Paula who sailied on Yoko in the Latituce Ocean Race tells us her story and some great hand drawn pictures

2015MLSPaulaAfter our midday shed we're asked to maintain a listening watch for an upcoming announcement and the news is our turning latitude is reduced by 3nm. The original bearing would have been another 1/2 hour but we can hear the Blairgowrie YS calling and we have been thumping into it since the start of the race. Our overnight trip down the bay last night had been a bit 'ordinary'* so the reduction in thumping time and possible resurrection of dozing  crew would make a welcome reprieve. We circle and head back on the reciprocal course.

I'm now on the helm. Boats still surprise me. I see a wave heading our way that looks particularly large (okay a couple of metres- but it's relative) and I wonder briefly if it will tip or soak us and then it's passed underneath the keel and headed towards the shore.

Directions are shouted from the naviguesser below to the helm- “UP A BIT ”- “STEER 344”- “WHAT ARE YOU STEERING”?-if you get asked this particular question you can bet you're not steering the desired course-when it's decided we have to slow down.

This comes as a shock- we're racing-how do you slow down? We're trying to avoid the wrong tide at the heads. After much consultation over the mobile it is wisely decided that A. we won't hurry, B. we will enter the heads when we get there and C. if any yachts hold out for the flood tide the time spent heaved to can be subtracted from their finish time.

With baited breath from some of us and nonchalance from others we meander into the sloppy seas of the heads- white capped waves everywhere and it seems a never ending passage towards the eventual welcome calmness of the bay.

Elsewhere in the race;

One yacht practised a reverse MOB drill and successful retrieved and returned a divers buoy to the sea.

Drew Price from Time Out made good use of the BtB course and mentor, Bill Marchbank. They have agreed to 'take a number and wait their turn' as they leave the bay finding 2 boats in close proximity while passing a virtual mark makes for interesting navigation. Great results for a newbie to ocean achieving a 3rd, 2nd and 1st for this series. Well done also to Algy Rose and Remedy.

2015MLSPaula2Special thanks to the dedicated ORCV team who got us out there, kept an eye on us and brought us back. Although theoretically one of the easiest races in the ORCV calendar this race can allow new boats and newbie crews on experienced boats to get out of the bay. Thanks for your generosity Robin Hewitt who took 4 new crew onboard.

* Ordinary in yachting terms means either it was cold and rainy or blowing a gale.  For example, “How was your trip”? “Oh, it was a bit ordinary".

We had a fleet of 12 but the weather has resulted in 6 withdrawals so congratulations to the skippers and crew who are making the effort and are heading into Bass Strait tomorrow. Algy Rose Skippered by Nigel Rose and his crew, Renee Buchanan, David Schuller, Andrew Cuddon and Chris Raywood   Arcadia Skippered by Steve Thompson and his crew Nicklas Werneman, Ian Lyall, Barry Wilson, Svetlana Pashchenko, Peter Davison, Jonathan Garber,Eduardo Haro, Alan Watkins and Ronan Lynch Escapade Skippered by Robert Bradley and his crew Michael Bradley, Edel Doyle, John Smith, Katrina Ha [ ... ]


  Latitude Ocean Race, What are your Navigation Options? For those of you have not experienced the Latitude ocean race, it is a handicap race were each boat races to a latitude and the unique part is you can turn at any longitude. So this gives you many options, what is the least distance and fastest point of sail. With the advent of technology and software it can make the job easier. If you look below we have used the PredictWind Weather Routing ( to look at a number of options.  These options are using the Polars from a Beneteau First 40 so if you lo [ ... ]


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2018 Latitude Series – 24th and 25th November, 2018 The Latitude Series Notice of Race is now available HERE. The Latitude Series is the ORCV’s premier offshore training event for aspiring ocean racing skippers and crew, and seasoned campaigners alike, looking to hone their skills ahead of the traditional Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster and Melbourne to Devonport races in December. Since its commencement in 2005 with 14 boats and more than 90 crew, the Latitude Series has seen more than 70 yachts and 400 crew, experience this unique racing challenge, with most of them experiencing the t [ ... ]


2016 ORCV LATITUDE WEEKEND This weekend’s weather is dominated by a broad high pressure system approaching the state during Saturday which will persist for the weekend until the next cold front moves in early next week. Winds at the start of the Latitude Ocean Race are forecast to be light (5-10knots) westerly, moving more southerly throughout the day which should make for an ideal day for new crews to experience the Heads and Bass Strait. Blairgowrie will be extending their usual hospitality to the crews with an all-you-can-eat BBQ on Saturday evening and egg-and-bacon rolls/coffee [ ... ]


2016 Take off to a Latitude The Latitude Ocean and Pursuit events on 19th and 20th November 2016. These events are open to all interested yachties venturing for a short race out the Heads and back to Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron for the celebration-bragging rights, tall tales… For events documents and online entry visit the Latitude Page.