others.

Extasea (Paul Buchholz), race record holder Primitive Cool (John Newbold), Hartbreaker (Antony Walton) and Carrera S (Gerry Cantwell), were next in the ‘chase’ if you could call it that, for line honours. Newbold was sailing close the rhumbline, while the other two were sailing west of the rhumbline. 

Saturdays sunrise from Maverick Rod Smallman pic

Sunrise from Maverick Saturday. Photo Rod Smallman

On Saturday morning, Rod Smallman said from mid-fleet, “We are in no wind. It’s been like this most of the night. We’ve got 1.2 knots of wind speed. Margaret Rintoul has done well; she’s sailed a good line. I’ve just done a weather route and it has us getting in around 2am.  The crays and steak sandwiches are looking good…

“It’s fun to be out at sea though. It was a beautiful sunrise this morning.”

Meanwhile, the prizes were due to be handed out at 10am. The crayfish were cooked and the King Island Boat Club had the steak sandwiches ready to hit the barby – a paddock of water and no wind standing between the parties. 

The 50th King Island Race brought out many a past entrant, including Ian Lyall, who has competed in more than 20.

What could be better than King Island crayfish and cheese pic courtesy ORCV

What could be better than King Island crayfish and cheeses Photo ORCV Media

Top three results:

AMS Division 1

1. Arcadia (Peter Davison)
2. Soiree Bleu (Douglas Lithgow)
3. Patriot (Jason Close)

AMS Division 2

1. Rozinante II (Andrew Middleton)
2. Weekend Option (Michael Culhane)
3. Vertigo (Tim Olding)

ORC Division 1

1. Patriot
2. Bandit (Ashley Trebilcock)
3. White Noise (Daniel Edwards)

ORC Division 2

1. Rozinante II 
2. Merlion (Eddie Mackevicius)
3. Alien (Justin Brenan)

PHS Division 1

1. Soiree Bleu
2. Arcadia
3. Hot Chipps (John Chipp)

 PHS Division 2

1. Weekend Option (Michael Culhane)
2. Rozinante II 
3. Foggy Dew (Robert D’Arcy)


Maverick (Tony Hammond/Rod Smallman)
Gusto (Brian Pattinson/Bruno Carreto
Solera (Stuart Richardson/Jason Boyle)

Line Honours

Primitive Cool (John Newbold)

Full results:

Weather Predictions 50th ORCV Melbourne to King Island Race

The 50th ORCV Melbourne to King Island will get underway tomorrow at around 3pm in a light SW breeze. It's predicted to be light winds for most of the race with some strategy required to avoid the dead patches during Saturday and the top of King Island.

Hopefully, most will be in by early evening in time for the band and no doubt they will be ready for that great King Island steak sandwich.

You can follow the fleet on the tracker here

50th King Island Race: Forget sheep stations – entrants playing for crayfish

 Crayfish just the order for King Island Race Photo ORCV Media

Forty-five entries have so far locked in for the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s 50th King Island Race, which starts at 1500 hours on 11 March off Queenscliff, with competitors playing for something far more important than sheep stations – crayfish and King Island cheeses.

It’s a known fact that King Island produces some of the finest meat and dairy foods and is famous for its cheeses. Tasmania also offers the cleanest air on the planet, breathtaking scenery and the renowned warm welcomes of its inhabitants. What’s not to like?

Keen on cracking a cray or two and his own race record of 9 hours 50mins 21secs set in 2014 for the 114 nautical mile race, is John Newbold, the owner of the Reichel/Pugh 51, Primitive Cool, winner of the 2010 Sydney Hobart.

“We’ve been doing some weather modelling, and I know we’re days away still, but it’s showing record breaking conditions. The crays are further reason to win,” Newbold said. “To do the 50th year is pretty special and ORCV does a good job organising it.

“It’s a good little race, usually done and dusted pretty quickly. It’s good to see the race starting in daylight. Usually, it’s a late-night start timed to get through the Heads. We should arrive at Grassy around midnight. Tough for the King Island Boat Club. They do a good job having great steak sandwiches ready for us and a few drinks. They’re very welcoming.

His competition for line honours, the Melbourne yachtsman affirmed, “The canting Cookson 50, Extasea (Paul Buchholz), could give us a run for our money. If it’s light, Hartbreaker (Tony Walton’s Reichel/Pugh 46) could do it.”

Newbold said the boat had been in Sydney until April, and with Covid and some of his crew based in Sydney, “The chances to race the boat haven’t been there. We broke the Blairgowrie race record in July though and we went for a sail Saturday a week ago to blow out the cobwebs. Sudsy (David Sudano) does a great job looking after the boat, so I think we’re in good shape.”

Newbold also has his sights on winning overall, but the opposition is fierce. Daniel Edwards is going for the hattrick with his updated White Noise, a MAT 1245. Martin Power is hoping to see his old war horse, the Peterson 44 Bacardi, relive her glory days having won the race in 1988, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004 under her former owners. Hartbreaker won in 2017 and 2018.

Primitive Cool leading White Spirit in an ORCV race S Michael Currie picPrimitive Cool leads the way Photo Michael Currie

Spirit of Downunder won in 2007 and is among the Four + Authohelm entries. She is owned and skippered by 84-year- old Laurie Ford, whose two sons, Tim and Stuart will be aboard.

There are other capable boats waiting in the wings, including Patriot (Jason Close), Bandit (Ashley Trebilcock), Audere (Josh Thring) and Wicked, Mike and Mark Welsh’s Beneteau 40. Launched in 2009, she placed a close second in the Rolex Sydney Hobart to her sistership and overall winner, Two True that year.

Solera (Stuart Richardson) is the dark horse. The Elliott 1350 Tourer won PHS overall in December’s Sydney Hobart and won the PHS Corinthian division into the bargain. This time though, Richardson will sail in the Double-Handed division.

In keeping the mantra that ‘the ORCV takes you places’, King Island is one of those special place and worth battling through the tides and currents to this place of beauty that offers warm hospitality.

Lily Stellmaker training on Faster Forward S Matt Fahey picLily Stellmaker from King Island trains with Faster Forward Photo Matt Fahey

Since its beginnings, sailors from King Island Boat Club have been invited to experience it for themselves, while others, including youths, have thumbed a ride back to Melbourne to gain more offshore experience.

In keeping with tradition, Lily Stellmaker, a graduate of the King Island Boat Club, will be aboard Matt Fahey’s Sydney 38 Faster Forward. She will do the race and the return delivery. The 21-year-old has been in Melbourne training on Port Phillip as part of the boat’s racing crew.

To celebrate the 50th, ORCV Commodore, Grant Dunoon, has invited fellow Commodores, Terry Travis from Mersey Yacht Club (Devonport, Tas) and Nick Connor of the Derwent Sailing Squadron (Sandy Bay, Tas) to race aboard Blue Water Tracks, his comfortable Moody DS54.

“The ORCV has a key role, as we interact with all the clubs and work to develop strong relationships with the sailing community in Victoria and interstate. As we sail to other clubs and enjoy their friendship and support, we can meld and bring clubs together with unity. The 50th King Island Race is an ideal opportunity to put this into practice,” Commodore Dunoon said.

The King Island Race takes competitors on a course from Queenscliff in southern Victoria, across Bass Strait and to the finish at Grassy Harbour, King Island off the north/western tip of Tasmania.

For history on the King Island Race please go to:

Follow the race on the Blue Water Tracks race tracker at:


Crayfish just the order for King Island Race Photo ORCV Media

Final Reminders – ORCV 50th King Island Race

King Island has limited health resources so we ask you all to adhere to our hosts' requests as outlined below.  If you are unwell prior to departure, please STAY AT HOME.

IMPORTANT: If any crew are exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 upon arrival, please take a RAT test and stay on the boat.


Masks - Pack them

The King Island Boat Club has asked us to wear masks on the tender service and when ordering food or inside the shed.

Tender Service

The water police are monitoring the event and the boat club have asked that everyone wears a life jacket on the tender transfer service to avoid a fine.  Consider bringing a waterproof bag for your crew jackets to go into.

Best Photo Wins a Crayfish.

Send us your images 1 hour prior to the presentation time.  The best photo of the race will win a crayfish so make sure you are there too to collect.  Your photos could be crew shots on the way to the start, fleet other boats or action shots or photos once arrived in King Island.  All photos must be taken by yourself / crew and may be used for promotion with ORCV races or wrap up.  Don't forget to include your boat and your name with your submission.  Submit via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the Whatsapp group here.  Don't forget too to tag #orcv on your social media too.


There is an EFTPOS machine at the King Island Boat Club but it's not reliable so they recommend bringing cash. We will have some raffles/auctions of the delicious King Island food.  


SYC, RBYC, RVYC trackers will be delivered by Thursday to your club boating office or reception.  RMYS (via Andrew McConchie) and HBYC (via Paul Neilson).  Boats from MYC, SBSC and RGYC as per the email you've received.

Please turn them on between 11am - 1pm on Friday 11th. After 20 mins, check you can see your boat on the tracker system here  If you don’t see your boat, please call the Starting Race Director.
Mounting, Using and How to use the Tracker can be found here 

At King Island

The King Island Boat Club hospitality is what makes this race so special. For this small club, our race is their major fundraiser so please make sure you support them by staying for at least a short while and show your appreciation to Rod (Commodore), Gary & Matthew (tender driver), Tanya, Niki and Linda (hospitality) plus many other volunteers who work throughout the weekend to accommodate you. We ask that you follow the instructions of the tender drivers for mooring and familiarise yourself with the updated mooring instructions as outlined in the Sailing Instructions

The fisherman of Grassy loaned us their moorings and one was damaged a couple of years back. So please be careful and use the moorings correctly as outlined in the sailing instructions to allow us to be invited back again.

Entry to Grassy Harbour

Entering Grassy Harbour for the first time can be a daunting task. So preparation is key to navigating your way through safely. I would urge all competitors to set up a route in their plotters setting out a route to follow. From the finish line, you need to move to a position that is far enough offshore so that you stay in deep water. Once you reach your first waypoint you will turn to starboard onto the leads (298’ Magnetic ) Once you reach your second waypoint you will turn to starboard on the second set of leads (41’ Magnetic) until you are through the entrance of the harbour. There is plenty of room inside the Harbour where you will wait for the tender to direct you to your mooring.


The race presentations will be held at 10 am on Sunday unless otherwise notified by the Race Directors via SMS. Jeremy & Cam your Race Directors work incredibly long hours, prior to and during the race and are still on watch until you get home. So please make sure you also thank them by staying and being part of the presentations.

Keep King Island and our Oceans Clean.

As with all ORCV events, we encourage each boat and competitor to reduce the level of single-use plastic on board by using reusable water bottles, using boat cutlery and plates, refilling onboard and taking food in reusable containers. King Island has natural beauty without the options of all types of recycling we have here on the mainland so please take your rubbish home and consider taking your own coffee cup onto the island also.

Return Journey

Please be careful with your trip home, be mindful to avoid possible areas that you could run aground such as Elephant Shoal etc and many other points as you head safely home.

Lastly, sked sheet and leave at home documents are on the website here.  Have fun and be safe at sea.

ORCV Media




50th King Island Commerative TShirt

Click here to order

You've done it, been part of it, why not get the TShirt to show it.
We will be creating "to order" commerative 50th Melbourne to King Island TShirt / Cap packs for you and your crew.

To make it simple, it will be a Shirt / Cap combination as shown.

Orders close February 14th 10am.

50th Tshirt