Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Extasea is Cock of the Bay line honours winner on a perfect Boxing Day in Melbourne

by ORCV 25 Dec 2020 22:57 PST 26 December 2020
Line honours winner Extasea with the Melbourne skyline in the background during the 2020 ORCV Cock of the Bay Race © Michael Currie

Under clear blue skies and with Melbourne's Port Phillip bathed in sunshine, a record fleet of 112 yachts, carrying 618 crew, set sail on Boxing Day in the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria's annual Cock of the Bay race.

Paul Buchholz's Cookson 50 Extasea took line honours, ahead of Gerry Cantwell's Marten 49 Carrera S, which led the fleet across the start line off Port Melbourne at 10.30am. Extasea took the gun at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron on Mornington Peninulsa four hours and two minutes later.

Michael Ebeling, owner and skipper of La Mer, a 36ft Dufour, echoed the sentiments of the whole fleet when he spoke by phone from the middle of the racecourse. "We're absolutely loving the race. Sailing in 10-12 knots of breeze close to shoreline with nine crew on board, including son Charlie and daughter Georgie. There's nothing better than, after being with family and friends on Christmas day, getting out on the Bay, enjoying a great sail on Boxing Day. After the finish we will continue sailing to Sorrento to enjoy our summer holidays."

With a light northerly blowing during the morning, most of the fleet hoisted spinnakers, creating a spectacular picture for residents and visitors on the Bayside shoreline.

Media boats and news helicopters followed the fleet as they enjoyed the benign conditions, but Mother Nature decided it was time for the crews to work off some Christmas lunch. As the sun passed over the proverbial yard arm, a moderate southerly filled in, causing the spinnakers to be dropped and mainsheets to be tightened.

However, as most of the fleet had anticipated the change and had hugged the eastern shoreline, they were able to sail along the rhumbline (a straight line to their destination), rather than tacking continuously into the wind.

With most of the fleet still on the water at 4pm, it was too early to call handicap winners in the various divisions.

Tomorrow morning, 22 of the yachts will again be under starter's orders as they set off on the ORCV Rudder Cup Race from Portsea to Devonport, in Tasmania. Once again, the forecast is favourable, with northerlies in the morning to propel the yachts out of Port Phillip before a south-westerly change should allow the leading yachts to beam-reach all the way across Bass Strait, putting the race record under threat.

However, the back-markers will be hoping a severe weather warning, issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, is ultimately downgraded. Winds of over 40 knots are expected to hit elevated areas of Western Victoria before moving across Melbourne on Sunday night.

Related Articles

Double-handers targeting 50th M2H Yacht Race glory
There are some serious contenders for the Heemskerk Trophy Amid the double-handed entries already received for the 2022 Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race, there are some serious contenders for the Heemskerk Trophy, awarded to the overall winner of the race each year. Posted on 4 Aug
South Aussies add weight to Melbourne to Hobart
The 435 nautical mile race for the Heemskerk Trophy will be intense Twelve years ago, John Willoughby scored a clean sweep of wins in the testing Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race with his striking red yacht 'Enchantress' - and the memory of that race Posted on 19 Jul
ORCV Winter Series 30nm race to Blairgowrie
Patriot was the clear winner in a race of snakes and ladders Local knowledge as the winds softened gave Jason Close, skipper of the J133 'Patriot' the advantage to win overall in a fleet of 34 yachts in Saturday's ORCV Winter Series 30nm race to Blairgowrie. Posted on 11 Jul
Tasmanians prepare for assault on 50th M2H Race
The race takes the fleet from Portsea Pier to Hobart via the west coast of Tasmania Tasmania can lay claim to a rich history in the ORCV Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race, or 'Westcoaster' as it's also known, with the likes of Bob Clifford, John Saul, Michael Pritchard, David Alpin and the Escott family names engraved on the major trophies. Posted on 31 May
Double-handed Ryujin wins Apollo Bay Race
Margaret Rintoul V takes line honours in Ocean Racing Club of Victoria event Sailed double-handed by owner Alex Toomey and crew-mate Andrew Hibbert, Ryujin has won the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria's (ORCV) 2022 Apollo Bay Race, in which Margaret Rintoul V (Damien King) took line honours in a close race across the board. Posted on 16 May
Ginan 50th entry for 50th Melbourne to Hobart Race
Expectations and entries are running high Expectations and entries are running high as the ORCV prepares to host its 50th Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race, with Cam McKenzie and Nigel Jones' recently purchased J/111, Ginan, marking the occasion by being the 50th entry. Posted on 28 Apr
Vertigo wins ORCV Bass Strait race
Tim Olding's Summit 35 wins on a perfect sailing day Tim Olding's Summit 35 Vertigo, won the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV) 55 nm West Offshore Products Coastal Sprint Race on a perfect sailing day. Posted on 25 Apr
Beyond the Bay Program 2022
Go out "Beyond the Bay", live the dream with confidence Starting in May, the Beyond the Bay program is designed for those boat owners and crew who want to extend their sailing experience to the offshore environment. Posted on 22 Apr
Rozinante II wins slow dance to Grassy
Rozinante II won a protracted King Island Race Rozinante II has won a protracted King Island Race from Melbourne to Grassy at the southern end of the Island, while John Newbold's Primitive Cool took line honours in the time of 1 day, 3hrs 13mins 11secs, well outside the record he set in 2014 Posted on 14 Mar
50th King Island Race Preview
Forget sheep stations – entrants playing for crayfish Forty-five entries have so far locked in for the ORCV's 50th King Island Race, which starts at 1500 hours on 11 March off Queenscliff, with competitors playing for something far more important than sheep stations - crayfish and King Island cheeses Posted on 8 Mar
Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px1 BOTTOMSea Sure 2021 - Transom Fittings - FOOTERSelden 2020 - FOOTER