Wave lengths

White Noise has won the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria's 49th King Island Race.

09 March 2021


Daniel Edwards’ White Noise has won the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s (ORCV) 49th Melbourne to King Island Yacht Race, taking out the AMS, IRC, PHS and ORCi categories.

Beginning just south of Melbourne in Queenscliff and finishing in King Island’s Grassy Harbour, this year’s event saw 34 entries line up at 1:45am to immediately face a 14-knot southerly.

Paul Buchholz’s Extasea took line honours after settling into the race as that southerly relaxed in the Bass Straight while four other yachts celebrated victory across the IRC, AMS and PHS categories. The winners sharing the spoils of King Island crayfish, King Island cheese and champagne. 

Following White Noise was Ashley Trebilcock’s Beneteau First 40, Bandit, who trailed by just over two minutes after handicaps were applied in the IRC. 

White Noise, a M.A.T. 1245, also won the AMS last year.


In third place by less than a minute was Peter Davison’s Archambault 40 Racer/Cruiser, Arcadia.

White Noise and Bandit also finished top two under AMS, with Antony Walton’s well-campaigned RP46, Hartbreaker, in third.

Hartbreaker would go on to take second in PHS, while Arcadia took third.  

Unfortunately, last year’s IRC, PHS and Double-Handed Divisions winner, Maverick, sailed Anthony Hammond and Rod Smallman, retired with gear failure early on in the race. 

“It was a challenging race. I felt sorry for the boats that got smashed in the earlier part and then parked at King Island. It was very tricky towards the end. For the guys who came in late it was hard,” said Edwards.

“The start was horrible and it was a demanding race. From lunchtime onwards, as the sea-state improved dramatically in the lee of King Island, most of us wanted to stay west of the rhumb line because of the sea-state,” he added.

“Disappointing for Maverick that she couldn’t finish. They had an awesome race last year and not to be able to back up two years in a row.”

This year’s race also saw many newcomers, including John Chipp and his Hot Chipps, courtesy of ORCV’s lead-in programs. The fun-loving crew aboard a Beneteau Oceanis 41.1 finishing 11th in the PHS.

“A fantastic race,” said Chipp.

“We hadn’t done a Category 2 race before. Starting in the dark we were apprehensive getting gear up. It was blowing 15–20 knots and beating the whole way. It was interesting.”

The Rally Division, put into place by the ORCV this year to attract Category 3 bay racing boats, was well-supported and is gaining momentum in popularity. Other divisions in this, and all ORCV races, included Double-Handed and Four + Authohelm, allowing for all types of boats and crews to participate.  

Beginning in 1973, the Melbourne to King Island Yacht Race began a few months after the ORCV’s Westcoaster. Both events will celebrate their half century anniversary next year.  



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