Read a little more about the oldest ocean race in Australia, HERE
When the race is on, watch them on the tracker, HERE.
The oldest ocean race in Australia is proudly sponsored by Helly Hansen.
MELBOURNE TO LAUNCESTON
Ocean Race: 198 nm
Race Start: 1230hrs 27th December 2012 at Portsea
Australia's oldest ocean race (and the world's fifth oldest), the famous Melbourne to Launceston event starts on December 27, 2012. The winner receives (albeit quite briefly) the splendiferous 60 Guinea, Rudder Cup, as pictured below.
First run in 1907 and then a few years of each decade until the 60's, when it became an annual feature, the M2L is just perfect for the busy crew who have to back in Melbourne on or around New Year's Eve. Crews looking to go and stick their nose in it (Bass Strait, that is) for the first time also use the M2L as a thorough grounding in how to cross The Paddock. This race is resplendant with its own three-race series, as well.
Additionally, it places you directly into some of the most stunning scenery in Tasmania and if you're a foodie/wine buff, well the Tamar and areas nearby are just a delight. So grab the gang, the golf clubs and switch off the mobile for a little RnR, Tassie style.
2017 Melbourne to Devonport Rudder Cup, part of The Bass Strait Series being
Cock of The Bay
The Rudder Cup Melbourne to Devonport
The Top of the Island
This year we have the largest fleet in years bolstered by the double handed entrants for both - Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport races. We welcome our newcomers and promise festivities at the finish of what we anticipate to be sensational sailing.
2016 Melbourne to Devonport Race Report
The Bass Strait Series consists of races: Cock of The Bay, The Rudder Cup Melbourne to Devonport and The Top of the Island. This year we had a larger fleet bolstered by some newcomers based on the dispensation to allow Sat Phones to qualify for Cat 2. This is a great innovation for boats wanting to get into ocean racing as it reduces costs.
Leg one of the Series, the Cock of the Bay saw Devonport boats feature in the Top 20 finishers including Christine, Soiree Bleu, Summer Wind and White Noise on PHS.
The main Rudder Cup race from Melbourne to Devonport, Leg two of the Series, started with some major traffic jams at the start and unfortunately a little damage. All yachts continued on and made running repairs. While all this was going on Christine was experiencing engine problems caused by contaminated fuel and had to withdraw, just prior to the start, very tough after a big preparation.
The winds were light and fickle outside the heads so progress was slow for a while. Then the sea state became more like a washing machine and winds varied a lot. This worked all the crews hard trying to maximise sail. Reefs in, reefs out, headsail changes at regular intervals. As if this wasn’t enough the rain was saturating and chilling everyone on deck. BKT Jamhu withdrew due to taking on a little water and returned safely home unassisted. The fleet arrived in a pretty tight bunch with Peccadillo Line Honours multi hull and Soiree Bleu first monohull.
The fleet all closely followed the escort boat up the Mersey due to shifts in the channel due to floods. Phoenix retired with rudder damage and limped in late. They were repaired by a team of locals for the return.
A Rest day to dry out and then the Top of the Island race. This was a testing race with stiff breeze along the coastline course. It was fast and furious with Summer Wind taking out the major result.
A number of boats headed home early to take advantage of a good weather window and enjoy family New Year celebrations. For those remaining the presentation and dinner were enjoyable. The prizes for divisions and handicaps were spread around. Local member Mike Gaffney helped out with the prize giving and we had great media coverage.
Well done to all the competitors. Thanks to our sponsors for trophy prizes, Vivere Coffee and Chirping Bird wines. Our appreciation to our very hard working volunteers in our Race, Incident and Media Management Teams, all the volunteers at Mersey Yacht Club and Grant Dunoon for the yacht tracker. See you and hopefully more yachts next year.
Results – The Rudder Cup Melbourne to Devonport
Line Honours – Multi Hulls
PECCADILLO, Charles Meredith
Line Honours – Mono Hulls
SOIREE BLUE, Douglas Lithgow
WHITE NOISE, Daniel Edwards
MAGIQUE, Maurice Contessi
SUMMER WIND, Paul & Angela Woodman (Rudder Cup winner)
2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart & Devonport - ABC TV News 27-Dec-16
The ABC News coverage of the start of the 2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport ocean yacht races.
ABC TV Reporter Cameran Best reporting form onboard ORCV Media Boat.
2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart & Melbourne to Devonport races start from Committee boat
Exciting and chaotic start in the 2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport races, which resulted in two protests. Footage from the Committee Boat.
2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart & Melbourne to Devonport races, pre-start and start
Activities surrounding the start of the 2016 Melbourne to Devonport and 2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne to Hobart West Coaster yacht races. Includes footage from the Press boat of the exciting and chaotic start in the 2016 Wyndham Harbour Melbourne Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport races, which resulted in two protests.
Video Camera: Keving Manning and Ian MacWilliams BYS Rib/Media boat driver: Phil Beattie Photographer: Karen McCloskey Production: Ian MacWilliams
Paul & Angela Woodman, SUMMER WIND, and Mike Gafney, local MLC
ORCV Radio Communications Van on station on the finish line
Mersey Yacht Club Hospitality
SUMMER WIND and WHITE NOISE heading south in the Mersey river after the Top of the Island race
Time to dry out at Mersey Yacht Club
Trophies including sponsor prizes from Chirping Bird Wines and Vivere coffee
Vivere coffee hampers for the podium place getters
Daniel Edwards, WHITE NOISE, and Mike Gafney, local MLC
Well the Melbourne to Devonport race is done and dusted. Day 2 saw rain, lots of it with winds varying from plenty to not a lot. The yachts got to practice their reefing and sail changes many, many times as they crossed Bass Strait. With typically cracked sheets, speeds averaged around 7k which meant a fairly quick but wet race.
Boats finished between 5pm and 9pm in steady rainy overcast conditions, not great for photos or the Race Director and his team. Peccadillo was the first boat in and took out line honours with Soiree Blue the first mono hull and Line Honours winner. Competitors loved the welcome with hot pies (thanks to our sponsor National Pies) and cold beers waiting for them as well as plenty of smiles from our friends at Mersey Yacht Club. There was some concern over Pheonix who had rudder problems and were forced to jury rig a rudder, arriving late overnight to everyone’s relief. Well done to them.
IRC – 1st White Noise, 2nd Archie, 3rd More Noise
AMS – 1st Summer Wind, 2nd White Noise, 3rd Archie
PHS – 1st Magique, 2nd White Noise, 3rd Summer Wind
Well done to Summer Wind for taking out the Rudder Cup as 1st AMS
Meanwhile on the West Coast there is a fantastic duel for line honours between Lord Jiminy and Cadibarra 8. As of 4.45pm Thursday they are neck and neck closing on Storm Bay. Hopefully the weather gods will be kind to them up the Derwent as they converge with the Sydney to Hobart and Launceston to Hobart fleets. We think the leaders will arrive somewhere between 4am and lunchtime tomorrow (depending which wind model you trust) with the remainder of the fleet somewhere between 5pm and midnight tomorrow. The back of the pack have had to battle with light and frustrating conditions down the West Coast, something that was predicted and set to challenge competitors patience.
Hobart is set to greet competitors, despite overcast conditions and rain. There is a large crowd ready to cheer in the fleet, enjoying the Tastes of Tasmania at Constitution Dock.
Head down, cheer them in and enjoy.
Crash bang coming through! Some of our competitors caused dramas on the start line of the Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport ocean races, with four yachts caught up in collisions. They mustn’t have got the memo about it being a long race so 15 seconds on the start line probably doesn’t matter. Luckily winds were moderate but it was still enough to cause an early retirement of BKT JAMHU which was taking on water as a result of their collision. No doubt it will be a busy protest room in Hobart after the race, see our Facebook site for video of the start.
Experienced competitors such as Yoko and Cadibarra 8 avoided the crowds at the start line, the clean air saw Cadibarra 8 lead the fleet out of the heads. It was glorious conditions allowing Spinnakers to fly and a fast pace set. It was great to see Magique, Pheonix, More Noise and Summer Wind flying spinnakers in their first Christmas Ocean race as well as the blistering pace of our lone multi hull entrant Peccadillo. Our two handed competitors Double Trouble and Lord Jiminy also got off to a flying start, unfortunately for Lord Jiminy they were flying a bit too fast and tried to take Archie with them to Hobart.
Things soon settled down with the fleets splitting. One for the Road have reported steering problems, they were forced to make running repairs to their steering which cost them an hour or so. Fortunately the whole fleet is well prepared for such things, with spares, tools and back up steering if need be.
The Hobart fleet have set a record pace, as of Wednesday 9am most of the fleet were past the top of Tasmania with Lord Jiminy just ahead of Cadibarra 8 about half way down the Tasmanian coast. There are some great battles going on in the fleets, such as Summer Wind and Caledonia, two Bavaria 40s in the Devonport race. Peccadillo is flying in the Devonport race, leading the fleet and should finish today, late afternoon/early evening.
Wind forecasts are showing a lighter Easterly flow with pockets of challenging wind patterns, its going to be a tactical navigators race to Hobart that’s for sure with the Derwent sure to challenge.
For those who will be in Hobart for the finish, give Robin Hewitt’s Yoko a huge cheer as it completes it’s 35th Melbourne to Hobart West Coaster and crew member Patricia (Trish) Peart being the first woman to have completed 25 Melbourne to Hobarts, a fantastic achievement for any competitor. Trish is quite a role model for women in sailing, great effort.
Thanks to Steb Fisher and Lafoto for use of photos in this article
Three nights before the start of the Devonport race
In the pictures below it shows which crew members do not have a photo, can I please ask that you send your photos and bios as soon as possible. What I would like is a short bio of your ocean racing career 60 to 100 words and a head and shoulders picture. The picture of Neville below shows what it will look like on the Tracker website.