Melbourne to Apollo Bay Race 2017 – Summary.

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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 race.

The race started on time at 0700 off Queenscliff in a light NE breeze of approximately 7 to 8 knots, and shortly after, the fleet was treated to one of the most spectacular sunrises you will ever see on the water.


All yachts transitioned the Heads successfully with no incident, and they were soon slipping south-west towards the Great Ocean Road coastline, under spinnaker, soaking up those pleasant conditions.

Our mobile race management team caught their first glimpse of the fleet from the hills on the southern side of Torquay, with many of the fleet choosing the go west early, adding an even greater spectacle for the many land lubbers who also took advantage of the weather to escape the city and venture down the Surf Coast for the day.

By the 1205 Reporting Sked, the majority of the fleet were either abeam of, or further south of Lorne, making the most of the most of the light northerly breeze of approximately 10 to 12 knots, and it was evident even at this early stage, that if these conditions held, we were certain of many of the competitors would be finished by late afternoon or early evening, and that is how things went.

As the bearing to the finish line changed, spinnakers were exchanged for Code 0’s or large Genoas, and the front runners pressed on to the finish line to stake their claim on this year’s prizes.

The only multihull competitor, Peccadillo, relished in these conditions and found her way around Sugarloaf and down to the finish line in Apollo Bay, to take Line Honours at 15:47:30, followed by Extasea as the first monohull competitor finishing at 16:26:50, and then Avalanche at 16:45:22 and Shimmer at 16:55:28.

With the light breeze remaining fairly constant as dusk approached, the majority of the fleet made solid progress towards the finish line, and at one stage it appeared there was more traffic offshore than on the famous Great Ocean Road itself.

Our mobile race management team were kept busy with a flurry of finishers just after 1700, with the following yachts finishing in close succession, Soiree Bleu 17:10:31; One For The Road 17:14:36; Blunderbuss 17:14:38; White Noise 17:14:47; Arcadia 17:15:32; Merlion 17:16:10; Antipodes 17:18:52 and Maverick 17:19:34.

With just enough time to catch their breath, the next couple of finishers arrived in reasonably close succession, with Archie at 17:32:05 and Allegro at 17:40:42.

Without too long to wait, another group arrived with Try Booking at 18:40:17 and Hush at 18:46:51, followed by Algy Rose at 18:49:52 and Red Jacket at 18:51:01.

With just the small yachts in the fleet, the next finisher was one of our Beyond the Bay participant’s from 2014, Alex Tseberg and his crew on Phoenix, finishing at 19:27:47, and our two cruising competitors following up the rear, with Laafin finishing at 19:27:47 and Madrigal at 21:06:16.

The lighter constant breeze proved to be the ideal conditions for the smaller yachts in the fleet, and with the top honours going to Daniel Edwards and his team on White Noise taking the top prize in IRC, AMS and PHS divisions, with the lead Double-Handed entrant, Rod and Tyson Smallman aboard Maverick, also picking up podium positions in IRC, AMS and PHS divisions.

We trust everyone involved with this year’s race enjoyed the experience, and we appeal to all of our long-term supporters and participants to re-think their annual program and make the new “normal” of pleasant sailing in May, part of their annual racing program.

Click Here for the results

Vertigo takes IRC honours in Apollo Bay Race Vertigo, the Summit 35 owned and skippered by Tim Olding, has won the IRC Division of Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s (ORCV) slow-going 52 nautical mile 2019 Apollo Bay Race, which started on Saturday at 8.15 am with a record fleet of 29 entered.  Olding and his daughter Clare, who missed this weekend’s race, regularly make the podium in Victorian offshore and keelboat events. This time Vertigo beat Justin Brenan’s Lidgard 36, Alien, and Archie, the Archambault A35 of Jeff Sloan and Simon Bell for the overall win under IRC.    [ ... ]

It's going to be a close call

It's going to be a close call. Late afternoon with still challenging conditions for all saw teams having time between puffs of wind and sail changes for dolphin watching. The arrival now of the first boats is close, hopefully in the next hour. At 1pm today, we said farewell to Norma Jean. All safe onboard. With the finish close, it's going to be close call with Carrera S leading from After Midnight, Extasea, Jaffa and Peccadillo.

It's now the Great Ocean Road Sail Challenge

  It's now the Great Ocean Road Sail Challenge Not long after the start, saw an explosion of colour as yachts host their spinnakers in light northwesterly winds, crews applied sunscreen and popped on sunglasses to admire the shoreline of the Great Ocean Road, giving a beautiful photo opportunity to those driving along the Great Ocean Road today. Late morning saw a change with a large number seem to be darting around looking for a "breath" of wind. It's now the Great Ocean Road "Sail Challenge" Photos:  Top - crew on Faster Forward just after the start.  Lower:  Boa [ ... ]

9am Race Update

9am Race Update With the fleet finally on their way. We find that Patriot is leading the balance of the fleet along the rhumb line. Allegro seems to be taking the offshore approach and chasing the breeze, east of the fleet. With a light breeze reported at 5 knots from the NW, the fog has now burnt off and on all accounts, it's shaping up for a stunning run down the coast. A great introduction for Jill Blunsom, the ORCV Beyond the Bay participant, who has joined the crew of Blue Water Tracks for her first ocean race experience.

We say farewell to Etoile who has retired and is heading home,  [ ... ]

New start line and time

New start line and time for the 2019 Apollo Bay Race 6.40am Saturday 18th May Light winds and low fog cover has race director Nick McGuigan announcing the alternative start will be used for the 2019 Apollo Bay ocean race. The 28 boats and 188 crew will now start outside the heads at the alternative start line (as indicated below) with a new start time of 8am.   As this race is close to the coast with good reception most of the way, you can follow the boats via Marine Traffic (web or app) or follow our posts on Facebook


The Apollo Bay Harbour Master and his team have been dredging all week and advise that the entrance is in good condition. The soundings shown below, taken on Thursday the 16th show depths and Lowest Astronomical Tide pus 1m.  These depths are very similar to those which can be expected at low tide at 4.45pm on Saturday 18 May 2019. Tide information is given in the S.I.. Please note that the leads for the Harbour entrance have recently been renewed and should be used in the Approach.  Boats are asked to raft up against the jetty beyond the floating marina unless otherwise direct [ ... ]


Thursday May 16th 6.00pm
2019 Apollo Bay Race News A big welcome to all entrants in 2019 ORCV Apollo Bay race. The ORCV Race Director is Nick McGuigan (myself) with the able assistance of Ryan Blackstock. Ray Shaw will be handling starting arrangements with Gary Tomlins and his team of Coast Guards manning the start boat and in addition, Ray will be managing the midday position schedule. Light winds weather forecast has been the topic of discussion over the past few days. A large high-pressure system over Victoria means light winds are predicted and the race it will be slow. On the plus side, [ ... ]

Offshore Championship - Deciding Race

ORCV 2019 Offshore Championship The ORCV Offshore championship is scored using each boat’s best 4 measurement handicap results in Unrestricted Monohull Division races. In summary each yacht scores points under a system which is driven by the number of boats beaten over the finish line with a weighting which reflects the assessed difficulty of the race.  The skipper of the yacht with the highest number of points is the Offshore Champion. With the cancellation of the Port Fairy Race, 5 boats are in serious contention. Each has completed only 3 events in the series so all races will co [ ... ]


Plastics out of the Ocean - Clean Seas - An ORCV initiative    This video provides an overview to the campaign. It is estimated that more than 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean each year (as of 2018) and by 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the ocean than marine life. This year, the ORCV Apollo Bay Race has set up a campaign "Plastics out of the Ocean" as part of "Clean Seas" which urges the teams to share ideas on how they can run a more sustainable boat. You can donate by supporting a boat. All funds raised go to the Australian charity The Tanga [ ... ]

Apollo Bay Harbour Update

Apollo Bay Harbour Update With 2 weeks to go the fleet is currently standing at 26 yachts and the harbour at Apollo Bay is in great shape. The harbour leads have been renewed, providing an accurate guide to the entrance, and the dredging restrictions which effectively prevented entry last year have been lifted. The Harbour Master advises that the entrance is currently dredged to 2.5m above low water. Tides are favourable on the day of the race with the predicted low tide at 4.45pm being 1.1m above low water. On that basis we currently expect that the harbour will be open for the vast majorit [ ... ]

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