Saturday the 7th march at 4am will see a fleet of 14 yachts set sail from Queenscliff en route to Grassy Harbour, King Island.

A favourite race of the Ocean Racing Club's annual calendar this race often delivers poor weather conditions. Not this year, with the forecast winds from the west at 20 to 25 knots it will be a beam reach all the way to King Island. Tonight’s forecast does show the winds strengthening with gusts increasing to 35 knots, consequently the race management team are maintaining a watch.
Grassy HarbourThis race is much loved by skippers and crews not just for the joy of the sport but for the unfailingly hospitable reception in Grassy courtesy of the King Island Boat Club, the best steak sandwiches to be had anywhere and available no matter what time you anchor.

The 14 strong fleet this year looks competitive and with the ideal conditions handicap honours are difficult to predict. The Line Honours trophy though has the crew of Scarlet Runner excited. It’s not just the trophy itself that motivates but also the prospect of fighting for the race record which was set be sometime rival John Newbold on Primitive Cool in 2014. That time sits at a swift 09:50:21, Robert Date will need to drive his crew and his RP 52 hard but in these conditions the record is doable.

Mornington based Adrian Lewis in his Warwick 67, Geomatic Allegro has waterline length over Date but with just three up would not normally worry him. The prospect of a beam reach does however make life marginally easier and will suit Lewis for the journey. Geomatic Allegro is new to the ORCV world having competed in the Sydney Hobart race last year and is something of an unknown quantity, we will all be watching with interest.

Skippers and crews are watching the weather as they sail down the bay tonight trusting that the BOM have got it right.

The start as always has been dictated by tides at The Heads and will be at 4am Saturday morning. Race management are hoping to see that first finisher sometime after 13:00 and the rest of the fleet before midnight.

King Island Boat ClubThe hospitality of our very good freinds at the King Island Boat Club is legendary - pictured here this afternoon - closed now but will be humming this time tomorrow. 

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

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.  [ ... ]

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King Island Race weather Update Looking at the overall picture the weather is pretty unusual for this time of the year with warm moist air over Victoria and a large blocking low pressure close to New Zealand. There is a low pressure developing over Adelaide which will wet the sailors late on Saturday. This is going to mean tricky sailing conditions for the fleet, the four models have the wind from South to East and with lots of wind holes in between. So the fleet will have pleasant condition down the bay this evening and a challenging race. The first boats are expected in King Island by 10oc [ ... ]

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The Tracker for this weekend’s race to King Island has been set up. Before Christmas, we have made a number of improvements the tracker website and this is where I need your help. • If go to the ORCV web page and if you look on the top left-hand side you will see a blue button that says King Island Tracker, if you click that button the tracker website will open.
• If you click on the Crews tab and then select your boat from the drop down box you will see the boat and all the crew
• What I need you to do is email me a picture(Head shot) of you and a short bio of your yachting experience
 [ ... ]

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The Melbourne to King Island Race Weather update The PredictWind models are in broad agreement but the Australian model is not agreeing so we will have to wait later in the week for a more accurate forecast. The Predictwind models are forecasting winds from the South starting at 10knots and increasing to 25 knots as the yachts approach King Island. As there will be some tacking involved, your location east or west of the rhumb line will be all important. The Predictwind models have a Beneteau first 40 finishing at 7 pm on Saturday night. The Australian Access model has the wind from the east [ ... ]

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King Island - fantastic destination for a yacht race is now open to yachts without HF marine radio.  Top things to do when visiting King Island

King Island - fantastic destination for an ocean yacht race is now open to yachts without HF marine radio.  Top things to do when visiting King Island. The ORCV is always keen to explore the latest technologies and has been a long campaigner for reducing barriers to ocean racing and sailing.  For the 2017 Melbourne to King Island Category 2 ocean race, the ORCV have again received approval from Yachting Victoria for yachts to use satellite phone and VHF with DSC in lieu of HF marine radio.  Cost savings will be several thousand dollars for any yachts new to sailing to this wond [ ... ]

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KING ISLAND RACE PROTEST Soon after the start of the recent King Island race, two boats did not comply with the Sailing Instructions to keep west of the defined Bay Exit course designed to ensure that we do not interfere with any large ships traversing the Heads. AIS data, visible to race management, and also the Port of Melbourne, clearly showed the two boats east of the required course. Race management protested the boats involved and while all parties agreed on the facts found, the protest committee dismissed the protest due to a procedural technicality. Looking forward, all entrants in t [ ... ]

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What will the Weather bring to this year’s King Island Race? I am not sure why the Sydney-siders have been lending us their weather for the last few weeks but it makes it harder to predict what is going to happen. The reason we are having Sydney weather is that the center of the high pressure belt has moved well south of Tasmania, which is unusual for this time of the year. In looking at the weather maps you can see from the 08:00 weather map to the 11:00 weather map the system is moving quickly so it should bring wind. All models are now in agreement that southerlies will prevail on  [ ... ]

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Looking At The Long Range Forecast We Might Need To Delay The Band! The weather for this weekend's King Island Race is looking very interesting. The long range outlook is for light winds and smooth seas. The Predictwind model for a Beneteau First 40 has the journey taking 25 to 32 hours. As the race is over  4 days away a lot can happen between now and then of course but maybe start to think about light wind race strategies. Additionally, since the weather models are not in agreement the reliability of the forecast is low.     

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2016 King Island Race Join us for our first ORCV Ocean Race in 2016 - the famous Melbourne to King Island Race. To be conducted over the Labour Day long weekend in March (March 11-12), this Category 2 race will see the fleet head off from Queenscliff, out through the heads and across Bass Strait to the finish at Grassy Harbour, King Island, Tasmania. While the 114 nautical mile hit out across the Paddock is one of the shorter ORCV ocean races, it’s not without challenges, with wind and tidal influences keeping everyone on their toes until the very end. After a record breaking wi [ ... ]

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Scarlet Runner skippered by Robert Date crossed the line at 14:17:01 to take Line Honours in the 2015 Melbourne to King Island yacht race. With 20 – 25 knot westerlies staying in since the start at 4am they have enjoyed excellent conditions and only missed the race record by approximately 30 minutes. Provisionally they are also likely to take out both measurement handicap divisions, AMS and IRC.  The performance handicap division is being hotly contested by Geomatic Allegro, Spirit of Downunder with Yoko coming into contention. Geomatic Allegro is expected after four o [ ... ]

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