2014 Apollo Bay Race - A Great Day in the Office

From quite early in the game, the 2014 Apollo Bay Race was shaping up to be a flyer.  While initial forecasts had the wind a little on the light side, later ones showed strong winds and eventually a strong wind warning was posted by the Bureau.  What didn’t change was the direction which remained steady from the earliest forecasts at around North West, give or take the odd degree or two.

What the competitors got was a mix or wind strengths, starting a little light and getting heavier before lightening off a bit later.  Many mentioned light wind holes, especially further in, and one boat mentioned a tendency to get forward of the beam a bit.

All of which is trivial compared to the great day’s sailing that everyone I managed to speak to reported.  A beam reach, plenty of wind, warm like you wouldn’t believe, champagne sailing all the way.

Sadly, NINETY SEVEN withdrew from the race on Friday night due to an ill crew member, who we are pleased to report has recovered very well.

The ORCV is very keen to avoid incidents with large ships coming into and out of the Heads.  Melbourne is a very busy port and there can be many of these.  To help in this respect a Notice to Competitors was issued to include an additional virtual mark of the course which was designed to ensure yachts transited the heads west of the main shipping channels.

The Race Director announced the current race record of 05h 24m 04s held by KAOS at the pre-race sign on sked, as the forecasted conditions were such that the 15 year record looked vulnerable and there were certainly boats in the fleet ready to give it a go.

Race Management used a second radio car in addition to the ORCV Radio Van to provide constant VHF monitoring of the fleet during the entire race.  The first sked was taken by Assistant Race Director Rik Head using his radio setup on Teddy’s Lookout above Lorne.  Rik took the second from above Cape Patton with good reception to both ends of the fleet.

Race got underway at the scheduled 0230 time in absolutely glorious conditions for this time of year, quite mild a North Westerly wind, aft of abeam around 13 knots and flat seas.  The Race Director watched the fleet away from the beach behind the Draper’s Reef pile quite comfortable wearing just a tee-shirt and fleece.

TRYBOOKING had a great start at the Draper Reef end of the line and was sporting a row a fairy lights around the entire top life line – an interesting look.

An apparent wind angle of around 120 degrees provided the fleet with fast reaching conditions and many flew Spinnakers or Code 0’s shortly after the start.  The fleet exited Port Phillip Bay at good pace for the drag race to Apollo Bay.

SIMPLY FUN was on race record pace at the first Routine Position Reporting Schedule at 0605.

Condition reports from the fleet for most of the race were wind mostly from North West ranging from 12 to 15 knots, with a few lighter patches and the occasional gust up to 24 knots, and flat seas.  The offshore breeze, as yachts got a little closer to the coastline as they approached Apollo Bay, was a little fluky and ranged from 3 to 20 knots at times.

In the end, SIMPLY FUN missed the race record by a mere 5 minutes and 4 seconds – a fantastic effort in the yacht’s second ocean race, after taking Line Honours in the 2013 Melbourne to Launceston race.

Most of the fleet couldn’t resist the ideal conditions and elected to return back to back to Port Phillip Bay immediately after they crossed the Apollo Bay finish line.


Mini Frontpage Apollo Bay

Melbourne to Apollo Bay Race 2017 – Summary. For all of the talk we here about Global Warming and it’s continuing negative effect on the climate and our general day to day weather, it seems that there might also be some positive effects, like mild (dare we say even pleasant!) conditions for sailing in the Bass Strait in late May! With all 21 yachts and crew now either making their way home having spent the night in Apollo Bay Harbour, or home safe and sound with their families, having returned overnight, all of them will feel very pleased that they chose to participate in this year’s [ ... ]


2017 ORCV Apollo Bay Race The current forecast for the Apollo Bay race shows winds of 10-15 knots from the north east gradually moving more northerly during the morning, with slightly stronger winds further off-shore. A temperature of 19C and the possibility of some rain will make for a not too unpleasant trip to Apollo Bay. It looks like the spinnaker trimmers will get a good workout! The PredictWind models are largely in agreement and reflect the stronger breezes out to sea. Race times of about 7 hours make for a quick race though not quite record-breaking. Of course, this is the  [ ... ]

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Advice from the Harbour Master   Advice from the Apollo Bay harbour master, note cross swell running, keep to the centre or western side, not eastern side which has sand buildup. Aim for the boat ramp coming in.

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2016 Apollo Bay Weather Outlook Well it looks like the weather God’s are looking after us this weekend. The fleet of 29 yachts are looking at an easy race in warm conditions and if the weather holds there is a chance that Kaos’s 1999 race record of 5 hours and 24 minutes could be broken. The fleet will enjoy a very comfortable run down the bay on Friday night in warm northerlies Looking at the race forecast we can see from the weather maps that there is a fairly stable weather outlook for the weekend. The Meteye shows a bit of a different outlook to Predictwind as it takes the topography [ ... ]


At the 2100 Schedule in the Apollo Bay Race Three boat have finished Simply Fun, Hartbreaker  and Spirit of Downunder two boats are on approach to the finish line White Noise and Mille Sabords Yoko, Turbulence, Addiction and Halcyon still have a way to go. Yoko and Turbulence both gave the same positions so they are both at no 4


The fleet is reduced to 10 in the Apollo Bay Race The retirement since the last schedule are Magazan53, Wildside, Alien, Allegro, Bandit, Blue Chip, TryBooking.com, the remaining 9 boats are pushing on and the leading bunch of Hartbreaker, Simply Fun and Mille Sabords follow by the Spirit of Downunder and White Noise. Yoko, Halcyon, Addiction and Turbulence. The leaders have thirteen miles to go and the rear of the fleet have 20 miles to go so hopefully we should have all the fleet in by midnight.


The 15:05 schedule has been completed and the boats still have 25  to 40 miles to go.  We hope the wind will hold as the sun sets and we should see the first boat by 8pm. The boats that have retired so far Algy Rose, Blaise Pascal, Cartouche, Christine, Hush, Remedy and Smooth Operator.     

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