ORCV bids sayonara Osaka and hello Winter

by Rosie Colahan

Sue Bumstead arrives Osaka 2018_ Yamachan Osaka Media
Sue Bumstead arrives Osaka 2018_ Yamachan Osaka Media
Jo Breen sports her Strongest Woman t-shirt MIOC 2018_Osaka Media
Jo Breen sports her Strongest Woman t-shirt MIOC 2018_Osaka Media
Annette Hesselman and husband Gerard Snyjders MOC 2018_Osaka Media
Annette Hesselman and husband Gerard Snyjders MOC 2018_Osaka Media

The Ocean Racing Club of Victoria will salute the arrival of winter on Sunday 3 June 2018 with the kick off of their annual Winter Series for 2018, signalling ‘sayonara’ to an epic 2017-18 summer of southern offshore racing and the completion of the marathon 2018 Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka Cup (MOC) double handed race.

The Winter Series has been a fixture on the Melbourne winter racing scene for some years now. The 2018 edition promises something for everyone with an exciting new format of longer passage style races for both racing and cruising, monos and multihulls and provisions for both double handed and female crew divisions. This initiative is geared to provide opportunities for testing out different types of racing, building skills and teamwork and experiencing the camaraderie and hospitality at the end of destination races.

The recent excitement around the Melbourne activities in the lead up to the MOC 2018 has seen double handed racing become the talk of the town and stimulated a growing interest in short handed long distance competition. The annual Melbourne to Hobart Westcoaster (M2H) 2017 was dominated by double handed crews onboard 11 of the 18 boat fleet. The annual ORCV Double Handed Race conducted on Port Phillip on Sunday 11 May also attracted 18 boats, despite the absence of the familiar faces of several former competitors who were already busy celebrating their personal bests after racing 5500nm non stop to Osaka. Many former Osaka competitors have also made their double handed debut in the annual local race.

The ORCV have also taken a lead in providing more opportunities for female sailors to gain skills in keelboats. The establishment of the Women & Girls in Sailing (WGIS) committee by the former Yachting Victoria (now Australian Sailing) in October 2012, was a catalyst for the ORCV to establish the Ocean Girls group and create the ORCV Women Skippers & Navigators Race which was first run in September 2013, as a passage race from Geelong to Melbourne mandating female sailors to take up roles of helm, navigator and radio operator and bring the boats home. Now a hotly contested annual race on the Victorian keelboat calendar, the opportunities provided by the race have seen a number of female sailors go on to enlist for the ORCV Beyond the Bay training program which has been affirmed as invaluable for furthering their skills and confidence.

In a further recent initiative, Australian Sailing and ORCV have collaborated to provide subsidised training for female sailors to access Sea Survival and Safety Course for all new female sailors wanting to transition from dinghy to keelboat racing or from bay to ocean racing. Contact the ORCV office for further information.

The recently completed MOC has also showcased three Australian female co-skippers from various states, with two being boat owners, and marks the return of female competitors for the first time since the 2007 edition of the marathon race.

Young Tasmanian Joanna Breen, owner of S&S34 Morning Star with Peter Brooks as co-skipper, led the staggered starts for the MOC 2018 and held on until the last few days of her race, placing second in both AMS and PHS divisions. Jo has now delivered her boat to Saipan with her father Mike and will jump ship to compete with the First all-female crews for New Caledonia Groupama Race onboard the 40ft trimaran Ave Gitana.

From NSW, Annette Hesselman with husband Gerard Snyjders raced her Radford 12 Red Jacket amongst intense competition from the mid fleet peloton. Annette is now cruising her way home with daughter Sophie and her partner Jack as crew, and the possibility of a mother-daughter challenge for the next Osaka race is brewing.

Local Victorian Sue Bumstead raced onboard Grant Dunoon’s luxurious 54ft Moody Blue Water Tracks. Despite suffering major issues resulting in two pitstops for repairs, their dogged determination saw them complete the race and arrive in Osaka to receive a heroes welcome.

This Melbourne winter - dare to dream – be inspired and get started by getting online now to register for the ORCV Winter Series. You can choose to enter the whole series or individual races.




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