by John Curnow
With the release today of the Notice of Race, you can certainly say that the 2012/13 Club Marine Series on Melbourne’s Port Phillip is definitely on. Commencing on October 20, 2012 and running over seven Saturdays until March 16, 2013, the fleet will adorn the top of the Bay over two separate racing courses.
Sometimes it is all about red… - Club Marine Series
Divisions Two and Three race in towards the bayside suburbs of St Kilda, Elwood and Brighton, whereas Divisions Zero and One, which are for the larger and faster vessels, race slightly West of them, nearer to Fawkner Beacon and closer to Williamstown and Altona.
Of course, Melbourne’s world renowned weather always make for an interesting time with the Club Marine Series and Race Management is to be praised for their efforts in dealing with this. However, the Bay is also known as one of the greatest locations to run yacht racing, especially One Design, as the breezes predominantly blow true and the seaway runs consistently, even if it is short and choppy at times.
The four divisions, which account for vessels of differing ages, designs, speed and size, will once again compete across three categories. The first two, International Rule, Club (IRC) and Australian Measurement System (AMS) are based on the specifications of the boat, whereas Performance Handicap System (PHS) is purely based on the previous results of the boat and crew together. Trophies are awarded to the outstanding performers in each of the divisions, across each of the racing categories.
To do well is a mark of the crews’ performances, given the varying weather and the owners’ dedication to having the boat all ship shape and keeping it that way, which is no small feat in itself.
However, every time it is about tough competition. - Club Marine Series
In announcing the launch of the 2012/13 Club Marine Series, Steve Walker, the CEO of the Organising Authority, Yachting Victoria said, 'Something approaching 1000 sailors take to the water on the Saturdays that racing is on and it really is quite spectacular to see them all leave the various clubs and then race around. If you are going over either the Westgate or Bolte Bridges, you will not miss this sight. We’re sure that as a direct result of the Australian Sailing Team doing so well at the London Olympics, we’ll have even more boats out this year. If you are keen to try your hand at yachting and eventually become part of all this, keep an eye out for the Discover Sailing events at a club near you, over the course of the season. We’re also very much thrilled to have our major sponsor, Club Marine, involved with us to continue the running and development of this great regatta.'
Speaking of which, Greg Fisher, the CEO of Club Marine said, 'We’re very delighted to announce our continuing involvement with the Club Marine Series for the next three years. It is such a unique event, due to the huge array of vessels competing across multiple divisions and categories, with a really large body of sailors staying active and healthy and at least six clubs from around Port Phillip participating. We look forward to watching something in the order of 150 yachts race all Summer long and really wish every one of them the best, but perhaps with even a little more luck to be bestowed upon our wonderful Club Marine policy holders. We too believe these events will continue to grow, following on from the tremendous success experienced at the London Olympics.'
Over the course of the 2012/13 Club Marine Series, the actual sailors are set to have even more fun than before.
This year, the award winning photographers, Alex McKinnon and Teri Dodds are not only back, in addition to the great work they do capturing the on-water action, they will have another mission to accomplish.
Other times it is all about blue… - Club Marine Series
'Our apparel sponsor, Gill Australia, has put forward seven, $300 vouchers up for grabs. One of which will be awarded at the conclusion of racing in each round, to the sailor who is photographed in dire need of some new gear. This might be a bag to take all their equipment to the boat, new pants to replace the jeans a novice might be wearing or a wonderful jacket for the Skipper who perpetually leaves his current one in the bilge of the boat', said Steve Walker.
The rules of this fantastic, additional competition are very simple. The chosen photograph for each round will be available to view at clubmarineseries.com.au and the sailor in question will have to email in their response, in order to claim the voucher. If a sailor does not claim their prize before the next round, it will simply jackpot to the next winner. Should all the sailors not make their claims, then the ultimate winner could walk away with the whole $2100 prize!!!
The Club Marine Series is proudly sponsored by Australia’s largest marine insurer - details and full information about the series can be found at clubmarineseries.com.au
Yet other times the weather has something to say about it all. - Club Marine Series
Most of the time, it is pretty busy at the top mark. - Club Marine Series