Please select your home edition

Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport Races underway

by ORCV media 27 Dec 2021 00:01 PST 27 December 2021
Gusto Solo takes to the lead on the Devonport race © Steb Fisher

The combined Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport fleets had a very civilized start time of 14:30 today in the vicinity of Portsea Pier, allowing for excellent spectator viewing.

With 20 knots of offshore breeze and a good length start line the fleet had a clean reaching start carving away to the first mark of the course at Shortland Bluff. Grant Dunoon's Moody 54, Blue Water Tracks was closely followed by Vagabond and Alex -Team Macadie.

One of the pre-race favourites, Lord Jiminy skippered by Guillaume Leroux had a delayed start. The Class 40 that took Line Honours in the 2019 Westcoaster crossed the line 33 minutes after the fleet. A time difference that could cost multiple places at the finish.

First through The Heads of Port Phillip in challenging 2 - 3 metre swell was hotly contested with Alex-Team Macadie nosing just ahead of Tevake ll.

The Melbourne to Devonport fleet will be hoping to make ground before they hit the predicted weather 'hole' in the middle of the course. The entire fleet is currently tracking well to the west of the rhumbline, Gusto Solo sailed double handed by Brian Pattinson and his son Tristan are leading the fleet in his new Don Jones 42 with Nigel Cunliffe's Scaramouche slightly further west. Presumably Cunliffe's tactic is to attempt to maximise his wind and set the best line for his tack back later in the race.

The Melbourne to Hobart fleet has a weather dilemma that has rarely been seen in this Westcoaster race. Current the modelling suggests that the fastest course to Hobart is to go West of King Island. This track is well away from the direct rhumbline and adds approximately 25 nautical miles to the course. Tacticians will have to make some race defining decisions around six or seven tonight.

Currently Tevake ll and skipper Paul Nielson are closest to the rhumbline followed by Audere. While Macadie on his double handed Alex are tracking to the west and enjoying a good boat speed of close to nine knots. Vagabond, Blue Water Tracks and the Sydney 38 Faster Forward have all chosen to point this way as well. Late starter Lord Jiminy are making excellent boat speed and have also manoeuvred to this more westerly position.

While tracking to the west of King Island maybe risky, this year's unusual weather conditions may be the year to try.

Race director Jeremy Walton said tonight, "We are very happy to have had a clean start and are intrigued to see the tactics, particularly in the Westcoaster play out over the next eight hours. On current forecast we expect to see the Devonport fleet somewhere near the finish line by midday tomorrow."

Related Articles

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
Something to get your teeth into
50th Melbourne to King Island race, and Westcoaster female crews The glamour King Island steak sandwich. Yes please. You have to cross Bass Strait proper in order to get one, and the Kerosene Canary is often a far easier and warmer way to do it, but it is always worth it. Posted on 13 Feb
Sydney 38 'Faster Forward' takes handicap win
The smallest yacht wins ORCV Melbourne to Hobart One of the smallest yachts in the fleet, a Sydney 38, has won the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria Melbourne to Hobart 'West Coaster' Race on handicap. Posted on 1 Jan
Lord Jiminy wins Melbourne to Hobart Line Honours
The Class 40 design held a comfortable lead throughout the later stages Guillaume Leroux's Class 40 Lord Jiminy has claimed line honours in a challenging Melbourne to Hobart yacht race that was beset by range of strong and light winds, before ending with a perfect afternoon sea breeze in Hobart's Derwent River. Posted on 30 Dec 2021
Female dominated crew take the Rudder Cup
Smallest boat Vertigo wins the Melbourne to Devonport yacht race Royal yacht Club of Victoria will be cheering for one of their own this morning. Tim Olding's Summit 35 Vertigo floated over the finish line in Devonport at 05:08 this morning to take possession of The Rudder Cup. Posted on 29 Dec 2021
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 1 jpg BottomZhik 2022 New Season Gear FOOTERMcConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 FOOTER