Starting ORCV Ocean Races
All ORCV ocean races start such that under average conditions, the participating boats should be in the region of the Heads at slack water. This practice is to ensure the safest possible sea conditions for all competitors.
Needless to say, commercial shipping also prefers slack water, so the traffic in the Heads can become quite busy at such times.
Well before the race start, race management is in contact with Lonsdale VTS (Vessel Traffic Services) to assess the likely traffic expected around the start time and to confirm or vary the start time based on that assessment.
More recently, in all our ocean races, and in close cooperation with the Victorian Ports Authority, we have included in our Sailing Instructions, an obstruction zone covering the region of the Heads and all boats are required to sail west of this region at all times .
Boats that do not comply with this requirement can, and have been, subject to protest (see for example a protest in the recent race to Port Fairy); http://sailingresults.net/sa/protest/Protest.aspx?ID=21.460.01
Sailors should become very familiar with this Bay exit procedure which has been designed to ensure that we can more safely start our races alongside with the commercial shipping activities.