The 5,500 nautical mile Melbourne to Osaka Race, first held in 1987 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Osaka, Japan is run every four years to celebrate the City of Melbourne and the City of Osaka Sister City and Sister Port relationship.
The wind eased a little shortly after the gun - 2013 Melbourne Osaka
The race features staggered starts to try and ensure the boats arrive as close as possible together in Osaka. The first start off Portsea Pier was today, there were two yachts on the start line, the Osaka Yacht Club entry, Yasuyuki Nakji´s 40 footer Southern Cross and Robert Bradley´s Farr 38 Escapade.
A family emergency prevented Eric Marsh´s Adams 11.9 Turbulence from making the start line. It is hoped that Marsh and crew Paul Neilson will be able to start midweek.
Race Director Simon 'Slim' Dryden reported ´Victoria’s weather did a quick turn around after last week’s hot weather we had a big front through Melbourne yesterday, so the wind was blowing 28 to 32 knots for the start today with four to seven metre waves. The fleet are in for a rough wet start.
‘Escapade started with a reef which was quickly shaken out after the start when Southern Cross leapt to the lead. Both boats made it safely through the heads and are reaching toward Wilsons Promontory, which they should pass by late tonight.’
The PredictWind model has them abeam of Sydney by Thursday.
The starting gun for the 2013 Melbourne Osaka race was fired by 2010-2011 Commodore of the Annapolis Yacht Club Bill Torgerson.
The second scheduled start for the bulk of the fleet is next Sunday morning, March 24th at 10:30am. The final start will be of the 60 footer Gusto on March 28th.
Note the first race start time published by Sail-World was listed as 1:30pm on Sunday. In fact the warning gun was fired at 12:55pm and the boats started at 1pm. The Club has apologised for the typo in the material supplied to Sail-world and to other media.
Follow the tracker http://yb.tl/osaka2013
The event website www.melbourneosaka.com
Commodore Bill fires the start gun - Melbourne Osak
Southern Cross in the Heads - 2013 Melbourne Osaka
Escapade on the way out the Heads - 2013 Melbourne Osaka
Escapade and Southern Cross get underway - 2013 Melbourne Osaka
the fleet crosses the line - Melbourne Osak
Yasu and Masu from Southern Cross - Melbourne Osak
Robert and Joey the crew of Escapade - Melbourne Osak