Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Melbourne to Geelong passage race - Surprise victory for Morticia

by Danielle McKay on 25 Jan 2014
Festival of Sails 2014, Melbourne to Geelong passage race Teri Dodds
In the Festival of Sails’ 2014 Melbourne to Geelong passage race today, Friday 24th January, the featherweight trimaran Morticia fought above its weight to claim a surprise victory against much bigger and more powerful rivals.

Weighing in at just 900 kilos the pure carbon 30-foot racer was built by Formula one car manufacturers in Europe, and it performed like one once the southerly change revved-up the 230-strong fleet across the 34 nautical mile course.

Morticia’s skipper Chris Williams said they were in fifth place with about 15 nautical miles to go when a sloppy eight knot sou’easterly breeze finally clocked around to the south, building to near 20 knots.

The Sydneysiders clawed back competitors, including the then race leader Ichi Ban which is double the size at 60-feet, before sailing to a line honours victory off Royal Geelong Yacht Club in a time of 4 hours, 7 minutes, and 54 seconds. The race record is 1 hour 40 minutes 17 seconds.

'We virtually doubled our speed, going from about 8 knots to 16 plus in a matter of minutes,' Williams said. 'We went up on one hull, reduced our drag and used our righting moment to just take off.'

Fellow multihull Malice, skippered by Mal Richardson also edged ahead of Ichi Ban in the dying miles to finish second across the line, two minutes behind Morticia.

Ichi Ban crossed the line in third place and as the first monohull to reach Geelong skipper Matt Allen will pick up one of two Telstra line honours trophies, a decoration that will also be awarded to Morticia. From the outset Allen predicted it would be a small boat race. And that’s just how it played out.

'It was pretty slow, and at times frustrating,' Allen said. 'We did more sail changes in this race than we did the entire way in the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

'But once we got that 50 degree shift to the south it was much better, only by that time the light stuff had cost us too much and it was impossible to win [on handicap].'

Flying the flag for the locals was Victorian yacht Veloce skippered by Phil Simpfendorfer, whose Sandringham Yacht Club crew claimed the Lou Abrahams Trophy for the overall IRC win.

It was one of those rare moments when a wrong makes an oh so sweet right. Simpfendorfer jumped the start and was recalled, but that only served to ignite the fire in his belly and drive the 44-foot yacht to victory.

'I’m a pretty competitive beast, so it fired me up more,’’ Simpfendorfer said. 'We just kept calm, went back over the line, popped the code zero, that’s our get out of jail free card, and worked our way back.'

Racing will resume on Geelong’s Corio Bay tomorrow morning where more than three hundred yachts and 4,500 sailors will compete across 14 classes. Local boat Beats Workin skippered by Denis Collins is expected to round out the fleet and cross the finish line before 1900 AEDT.

Event website: click here

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Kilwell - 6Schaefer 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design