Please select your home edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Rare tight finish in the Festival of Sails Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race

by Jessica Gabites 27 Jan 2019 22:40 PST 26-28 January 2019

The Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race line honours contest finished in spectacularly close fashion, four grand prix boats closing in on the finish line within 200 metres of each other in the Festival of Sails' opening event.

Two start lines of around 230 boats combined, the largest mass start of a yacht race in the southern hemisphere, set off from Williamstown at the top of Victoria's Port Phillip at 9.30am in light south-east winds.

The lead monohull, Marcus Blackmore's Sydney-based TP52 Hooligan, completed the 32 nautical mile sprint to Geelong in 3hrs 23 minutes and for the rest of the afternoon boats streamed into Corio Bay in a 15 knot SEer as the waterfront crowd swelled on Australia Day, January 26.

Amazingly for many crews it was a one tack race with plenty of reaching legs and spinnaker rides. The last boat finished just before 5pm, well before the evening's entertainment including a fireworks display.

Second over the line plus the Rating Series division 1 corrected time winner was Geoff Boettcher's TP52 Secret Mens Business from South Australia. Third to finish was Matt Allen's Ichi Ban (NSW), winner of division 1 at the Australian Yachting Championship which wrapped up two days ago across the bay at the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron.

"Handicap is what it's all about," Boettcher said. "We've never had three boats swapping positions like that, all the way across the TPs were neck and neck. We all had a go, we were gentlemanly about it though... 'you go through to the you, it's your turn'.

"We found a few light patches; it kept the crew busy keeping the boat moving at maximum speed. It was excellent racing, now we've just got to keep it up."

The Rating divisions switch to windward/leewards on Sunday starting at 1230hrs in the outer harbour. The forecast is west to south-west winds 10 knots tending southerly during the afternoon and increasing to 15-20kts.

Charles Meredith's Chris White 46mk Peccadillo captured the Passage Race multihull line honours trophy in a time of 4 hours 40 minutes and the handicap win went to a local boat, Dave Ruffin's Kavala.

In other results, Rod Hagebols' Wicked leads the Bicycle Superstore International Etchells division and the Passage Race corrected time win in Cruising AMS series division 1 went to Gerry Cantwell's well-travelled Marten 49 Carrera.

Regatta director Denis Thompson and his team were delighted the wind came in stronger than forecast and that the afternoon sea breeze was able to gather up the back-markers and deliver them to Royal Geelong Yacht Club well before dark.

Gill VX One Australian Championship

In tandem with the Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race finishing off RGYC's marina, three classes began their national title on Corio Bay, the VX Ones, J111s and sports boats.

Three races into the Gill VX One Australian Championship it is no surprise that defending champ Alan Moffatt's Mack One from Queensland leads Brett Whitbread's leads Supervax 24/7 and Weapon of Choice (Fred Kasparek).

Full results in all divisions available here.

For more information visit event website and/or Facebook page.

Related Articles

Shutters come down on MacGlide Festival of Sails
The TP52 division offered spectacularly close racing Some of the thousands of MacGlide Festival of Sails sailors weary from three days of racing and partying over the Australia Day long weekend are fortunate to be heading home with a trophy for their efforts. Posted on 27 Jan
MacGlide Festival of Sails wraps up
RGYC sets its sights on 2022 Youth Worlds As the MacGlide Festival of Sails wraps up for 2020, the Geelong Yacht Club has its sights on winning the rights to host the 2022 Youth World Sailing Championships - the world's ultimate youth sailing regatta. Posted on 27 Jan
MacGlide Festival of Sails Super Sunday
A chance to blow away the cobwebs from a long opening day passage race For thousands of sailors gathered at Geelong, Australia Day was also 'Super Sunday' at the MacGlide Festival of Sails and a chance to blow away the cobwebs from a long opening day passage race down from Melbourne. Posted on 26 Jan
RGYC announces FOS naming rights partnership
RGYC is proud to announce the 2020 Festival of Sails naming rights partnership Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) is proud to announce the 2020 Festival of Sails naming rights partnership between the club and MacGlide, by Mactac, a world leading biocide-free fouling release film manufacturer. Posted on 2 Dec 2019
Aussie rock performers set for Festival of Sails
Free, live entertainment from Richard Clapton and more Australia's biggest celebration of sailing Festival of Sails will have a distinctive rock 'n' roll flavour in 2020 with renowned Aussie singer/songwriter Richard Clapton headlining the line-up for the Australia Day long-weekend event. Posted on 16 Nov 2019
Separate TP52 division at the Festival of Sails
TP52s will be granted their own start line and scored under IRC and TPR handicap systems The TP52s will be granted their own start line and scored under IRC and TPR handicap systems, the latter a class rule developed by the Australia owner's group that takes into account different generations of the popular design. Posted on 8 Nov 2019
Festival of Sails long-range forecast Extreme
Two Queensland based Extreme 40s will head to the event in January 2020 Two Queensland based Extreme 40s will head to Geelong's 2020 Festival of Sails in January to unleash on idyllic flat-water, powered by the local and very reliable afternoon summer sea breeze. Posted on 1 Oct 2019
Festival of Sails signs partnership with Musto
Three-year partnership with premier sailing brand The Royal Geelong Yacht Club is delighted to announce the Festival of Sails has appointed Musto as technical apparel and merchandise partner for the next three years. Posted on 26 Sep 2019
Dates just announced for 2020 Festival of Sails
Set to kick off Geelong's massive summer of sailing The 2020 dates for Australia's oldest annual sporting event, the Festival of Sails in Geelong have just been finalised with tens of thousands of people expected to enjoy Australia Day festivities along the Geelong Waterfront from January 25 to 27, 2020. Posted on 4 Jul 2019
Festival of Sails: Secret to success
Three days of fine-weather sailing Light ENE breezes filled out to 20 knots from the sou'east later in the day for the combined fleet of close to 300 boats hailing from various clubs along Port Phillip's vast shoreline plus interstate and as far away as the USA and Malaysia. Posted on 28 Jan 2019
Henri-Lloyd 2020 FOOTERUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERGul 2020 FOOTER