2019 King Island race - Less is More - Results

The premier measurement handicap division, being the most populous, is AMS and first place has gone to UNDER CAPRICORN followed by VERTIGO and MAVERICK.  It’s interesting to note that UNDER CAPRICORN was sailing in the new 4+ autohelm category and MAVERICK was a double handed entry which goes to show sometimes less can be more.  A special mention to Tim Olding picking up a second on VERTIGO’S first ocean racing venture, he’ll have to keep coming back now.  

In the IRC division MAVERICK has picked up first place followed by CARTOUCHE, 7 minutes behind on corrected time, then WICKED.  Similar to AMS the shorthanded option has outperformed the fully crewed alternative, though I’m sure the Smallman’s are feeling pretty tired and looking forward to a nap.  Of course that will have to wait until after they have put down a couple of the famous King Island steak sangas!

On Performance Handicap MAVERICK finished first followed by UNDER CAPRICORN then WEEKEND OPTION.  

The line honours result was a close fought race with HARTBREAKER beating CARRERA S by a mere 3 seconds and EXTASEA coming in third.

As for the race within the race (first to Cape WIckham Latitude on Corrected time) UNDER CAPRICORN won this by a convincing 15 minutes.  Some would say a fortuitous result as 24 cans divides by four crew quite nicely…it gets a bit awkward when you have to split a slab between a crew of seven.  Notably in a nod to the local the economy, the Race Officer has decided to withhold the prize until tomorrow morning so as not to impede bar sales.

Line Honours
1 HARTBREAKER, Tony Walton
2 CARRERA S, Gerry Cantwell
3 EXTASEA, Paul Buchholz

AMS Overall
1 UNDER CAPRICORN, Bruno Carreto
2 VERTIGO, Tim Olding
3 MAVERICK, Rod & Tyson Smallman

IRC Overall
1 MAVERICK, Rod & Tyson Smallman
2 CARTOUCHE, Steven Fahey
3 WICKED, Mike & Mark Welsh

PHS Overall
1 MAVERICK, Rod & Tyson Smallman
2 UNDER CAPRICORN, Bruno Carreto
3 WEEKEND OPTION, Michael Culhane

Double Handed
1 MAVERICK, Rod & Tyson Smallman

For complete Results including Division Results see https://orcv.org.au/sailing/results

Line Honours

Line Honours

Hartbreaker Carrara S 2 Extasea

AMS Overall

Under Capricorn 3 Smaller Virtigo Maverick2

IRC Overall

Maverick2 Cartouche Wicked 2

PHS Overall

Maverick2  Under Capricorn 3 Smaller  Weekend Option 2

Double Handed



First of all I am a newcomer to ocean racing and I would like to share my experience having completed our first ORCV race - Melb to Devonport.Neil Onboard

Having sailed all my life I only progressed to owning my first “real” boat;  a Hanse 445 (B455 Mersea) about 3 years ago.

The learning curve was rather steep in the first year or two. As expected I know I will never stop growing in experience and with it the confidence of being able to handle the boat in varying conditions.

After buying the boat I immediately enrolled on the ORCV Beyond the Bay programme which included the overnight challenge (a navigation and watch keeping exercise around the bay) then culminated in the lattitude race out of the heads.

The fact that each boat had an experienced mentor on board for BTB made it very enjoyable and really helped pull all the classroom theory and much more together.

Since BTB I have have also completed the sea safety survival course - which teaches you heaps and is absolutely essential if you intend heading “out there” !!!

Thereafter we started venturing out of the heads on a semi regular basis - Wilsons Prom and the Kent Group, Sydney Pittwater, King Island and Apollo Bay.

As a “newby” all I can say “for me” is that it is a different and very special world once you leave the confines of Port Philip.

It’s not easy to describe - “adventure, freedom, anticipation and the unknown” are some words that spring to mind. 

One thing for sure is that all the normal and sometimes mindless buzz of work and daily life issues completely and I mean COMPLETELY disappear

So on to ocean racing - I was very lucky in that my regular crew are very experienced and tight knit coming from a recently sold Sydney 38. 

If as a skipper you are new to Ocean racing I feel it is very important and in fact I would say “essential” that you have experienced crew members that you get on with and trust, for two reasons; it gives you confidence to relax and enjoy the experience plus you quickly find out things that you didn’t know that you didn't know :)

We made the decision to do Devonport about 6 months prior to the race and had to do a few mods and provisioning to move the boat up from Cat 3 to Cat 2 Race Flagsafety plus we got the boat measured and weighed giving us an AMS rating.

The race itself was great, even the planning and anticipation was a significant and positive part of the overall experience. Yes there was quite a bit of work to do but mostly it was a once off stuff - and there are plenty of people out there willing to help get you to the start line.

Cruising was and still is fun and mostly relaxing as you can pick your weather windows and have multiple options up your sleeve if conditions change.

But for me Ocean Racing takes the whole experience to another level - the weather cannot be pre-booked - the adrenaline is pumping - you are out there with likeminded people who are there to compete but also to offer advice and assist in the event of a "bad situation” developing.

The race was exhilarating both mentally and physically and the camaraderie, race tactic discussions along the way all added to the experience. 

After the race arriving in Devonport about 3am in the morning presented the only scary moment of the crossing when trying to do a tight turn in the fast running tidal flow to get to the pontoon mooring our steering locked and we were sure we were heading for the mud. 

Luckily an errant winch handle in the rope bag that jammed the other wheel was found to be the culprit just in time.

Moored up we were greeted by, yes at 3am!! by club members delivering each boat with cold beer, hot pies and a jar of the infamous Tassie pickled onions - what a welcome!!!

In closing, all I can say if you are a boat owner and are considering doing an ocean race - get out there and do it - you won’t be disappointed - feel free to give me a call and have a chat - I am currently deciding which race to do next :)

Neil Sargeant RBYC


MerseaGoingToWindward Neil Recieving his take home trophy
Celebrating in Melbourne The Winning Crew

2018 King Island 

Well it's been exciting from the very begining, starting earlier in the week when the Race Director Simon Dryden made theScreen Shot 2018 03 10 at 4.20.25 pm call to move the start time from 2.30am to 1.00am.  Unfortunately with such light conditions in the few hours leading up to the start, a further review of the race start was required, as light winds and current were presenting challenging conditions to get outside of the heads.  In a first ever move, the race startline was moved to off Ocean Grove.  

The start was problematic for the rear of the fleet, missing the winds which were actually chasing the leader boats down towards King Island.  Moving from 0 - 4kts, initially and then picking up to 15 - 17kts, we now have an exhilerating race to both compete in and to watch on the tracker.


King Island Race Start

The current outlook for start of the race to King Island this weekend is looking a little problematic!

The current BOM wind forecast in the Heads is for very, very light winds.


The maximum ebb tide is just after midnight so for a start at 0200hours, there will still be some help from the outgoing tide.


It all could change over the next 36 hours but to give race management a full range of options to make sure that that the fleet safely navigates the Heads, two changes to the Sailing Instructions are being made:

  1. Move the start forward to 0100 to take maximum advantage of the ebb tide and
  2. To provide for a start line outside of the Heads, details of which will be in the revised Sailing Instructions to be posted later tonight in which case the start will be delayed. Which option we use will depend on the prevailing weather conditions at the time so boats should maintain a listening watch on VHF channel 82 at all times up to the scheduled Shipping Advice schedule at 0145.


The magic that happens – the race fairies you never really see


I love the King Island race, having done it many times on my own and on friends boats.  Gee it’s a lot of work to get the boat to a start line isn’t it ?  Provisioning, fuel, safety gear, audits, repairs, compliance paperwork, crew details.  How good is it to start a race and better still to finish one.  Arriving at King Island you pick up a mooring, get picked up by the inflatable, head to the bar for a drink, grab a steak then stand around the fire chatting till all hours and listen to the band.  You hang around for presso and then head home.

This year, helping out as part of the ORCV Race Management team what a different perspective I got.  I still love the race, love the people involved but wow what an eye opener.

Several months ago it all started – the meetings, the race documents, the marketing and compliance stuff.  Letters to authorities, formal approval, liaising with Port of Melbourne, organising the Coast Guard for the start and of course Kordia for the scheds.  Watching the office chase up boats and crew for paperwork, book flights and accommodation, arrange to borrow equipment, shipping of trophies and flags to King Island.  And then there is the organisation of volunteers – at least four for Race Directors, a couple for media, four more for incident management and a doctor on call of course.

And then a week out it all starts hotting up.  Trackers get set up and placed on each of the 20 or so boats.  The Race Director team meet up, to discuss each entrant (risk assessment), go over last minute plans.  The finishing team head off to the airport, the start team split, one to monitor the line on the Coast Guard boat heads to Queenscliff while the other heads to Cape Schanck to monitor the sign on sched.  The media team prepare the boat bios and prepare the background content.  

Meanwhile King Island yacht club have spent several months too, applying for their special all night liquor licence, ordering vast amounts of food and drinks, organising volunteers (who roster on all night cooking food), arrange the local trophies, arrange a vehicle and equipment for the finish line and start on the working bees to spruce up the club house.  They run around town putting up flyers and letting people know the event is on too including the mayor who is booked for presentation.  They organise the cool store container (thanks to King Island Dairy for that).  They organise to use the moorings and organise inflatables as well as boat crews (who roster on all night too).  They pick us up at the airport, billet us in their homes and made us very welcome.  Meanwhile we give them a hand unloading supplies and getting things ready at the club, realising just how much they have to purchase.  

IMG 2190

There are fires to light, computers and PA to set up, the band gear to prepare, cheeses to bag up, steaks to cut, last minute deliveries and phone calls of course.  Meanwhile life goes on, especially work and home life.  They have farms to tend, patients to see, homes and families to tend to – all this with the reality they will get no sleep the coming night.

You have seen the local volunteers behind the kitchen and behind the bar, always smiling and always ready to say hello.  You probably don’t think of them as local mums and dads, pub owners, farm owners, local business people, council.  You probably don’t notice the ORCV finish team recording results, doing the radio scheds, writing the web articles, messaging family and supporters, taking calls from interested parties and generally playing mother hen, watching over the fleet.  Boats come in, drinks get poured as they juggle mingling and chatting while taking photos and posting articles.  Fortunately the yachties are relatively well behaved so there is no drama there.  We chase up finishing declarations, hope for no protests and try to wrap up the formal results recording.  Before long there is a presentation to prepare, with trophies, results to check, articles to write.

Inevitably the boats leave and the clean up begins, you can imagine what that is like for tired locals and ORCV volunteers.  Some local volunteers we find out are also volunteering for a running race event on the Sunday too !!  Others volunteer to run some yachties to the airport too in their own car.  The ORCV team can almost relax, but still keep an eye on boats on the trip home, its not over yet.  There is more to do in the next couple of days too, debriefs and lessons learnt.

Chatting over dinner the night before the race with the Commodore of the King Island Yacht Club we get a real insight into how important the event is for the King Island Yacht club, its their major fundraiser for the year and they are very proud of “their” race.  They are a valued partner of the ORCV and a much appreciated group of people who give their time generously for you and your race.  They are a dwindling group of volunteers and are not getting any younger.  

Next time the urge comes from an impatient skipper or crew to spin around at the finish line of a race, we hope you remember the race fairies and come in for at least an hour or two and let them know how much you value what they do.

For some great interviews with King Island Yacht Club, click on:

Commodore Duncan Porter


Volunteer Kim Hill