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.

2021 M2KI boatsinharbourONLINE ENTRY

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 2018 Melbourne to King Island Category 2 ocean race, the ORCV have again received approval from Australian Sailing 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 wonderful destination.  The Notice of Race will have more details on Eligibility.  If you need any assistance with Safety compliance for a Category 2 event, the ORCV has ocean racing mentors at all major keel boat yacht clubs that would be happy to assist.

The annual Melbourne to King Island ocean yacht race, conducted on the Labour day long weekend in March, is one of the ORCV's shorter ocean races, at 114 nautical miles.  In addition to attracting some seasoned ocean racing campaigners, many use this as one of their first ocean races before progressing onto longer voyages.   

All ORCV events receive fantastic support from our Finish destination hosts, and the legendary hospitality and assistance crews enjoy from the King Island Boat Club at Grassy, is no exception.  Our great friends at the King Island Boat Club will again have volunteers on hand 24/7 to escort yachts into the Grassy Harbour and assist with mooring, no matter what time of the day or night you arrive.  Other volunteers work hard in shifts around the clock on their BBQs serving the famous King Island Steak sandwiches, and behind the bar. Nothing is too much trouble, from arranging local dignitaries to attend the race presentation to transport arrangements around King Island.

So you have arrived in Grassy Harbour after the ORCV's 114 nautical mile Melbourne to King Island yacht race. What next?

First order of business for most is to kick back and relax at the King Island Boat Club at Grassy Harbour to quench a well earned thirst from a Bass Strait crossing.  Their famous King Island Steak Sandwiches are well worth the trip and have been known be enjoyed by some vegetarians amongst the crews.  To wash off any Bass Strait salt, unique bathroom facilities are provided by the King Island Boat Club.  Water tanks have been repurposed to create a circular shower block.  They also provide King Island country style cooked breakfast.

Before the dash back to Port Phillip Heads the next day, here a list of some of the Top things to do at King Island:

The timing of Race presentation at the King Island Boat Club will depend largely on the weather and all yachts will be notified well in advance.

2013 Grassy PenguinsTake a short stroll along the breakwater and say hello to the ORCV Race Management Team located in the radio van which will be parked near the end of the breakwater in Grassy Harbour.  Be careful not to trip over the flotilla of fairy penguins that come ashore at dusk each night to rest in their burrows along the breakwater.

2012_M2KI_cheeseThere is lots of great things to eat on King Island and none more so than a selection of dairy products from the King Island Dairy. The King Island Boat Club has again organised a range of ‘Cheese Bags’  that can be purchased at the club. They include delicacies ranging  from wonderfully ripe King Island brie to the delicately flavoured cinnamon King Island yoghurt.  These goodies usually don’t last longer than the first ‘happy hour’  onboard on the return trip – so why not buy two bags - one to enjoy with your friends when you get home! 

King Island also has a great reputation for producing Australian s premium natural beef.  A number of  packs of King Island Beef, either scotch fillet or porterhouse steak, will be available for purchase at the boat club. The packs are "cryovaced" so they travel well onboard and if allowed to age make sensational eating.  Many of these packs never make it back as far as the "Heads".  If the weather is fine the temptation to enjoy a large juicy steak on a leisurely cruise back to Port Phillip Bay overcomes many crews.

If you are still feeling hungry – catch a lift over to Currie on the West side of the King Island to the wonderful King Island Bakehouse.   The Bakehouse has an extensive range of gorgeous gourmet food, including their award winning crayfish pies.  These pies are well worth the trek as they are packed full of delicious fresh King Island crayfish wrapped up in a buttery pastry shell. Eat in or takeaway. Open daily 7am-5pm. Phone: 6462 1337

2012_M2KI_crayfishIf you want more than just a taste of King Island crayfish why not purchase a whole cray to take back home. Foodworks, in Currie normally sell crayfish over the long weekend.  It is advisable to place orders at least 24 hours in advance. The crayfish will be priced at the market rate on the day. Call 6462 1144 or visit Foodworks on King Island.

If the sailing has not been punishing enough how about  an additional physical challenge on Sunday morning.  You could enter the King Island Imperial 20 - the only coast to coast footrace in Australia.  The King Island Imperial 20 has an event for everyone.  The main feature is a challenging 32km run. For the not so energetic there are support events which include a 8km run and 32km and 8km walking race and Teams Running and Walking events. This is not just another run... be prepared to indulge in the truly unique King Island lifestyle, generous hospitality and incredible food.  

King Island is one of Australia’s undiscovered island retreats. Wildly rugged, windswept and attractive, it boasts over 145km of untouched coastline. To  experience this rugged coastline and breathe in the freshest air in the world  - and perhaps take a dip in the water - a visit to the Lavinia State Reserve located on the north east coast of the island is not to be missed.  The reserve was named after the 52 ton schooner Martha Lavinia that, in 1871 travelling from Tasmania to Adelaide struck a reef offshore near the Reserve.  Within the northern section of this reserve lies  Lavinia Beach and two fresh water lakes: Lake Martha Lavinia and Penny’s Lagoon. With white sand seeming to stretch forever and a world  class surf break Lavinia Beach is one of the most popular surfing and fishing locations on the island.  Penny’s Lagoon is a rare perched lake found in only three locations in the world. It’s freshwater is held by compacted sand and organic matter. The lagoon is a favourite swimming spot for locals and visitors. 

CapeWickham 14th Hole XA1No trip to King Island is complete for a sailor without seeing the famous Cape Wickham Lighthouse from a landlubbers perspective. Situated at the northern tip of the island and surrounded by the Cape Wickham State Reserve, the lighthouse stands 52 meters above sea level and is the tallest in Australia. The lighthouse was constructed in 1861 and still guards the entrance to the strait today. Also within the reserve are the gravesites of some of the crew of Loch Leven, a ship that was wrecked nearby. A cairn shows a map of the old Victoria Cove settlement that used to exist here, and interpretation boards tell the story of numerous wrecks in the area.

If you are after a more leisurely sightseeing  activity closer to Grassy a visit  to the Calcified Forest in the Seal Rocks State Reserve located in the south-west of the island might be on your agenda.  An easy 30 minute walk from the reserve car park takes you to the fascinating calcified forest, where you can view the 700 year old calcified root systems of an ancient forest. Look out for Bennets wallabies, echidnas, blue tongue lizards and an abundance of bird life along the way.

Some other activities to do if you are staying longer than the weekend. The island is also famous for kelp harvesting and the best place to view the workers harvesting the kelp is on the west coast of the island directly out front of the Golf Club. You can also visit the Kelp Industries Visitors Center located at 89 Netherby Road Currie during a normal working day to  find out more information about the harvest and view a collection of photographs.

2012_m2KI_kelpharvestThe spectacular new Cape Wickham Golf Links has a world Ranking of #24 by Golf Digest.  The scenery is breathtaking.  It offers a rare and dramatic mix of coastal holes, with some leaning gently toward the ocean, others set atop a rocky headland.  The 11th almost “in” the sea and the 18th built directly above the beautiful beach at Victoria Cove.  Few courses interface with the ocean quite like Cape Wickham Links.

See the King Island Tourism Incorporated website for more tourist information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012_M2KI_Wickhamlighthouse

 

Dinghy racer Johnson now ocean racing convert By Tracey Johnstone
13 March 2019   YOUTH dinghy sailor tuned keelboat racer Sarah Johnson has had her first taste of ocean racing and she is hooked. The Mooloolaba Yacht Club member competed in last weekend’s Bass Strait dash from Melbourne to King Island on the Melbourne yacht Faster Forward. “It was amazing," Johnson, 19, said. "I'm addicted. I would love to do more. I want to do the Sydney to Hobart this year, or next." Beside her was fellow club member and regular Faster Forward crew member Karen Young. “Sarah’s fresh-faced  [ ... ]

...more
Arcadia safe and sound

Arcadia safe and sound At approximately 1.45pm on the 10th March 2019 while on the return trip from the King Island race Arcadia with 8 POB hit the Chancellor reef. One crew member was injured on impact but fortunately his injuries weren’t serious. The boat was taking on a small amount of water as a result of the impact so the skipper made the prudent decision to return to Grassy, the nearest safe harbour where medical assistance could be sought and the damage assessed. The ORCV Race Director activated the incident management team (even after the race was over) and started communications [ ... ]

...more

2019 King Island race - Less is More - Results The premier measurement handicap division, being the most populous, is AMS and first place has gone to UNDER CAPRICORN followed by VERTIGO and MAVERICK.  It’s interesting to note that UNDER CAPRICORN was sailing in the new 4+ autohelm category and MAVERICK was a double handed entry which goes to show sometimes less can be more.  A special mention to Tim Olding picking up a second on VERTIGO’S first ocean racing venture, he’ll have to keep coming back now.   In the IRC division MAVERICK has picked up first place followed [ ... ]

...more
2019 King Island Race Update - Race within a Race

2019 King Island Race Update - Race within a Race Shortly after our morning race update Huey did the right thing and bent the wind back to the East meaning that by 9:30 everyone was back on course for Grassy harbour.  Those watching the tracker will have noticed a mysterious green line appear on their screens…that’s the race within the race with the major (and only) prize being a slab of beer for the first boat to cross the latitude of Cape Wickham on their corrected PHD handicap.  Of the six boats to have crossed the imaginary finish line Cartouche is comfortably in the lead al [ ... ]

...more
2019 King Island race got off to a clean start

2019 King Island race got off to a clean start The 2019 Melbourne to King Island race got off to a clean start at 11pm last night although Escapade was a little late to the action and didn’t clear the line until approximately 2310.  With the wind coming from the east the fleet headed straight down the rhumb line in good reaching conditions.  By 3:00am those yachts who had veered to the west of the rhumb line began making their way to the east in anticipation of the south easterly breeze forecast for Saturday morning which is expected to reach up to 20 knots in Northern Bass Strait [ ... ]

...more

2019 King Island Race Update Listen to the ORCV Commodore Martin Vaughan update on the years Race   Weather Update

...more
King Island Race - Divisions and the Cape Wickham Slab

King Island Race - Divisions, Fun and the Commodore's Cape Wickham Slab  Even though we have a number of late withdrawals, the fleet is still 22 yachts and ranges from Micel Calhane's North Shore 38 to Hugh Ellis's Reichel Pugh's 63 ....... a 65% rating difference.  To keep handicap ranges within reasonable levels, we have introduced additional divisions in Unrestricted Monohull event. There will still be a Combined Division Result which will be used for the major trophies and for scoring the Offshore Championship. In order to keep the competition as tight as possible the divisio [ ... ]

...more

YACHT RACING OUTSIDE THE BAY - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED First of all I am a newcomer to ocean racing and I would like to share my experience having completed our first ORCV race - Melb to Devonport. Having sailed all my life I only progressed to owning my first “real” boat;  a Hanse 445 (B455 Mersea) about 3 years ago. The learning curve was rather steep in the first year or two. As expected I know I will never stop growing in experience and with it the confidence of being able to handle the boat in varying conditions. After buying the boat I immediately enrolled on the ORCV Beyond the  [ ... ]

...more
Entries open for 2019 King Island yacht race

Entries open for 2019 King Island yacht race Entries are open for the 2019 Melbourne to King Island Yacht race.  Starting 11pm on Friday 8th March 2019 it is a great way to spend the Labour day long weekend sailing with friends against a competitve fleet of yachts.  Hosted by the King Island Boat Club in Grassy Harbour, the race is famous for it's late night hospitality with cold drinks and hot steak sandwiches made from local beef. We are hoping for live entertainment depending on the arrival time of competitors, so anchoring for a while and coming in to say hello is a must.  [ ... ]

...more
King Island....beautiful one day and simply perfect the next

2018 King Island  Well it's been exciting from the very begining, starting earlier in the week when the Race Director Simon Dryden made the call to move the start time from 2.30am to 1.00am.  Unfortunately with such light conditions in the few hours leading up to the start, a further review of the race start was required, as light winds and current were presenting challenging conditions to get outside of the heads.  In a first ever move, the race startline was moved to off Ocean Grove.   The start was problematic for the rear of the fleet, missing the winds which wer [ ... ]

...more
More Articles