Upcoming Events

Melbourne to Devonport Rudder Cup

Friday, 3 Nov 2023 - Saturday, 4 Nov 2023
Time: 06:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Location: Queenscliff

Safety & Sea Survival Course Full & Refresher Course

Sunday, 19 Nov 2023
Time: 08:15 am - 05:00 pm
Location: Wesley College

West Offshore Products Coastal Sprint Race 2

Saturday, 25 Nov 2023
Time: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm
Location: The Heads, Port Phillip Bay

Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster

Wednesday, 27 Dec 2023 - Friday, 29 Dec 2023
Time: 12:00 pm - 12:01 pm
Location: Portsea Pier

Rip Tour of Port Phillip Heads

Sunday, 24 Mar 2024
Time: 09:45 am - 11:00 pm
Location: The Heads, Port Phillip Bay

West Offshore Products Coastal Sprint 3

Saturday, 20 Apr 2024
Time: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm
Location: The Heads, Port Phillip Bay

Beyond the Bay

Go out “Beyond the Bay” 
“Live the dream with confidence”

BTB banner

Ideal for Cruisers and Racers 

Have you often thought about what it would be like to sail across Bass Strait or head off to Queensland or the Pacific? It could be just around Westernport for the weekend, or around the many fascinating islands off Tasmania, or to venture further up the east coast to warmer waters in the winter months.

Have you contemplated joining fellow club members who venture out past the heads in various ORCV Ocean Races over the warmer months to Apollo Bay, Port Fairy, King Island and even further to Devonport or Hobart in late December? Perhaps you dream of competing in the Melbourne to Osaka race.

Is the only thing holding you back the uncertainty of what you need to know to get your boat and crew ready, or the additional things to consider as a skipper?

The ORCV "Beyond The Bay" program is designed to give you the necessary information and practical skills to help you plan and complete an overnight cruising passage or participate in a race. This includes exiting and returning through Port Phillip Heads, with the assistance of a guiding mentor, and includes organised sailing and training events, including the Overnight Navigators Challenge and a Bass Strait Coastal Passage.

Prior participants to the Beyond the Bay course have gone and lived onboard throughout Queensland, competed in Ocean Races with one getting on the podium at Osaka and another winning the Offshore Championship. They enjoyed the program and it gave them a huge amount of confidence plus the opportunity to participate with support not far away.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:
  • Describe how you would go about planning a coastal offshore passage
  • Plan and carry out an exit and/or entry of the Port Philip Heads
  • Describe how you would contribute to safe management of crew offshore
  • Describe how you would contribute to monitoring conditions and weather forecasts offshore and/or at night, then manage the boat accordingly
 Participant Requirements:
  • Intermediate knowledge of sailing
  • For skipper / boat owners you need to be able to berth and have good boat handling knowledge
  • Have some knowledge and strong interest in weather, tides, basic navigation and radio operations
  • Navionics Software on a tablet or iPad
  • Boat owners/skippers will need to get their boats to cat 4+ and this will be covered very early in the BTB course.
  • Need to be a member of the ORCV or an Australian Sailing affiliated club

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If your interested in our next course, please drop us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Course and Dates
  To be confirmed Session 1 - Introduction and hypothetical coastal passage RBYC
  To be confirmed ORCV Safety and Sea Survival Course Wesley
  To be confirmed Session 2 - How to use Navionics Online
  To be confirmed Practical Navigation Session 1 Online
  To be confirmed Practical Navigation Session 2 Online
  To be confirmed Winter Series Race - Blairgowrie Passage Race (Optional) Port Phillip Bay
  To be confirmed Weather Course Module 1 Part 1 (Optional) Online
  To be confirmed Weather Course Module 1 Part 2 (Optional) Online
  To be confirmed Weather Course Module 1 Part 3 (Optional) Online
  To be confirmed Session 3 - Practical Radio Course State Sailing Centre
Albert Park
  To be confirmed Session 4 - Skippers session Boat & Equipment. 
Preparation for overnight and coastal passage
  To be confirmed Winter Series Race - Geelong Passage Race (Optional) Port Phillip Bay
  To be confirmed Session 5 - Route Planning / Boat Preparation / Crew
Preparation & Provisioning for upcoming passage
  To be confirmed On Water Event - Overnight Port Phillip Bay Passage (Link to Race Page) Port Phillip Bay
  To be confirmed Session 6 - De brief for Overnight Event / Preparation for Bass Strait Coastal Passage / Heads Exit Training Online
  To be confirmed     On Water Event - Bass Strait Coastal Passage (with mentors) Queenscliff Start / Portsea Finish


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Adult Price

  • Existing ORCV Members fee: $795
  • Non- Member’s fee: $995 (inc course as above plus ORCV membership)

Youth Price (16 – 25 years old)

  • Existing ORCV Members fee: $595
  • Non- Member’s fee: $745 (inc. Course as above plus ORCV membership)

Payment can be made in full (via visa, PayPal or Amex) or by instalments (Paypal only).  To pay by instalment - Select Paypal at the shopping cart and login to your Paypal account to select pay by instalments.  Paypal will then take payment over 6 weeks in 4 instalments.


"Essential for anyone intending to sail beyond Port Phillip Bay” says past student Neil Sargeant.

ORCV Beyond the Bay Course runs every 2 years and next Monday May 6th the first of a series of educational evening sessions, supervised weekend on water sailing events and mentoring by experienced ORCV offshore instructors starts. Don’t delay living your dream! Spaces available. Book now.


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.Neil Onboard

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 Bay programme which included the overnight challenge (a navigation and watch keeping exercise around the bay) then culminated in the lattitude race out of the heads.

The fact that each boat had an experienced mentor on board for BTB made it very enjoyable and really helped pull all the classroom theory and much more together.

Since BTB I have have also completed the sea safety survival course - which teaches you heaps and is absolutely essential if you intend heading “out there” !!!

Thereafter we started venturing out of the heads on a semi regular basis - Wilsons Prom and the Kent Group, Sydney Pittwater, King Island and Apollo Bay.

As a “newby” all I can say “for me” is that it is a different and very special world once you leave the confines of Port Philip.

It’s not easy to describe - “adventure, freedom, anticipation and the unknown” are some words that spring to mind. 

One thing for sure is that all the normal and sometimes mindless buzz of work and daily life issues completely and I mean COMPLETELY disappear

So on to ocean racing - I was very lucky in that my regular crew are very experienced and tight knit coming from a recently sold Sydney 38. 

If as a skipper you are new to Ocean racing I feel it is very important and in fact I would say “essential” that you have experienced crew members that you get on with and trust, for two reasons; it gives you confidence to relax and enjoy the experience plus you quickly find out things that you didn’t know that you didn't know :)

We made the decision to do Devonport about 6 months prior to the race and had to do a few mods and provisioning to move the boat up from Cat 3 to Cat 2 Race Flagsafety plus we got the boat measured and weighed giving us an AMS rating.

The race itself was great, even the planning and anticipation was a significant and positive part of the overall experience. Yes there was quite a bit of work to do but mostly it was a once off stuff - and there are plenty of people out there willing to help get you to the start line.

Cruising was and still is fun and mostly relaxing as you can pick your weather windows and have multiple options up your sleeve if conditions change.

But for me Ocean Racing takes the whole experience to another level - the weather cannot be pre-booked - the adrenaline is pumping - you are out there with likeminded people who are there to compete but also to offer advice and assist in the event of a "bad situation” developing.

The race was exhilarating both mentally and physically and the camaraderie, race tactic discussions along the way all added to the experience. 

After the race arriving in Devonport about 3am in the morning presented the only scary moment of the crossing when trying to do a tight turn in the fast running tidal flow to get to the pontoon mooring our steering locked and we were sure we were heading for the mud. 

Luckily an errant winch handle in the rope bag that jammed the other wheel was found to be the culprit just in time.

Moored up we were greeted by, yes at 3am!! by club members delivering each boat with cold beer, hot pies and a jar of the infamous Tassie pickled onions - what a welcome!!!

In closing, all I can say if you are a boat owner and are considering doing an ocean race - get out there and do it - you won’t be disappointed - feel free to give me a call and have a chat - I am currently deciding which race to do next :)

Neil Sargeant RBYC


MerseaGoingToWindward Neil Recieving his take home trophy
Celebrating in Melbourne The Winning Crew

"Live the Dream"

Neil Onboard


"The ORCV Beyond the Bay and the Safety at Sea Survival Course is essential for anyone intending to leave the confines of the Port Phillip Bay” says Neil Sargeant and more than 200 others who have attended the course.

The ORCV Beyond the Bay program is a series of educational evening sessions, supervised weekend on water events and mentoring support. Course has started although workshop 1 will be repeated at a time mutually agreed on for those still wishing to attend.   Book your place here 

2015 Beyond the Bay Registration closing soon

After the success of last year’s programme, we are conducting this course again in 2015.
Incorporating five seminars and two on-water events, this is an opportunity to gain the necessary skills and confidence for venturing Beyond the Bay to “Live your dream”.
Programme starts on Monday 11th May 2015 and there are places available so don’t miss out - REGISTER now.
More information HERE.