Cock of the Bay fleet likely to stay close to the shoreline after a mass start on Boxing Day

Upwind sailing is on the menu for the 70 strong ORCV Cock of the Bay fleet on Boxing Day. Meteorologists are forecasting 12 to 15 knot south-south-westerlies under slightly cloudy skies, which means spectators lining the foreshore of Port Phillip will see many of the yachts close inshore as they tack south after the start off Station Pier in Port Melbourne. The course takes the fleet 34 nautical miles down the bay to Blairgowrie, where the leading boats will cross the finish line around five hours after their 10.30am start. With some of the 350 competitors perhaps ‘over-served’ on Christmas Day, the forecast for moderate winds will be a welcome one.

Cock of Bay 2ORCV Cock of Bay Photo Dave Hewison


The annual event serves as a feeder to the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s Christmas races to Tasmania, which start on December 27. Some of the boats will tackle the challenging Melbourne to Hobart via the rugged west coast while others will opt for the shorter course to Devonport.


A third group of competitors has chosen not to venture offshore and will either turn straight round after the finish and head home or will stop off in Blairgowrie to join their offshore club mates for a barbecue.

Among the entrants in the Boxing Day dash is solo offshore adventurer Lisa Blair, who holds the solo non-stop around Australia record and is the first and only woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo. 

Lisa and her crew, Jackie Parry, will tackle the West Coaster double-handed this year but are doing the Cock of the Bay fully crewed “for fun” on Lisa’s Hick 50 d’Albora Climate Action Now.

cock of bay boats

Ambition under pressure from Antogonist for ORCV Cock of the Bay 2018 Photo Dave Hewison.jpg


Other boats to watch include Ashley Trebilcock’s Beneteau 40 Bandit, Scott Robinson’s RP36 How Bizarre, which completed a clean sweep of line and handicap honours in the Melbourne to Stanley Race earlier this year, and Neal Sargeant’s Hanse 45 Mersea, which currently holds the Rudder Cup, the prize for first boat on handicap in the Melbourne to Devonport Race.Martin Vaughan, Commodore of the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria, said the upwind conditions will mean the race record is not under threat but fast reaching once they turn the corner will be spectacular to watch.

“While some skippers may choose to head west after the start, many of the boats will work their way up the shoreline and will come close to the city’s beaches,” he said. “We hope that locals and visitors alike will come down to Port Melbourne for the start or will watch from Brighton and Sandringham, for example, as the fleet heads south.”

With a very diverse fleet that includes multihulls, a 60 footer and boats as small as 30 feet long, there will be plenty of action on Port Phillip this Boxing Day.

Saturday, 26 December 2020 21:31

Xpresso takes Cock of the Bay hat-trick on a perfect Boxing Day in Melbourne Under clear blue skies and with Melbourne’s Port Phillip bathed in sunshine, a record fleet of 112 yachts, carrying 618 crew, set sail on Boxing Day in the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s annual Cock of the Bay race. Paul Buchholz’s Cookson 50 Extasea took line honours, ahead of Gerry Cantwell’s Marten 49 Carrera S, which led the fleet across the start line off Port Melbourne at 10.30am. Extasea took the gun at the Mornington Yacht Club on Mornington Peninsula four hours and two minutes later. In the handicap...

Saturday, 26 December 2020 20:44

Extasea is Cock of the Bay line honours winner on a perfect Boxing Day in Melbourne Under clear blue skies and with Melbourne’s Port Phillip bathed in sunshine, a record fleet of 112 yachts, carrying 618 crew, set sail on Boxing Day in the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s annual Cock of the Bay race. Paul Buchholz’s Cookson 50 Extasea took line honours, ahead of Gerry Cantwell’s Marten 49 Carrera S, which led the fleet across the start line off Port Melbourne at 10.30am. Extasea took the gun at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron on Mornington Peninulsa four hours and two minutes later. Michael...

Thursday, 26 December 2019 20:44

Back in Black smashes ORCV Cock of the Bay record A massive fleet of 70 boats, carrying more than 425 crew, set off from the Port of Melbourne into strong headwinds on Boxing Day in the annual ORCV Cock of the Bay Race to Blairgowrie. Despite conditions that were unfavourable to a multihull, the Extreme 40 Back in Black smashed the race record, completing the 34 nautical miles in 3 hours 36 minutes. The previous multihull record had stood at 4 hours 10 minutes, set by Bare Essentials in 2016.   ORCV Cock of Bay record holder Back in Black   Skipper Michael Van Der Zwaard...

Tuesday, 24 December 2019 13:35

Updated 24th DecemberBerthing and Final Reminders 2019 ORCV Cock of Bay Reminder 1 - Pre Order Dinner 26th December  It's a large fleet heading to Blairgowrie BYS and so that all crews can enjoy a meal after the race, it's important you pre-book your Dinner on 26th December before 21st December via this link https://www.trybooking.com/BHDSQ Reminder 2 - Vacating the Marina Complimentary berthing is for one night unless you are competing in the Petersville Regatta or have had made arrangements directly with BYS.  All boats must vacate by 11am on 27th so that boats in...

Monday, 23 December 2019 22:25

Cock of the Bay fleet likely to stay close to the shoreline after a mass start on Boxing Day Upwind sailing is on the menu for the 70 strong ORCV Cock of the Bay fleet on Boxing Day. Meteorologists are forecasting 12 to 15 knot south-south-westerlies under slightly cloudy skies, which means spectators lining the foreshore of Port Phillip will see many of the yachts close inshore as they tack south after the start off Station Pier in Port Melbourne. The course takes the fleet 34 nautical miles down the bay to Blairgowrie, where the leading boats will cross the finish line around five hours...