Saturday, 31 March 2018

Marley Point Overnight Race 2018 - Race Report

The Wellington Lakes YC celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the running of its Marlay Point Overnight Race over the Labour weekend 10-11 March 2018.

There were 5 Explorer 16’s entered in this years race with their final placings proving this race to be one of the most successful over the many years of the Association’s representation in the MPONR.

The Marlay Point Overnight Race has been running on the Gippsland Lakes since 1969. It is the only overnight race for trailer sailers in Australia and has earned the reputation as the Sydney-Hobart for smaller yachts.

Hosted by the Lake Wellington Yacht Club (LWYC) this iconic race runs on the Victorian Labour Day in March every year. Starting at sunset, competitors sail across Lake Wellington, through the McLennan Straits into Lake Victoria for the run home to Paynesville. Regarded as Australia’s premier race for trailable yachts and multi-hulls, about 4000 boats and 11,000 sailors have been involved over 50 years, making the Overnight Race a must-do on every trailer sailors bucket list.

The 5 Explorer’s in this years race were:
* EMILY – Frank Strickland and Crew
* SWALLOW – Sue Burke and Crew
* CAPTAIN PHASMA – Ric Lamont and Crew
* MEANDER– Peter Mart and Crew
* OLD SALT - Ray Clinch and Crew

The final results for the 5 boats was quite remarkable. The light winds at times made for some very technical light air sailing in the open waters and interesting drifting down the McLennan Strait.
Starting at 8:05pm, in the approaching darkness of Saturday night and sailing out of sight of each other until dawn found CAPTAIN PHASMA and SWALLOW duking it out at the entrance to Lake Victoria in a pre-dawn whisper of 2-3 knts.
Captain Phasma catches just enough breeze to fill the kite heading into the sunrise

At about 9am the breeze filled from the west compressing a large proportion of the fleet at Bluff Head near Paynesville. Those ahead, sitting in a wind hole, looked back ruefully as clouds of yachts bore down on them with a good 5 knts of breeze. Those behind sailed gleefully into the hole to catch up.

Part of the fleet converges just outside Paynesville - Photo Colin Johanson

The Explorers all finished within 4 minutes of each other, an incredible feat considering they had been racing for 15hrs 30mins!. The finish line was a crowded mess of fibreglass and dacron

CAPTAIN PHASMA and OLD SALT crossing the Line.

224 boats started in this years MPONR, sailing across 5 Divisions with 199 boats completing the race and 25 boats failing to finish.

The Explorer’s raced in Division A (78 Boats) and on handicap took out the following places:
4th Place – MEANDER
5th Place – SWALLOW
6th Place – EMILY
8th Place – OLD SALT

The Explorers were also successful in winning the Adam Brinton Trophy (Sailing Club Team) event winning the trophy for the Williamstown Sailing Club, represented by SWALLOW, CAPTAIN PHASMA and OLD SALT.

Frank Strickland & EMILY won The Ray Cole Team Trophy teaming up with a Ultimate 18 and a Clifton 700.

It was an extremely positive result for the Explorer 16 Association and we congratulate all our members who sailed.

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