Rip Tour of Port Phillip Heads


Do you want to escape the restriction of our vast Port Phillip Bay and venture outside to try out some ocean sailing in Bass Strait? For this you must first know how to safely enter and exit the bay through its very narrow opening -  affectionately called "the Rip".

Find out how to get out of the bay and into Bass Strait by attending our next “Rip Tour” on Sunday the 14th of April 2019. Make sure you are part of this informative and hands-on training session. Register now to secure your place.

Every six hours – associated with the change of the tide - a huge volume of water rips in or out of the entrance creating unique and sometimes treacherous conditions.  The entrance is guarded by the long peninsular pincers of Point Lonsdale on the one side and Point Nepean on the other.  The “Rip” is 1.5 nautical miles wide with clear leads and lights marking the channels through the 0.6 nautical mile wide entrance which is clear of reefs and hence safe to navigate.

To encourage sailors to experience ocean sailing, the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria conducts a regular, practical on-water tour of the entrance to Port Phillip. Also suitable for all other enthusiasts and their families interested in discovering the safe ways of transiting the heads.

From the instruction you will learn the patterns of tidal flow in this area and how to transit safely through the "Rip" including the correct channel protocols. Identifying the transit leads, channel beacons and navigational aids.  Favorable wind and tidal conditions will be described - or observed depending on the day. The experienced instructors will also show you how to anticipate and therefore avoid dangerous situations. To assist you in future crossings you will receive a handy reference chart.

You will also have the opportunity to traverse the leads under Shortland Bluff depending on the tide and shipping traffic.  There may be the opportunity to venture seawards to view the effects of "The Rip" before returning to disembark at your nominated port.

Click here for more details including Registration.

ORCV Rip Tour 4 Fingers West Small
Port Phillip Bay Entrace Leads at Shortland Bluff, Queenscliff - Four Fingers West