King Island Ocean Yacht Race

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King Island Map

Ocean Race distance:  114 nautical miles 
Safety Category: 2
Start Location: Queenscliff
Start Time:  To be Confirmed AEDT
Start Date: 8th March 2024
Race Record: 09h 50m 21s by PRIMITIVE COOL in 2014

The ORCV ocean yacht race to Grassy, King Island, is conducted on the Labour Day weekend in March every year.

This is a Category 2 race that starts at Queenscliff, Victoria, inside Port Phillip Bay, proceeds across the Bass Strait to the finish off at Grassy Harbour, King Island, Tasmania.

While the race to King Island is one of the shorter ocean races at a mere 114 miles, it presents some unique navigational challenges. Far from being a pushover, this race is one of the hardest to get right, given the currents around King Island.

The race is often won or lost in the concluding stages, depending on where yachts land. Significant gains and losses can occur due to wind and tidal influences on the approach to Grassy Harbour.

The Grassy Harbour offers a safe anchorage in all weather and the legendary hospitality of the King Island Boat Club. The steak sandwiches alone are worth the trip.

This race is part of the Offshore Championship.


Race History & Past Winners

Donated by the Municipality of King Island, the Queenscliff to Grassy 1st Overall Trophy is awarded to the measurement category with the most significant number of entries. 

Year Boat Skipper
1973 Four Winds SW Gibson
1974 Destiny II GF Chapman
1975 Pajen FW Short
1976 Apollo II RK Thurston
1977 Aquila BW Edmunds
1978 Apollo II R&I Thurston
1979 Apollo II R&I Thurston
1980 Pirra  S Shield
1981 - (No Race Held) -
1982 Audacious L Massoni
1983 Morning After  
1984 Predator D Milliran
1985 Damel Chas Jacobsen
1986 Indian Pacific Chas Jacobsen
1987 Indian Pacific Chas Jacobsen
1988 Bacardi Bacardi Syndicate
1989 Prime Suspect R Kenyon
1990 Daffra Sunscreens H Hertzberg
1991 Scorpion N Sedawie
1992 Cotton Blossom II E Barron
1993 Shenandoah II R White
1994 Prime Example C McSorley
1995 Stampede  
1996 Bacardi G Ainley/ J Williams
1997 JLW Chutzpah B Taylor
1998 Hi Jack J Parkinson
1999 Bacardi G Ainley/ J Williams
2000 By Order of the Secretary       R Billings/ J Porter
2001 Bacardi G Ainley/ J Williams
2002 Cadibarra N Jones
2003 Bacardi G Ainley/ J Williams
2004 Bacardi G Ainley/ J Williams
2005 Rough Red Robinson/Schenk
2006 Living Doll M Hiatt
2007 Spirit of Downunder L Ford
2008 Georgia G Ainley/ J Williams
2009 Extasea P Buchholz
2010 Magic Carpet D Coates
2011 Scarlet Runner R Date
2012 Calm J van Derslot
2013 Scarlet Runner R Date
2014 Primitive Cool J Newbold
2015 Scarlet Runner R Date
2016 A Cunning Plan M Chew
2017 Hartbreaker T Walton
2018 Hartbreaker T Walton
2019 Under Capricorn B Carreto
2020 White Noise D Edwards
2021 White Noise D Edwards.                      
2022                  Rozinante A Middleton
2023 Another Chapter N Sargeant

   Municipality of King Island Perpetual 1st Overall




Monday, 13 March 2023 17:06

Another Chapter wins slow dance in Melbourne to King Island Race Another Chapter, Neil Sargeant’s Beneteau 44.7, has won the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s slow and fluctuating Melbourne to King Island Yacht Race, while Paul Buchholz’s Extasea took line honours.  Another Chapter (far right) won the 2023 King Island Race.  Photo Steb Fisher Sargeant can breathe easy now after an extremely close race between the top three overall, decided under AMS. Just 11 seconds decided the winner from Scarlet Runner (Rob Date) and Solera (Stuart Richardson), which placed second and third...

Friday, 10 March 2023 22:46

11th March 7am Race Update   As predicted last night, the fleet has endured a very light, and somewhat frustrating night at sea, with the lead boat only advancing 36nm in the 10 hours since the 21:00 Radio Sched.   Whilst the leaderboard has not change significantly since our last update, with Paul Buchholz’s Cookson 50, Extasea leading from Scarlet Runner and Ruyjin, with MRV and Hartbreaker poised, ready to take advantage of the first sign of the new breeze.   The handicap honours are still wide open with Michael Culhane's Northshore 38, Weekend Option team...

Wednesday, 08 March 2023 22:19

Final Reminders – 2023 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. If you are unwell upon arrival, as per the SI’s we ask that all the crew stay on the boat. 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. After you finish, please follow exactly the instructions...

Tuesday, 07 March 2023 10:17

  Challenges fuel interest in 51st King Island Race More than 30 boats are set to start the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s 114 nautical mile King Island Race, starting at 5pm on Friday 10 March off Queenscliff, with competitors chasing overall honours and the nine-year-old race record set by John Newbold’s Primitive Cool of nine hours 50 minutes 21seconds. Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s Paul Buchholz is prepping his canting Cookson 50, Extasea, hoping conditions are ripe for record breaking. Prizes at the end are large crayfish and King Island cheeses. If you don’t win a cray,...

Saturday, 04 February 2023 14:36

King Island Race 2023 There’s something super special about King Island that brings us back year after year. With the race just around the corner and starting in daylight on Friday 10th March at 5pm, I invite you to experience this amazing destination race and to the land of meat, cheese and rugged beauty.  Grassy Harbour offers safe anchorage in all weather and the race is part of the ORCV Offshore, Double Handed Championships and Australian Ocean Racing Championship (AORC). For those who haven’t been to King Island, it’s the perfect ocean racing distance of 114 nm and...