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

ladies

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.  

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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

https://youtu.be/SRUuDfguSH8

Volunteer Kim Hill

https://youtu.be/jRkwzTvRwwA

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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