Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race

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About the Race

The Melbourne to Osaka Double Handed yacht race is held every four years on average, organised through the collaborative effort of three yacht clubs:

- Sandringham Yacht Club (SYC) in Melbourne, Australia

- Hokko Yacht Club (OHYC) in Osaka, Japan

- The Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV) in Melbourne, Australia


The Melbourne to Osaka Yacht Race is a 5,000 nautical mile 2 handed yacht race, an epic journey.  One of the only North-South long distance ocean races in the world, it crosses multiple weather systems and season as it crosses the Pacific ocean.  The course starts off Portsea and takes the competitors into Bass Strait, up the east coast of Australia at some point crossing the East Australian current, into the Southeasterly tradewinds then through the Solomon Islands and the doldrums of the equator.  It then heads into the Northeasterly tradewinds and the equatorial current before fighting the Kuroshio (Japan current), which flows up the Pacific Coast of Japan, and to the finish in the port of Osaka on Japan’s Honshu Island.

The objectives of the race are to promote a challenging long-distance, short-handed racing event between Melbourne and Osaka, traversing the Pacific Ocean.  In so doing to provide a proving ground for true seamanship and also to encourage the development of suitable seaworthy yachts and of appropriate gear, supplies, and techniques for short-handed crossing under sail.

The Race, first held in 1987 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Osaka, is held approx. every four years to celebrate the City of Melbourne and the City of Osaka Sister City and Sister Port relationship.

The Osaka Cup race will take place for the eighth time in late March 2018.

The race participants sail from Melbourne to Osaka without stop-overs or outside assistance, travelling backward through the seasons with autumn in Melbourne, summer at the equator and spring in Osaka.

Like any major ocean race, many factors can be attributed to the final results.  All competitors will agree, “just making it to the start line” is a huge achievement in itself.  Getting to the finish line, "well its like a marathon, the feeling of achievement is unbelievable".  The greeting in Japan is like no other, as each crew is celebrated and congratulated regardless of race result.

This is Australia's longest Category 1 yacht race, the equivalent of eight back to back Sydney to Hobarts with only two people on board !

Osaka Course Map 


The Organising Authority for the 2018 event will likely be the Melbourne Osaka Double-handed Yacht Race Limited, a Not-for-Profit company limited by guarantee with 3 Joint Venture members:

  • Sandringham Yacht Club (SYC) - the Melbourne Host
  • Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV) - will be administering the on-water activities
  • Osaka Hokko Yacht Club (OHYC) - the Osaka Host


The race organising committee comprises:

- Martin Vaughan (Committe chair, SYC representative, ex competitor)

- George Shaw (OHYC Australian representative, ex competitor)

- Max Yamashita (OHYC Japan representative)

- Simon Dryden (ORCV representative, ex competitor)

- Rob Tanner (Race Director)

- Ian MacWilliams (Media/Marketing)

- Julie Davis (Competitor liaison)

(The organising committee may be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


The Melbourne City Council provide the lisence to use the "Melbourne to Osaka Double Handed Yacht Club" trademark and have provided hospitality support in the past.