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Australia to Japan: Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race Welcomes Cruisers

By Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race — last modified Dec 09, 2015 10:02 AM
Many cruisers take part in organised races to facilitate getting their boats to a cruising destination and back home again. The level of support and oversight offered during a race means it’s quite a safe journey to undertake. Also the pre-race training/seminars are very useful for building skills (first aid, sail repair, navigation, customs etc). If Japan (or Australia if you live in Japan) are on your cruising list, perhaps this race in 2018 could be the way to make the passage.

Published: 2015-09-17 23:00:00
Topics: Rallies
Countries: Japan , Australia

2018 Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race

The Organizing Committee for the 2018 Melbourne to Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race is pleased to announce the publishing of the Preliminary Notice of Race for the next race due to start in Port Philip Bay in March 2018.

We have already had a remarkable level of interest in the event, both from Australia and Japan, so are confident of a fully subscribed fleet of 25 yachts at the race start. The race is a unique doublehanded long distance ocean race, an epic journey of 5,500 nautical miles or around 10,000km, the equivalent of 8 back-to-back Sydney-to-Hobarts, during which yachts will encounter multiple weather systems and seasons as they cross the Pacific Ocean from south to north.

The race record is held by “Wild Thing” who competed the race in a little under 26 days 21 hours in 1995.

First run in 1987 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Osaka, the race will be run for the 8th time in 2018 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Melbourne Osaka Sister City Relationship. The race is a challenging long-distance, short-handed racing event, that provides a proving ground for true seamanship and encourages the development of suitably seaworthy yachts, appropriate gear, supplies, and techniques for short-handed passage under sail.

Timed to avoid both the end of the Cyclone season in the Southern Hemisphere and the beginning of the Typhoon season in the Northern Hemisphere, the journey begins in autumn at the starting line in Melbourne. Yachts race first through Bass Strait and then turn north to pass between the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea on their way to the equator. There they meet a tropical summer and face the challenges of The Doldrums where there is often little or no wind for many days at a time. On their final leg they complete their journey backwards through the seasons to meet the Japanese spring at the finishing line in Osaka.

The Organizing Authority for the event comprises three clubs.

Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne donates berthing and slipping facilities to non-local competitors and hosts participants and overseas guests in the lead up to the race.

Similarly, Osaka Hokko Yacht Club in Japan provides berthing and other assistance at the destination not to mention to the legendary welcome every finisher receives on arrival.

The Ocean Racing Club of Victoria provides 24x7 race and risk management before, during and after the race through its network of ocean racing volunteers. Where possible it also offers support for each yacht’s return journey to ensure their safe passage home.

Cherry blossom viewing in the Japanese spring sounds romantic, but spending three to five weeks on a 10-20m yacht with just one other person is no weekend cruise. With just under three years remaining before the starting gun, potential competitors are encouraged to start their preparations now and register their interest by visiting the event web site at www.melbourneosaka.com or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MelbourneOsaka.

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