Magic Bullet start for Melbourne offshore season

Melbourne turned on the perfect weather for the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s (ORCV) ‘Return to Racing Celebration’ race, with Leo Cantwell’s Cavalier 350 Sl Magic Bullet taking first place on AMS and the overall win.

A fleet of 21 yachts from six Port Phillip Bay clubs sailing in perfect conditions participated in the race.  

Magic Bullet sailing upwind. Crew on the side.
Overall winner – Magic Bullet. Pic – Dave Hewison

“I’ve been lucky enough to be out on my boat in the past few weeks but I’m not great at just cruising, it’s just not the same as racing, where there’s a bit of a challenge,” Cantwell said.  “We made some mistakes gybing the symmetrical and things didn’t go so well so we lost some minutes sorting ourselves out.

“We’re just so happy to get out in the fresh air and shake off the cobwebs”. 

Elan 310 Wild Child skippered by Marg Neeson was the smallest boat in the fleet. Wild Child led the fleet across the start line in 10 knots of breeze from the west.  

Through the first gate, Peter Davison’s Archambault 40, Arcadia set a cracking pace and was the first to hoist a kite on the second leg of the 20nm course in hot pursuit of the Damien King’s Frers 61, MRV and Tony Walton’s Reichel/Pugh 46, Hartbreaker.   

With 15 nautical miles sailed, the wind built and shifted to the south-west, creating the perfect conditions for the chase of Arcadia with Sal Balharrie’s Sydney 38 No Man’s Land and Chris Gendala’s Elliot 15.50 Tourer, Stampede all finishing within twenty seconds of each other. 

Bundaberg sailing upwind.
“I saw this race as my first chance in a competitive fleet to test and try the sails and crew,” said Bundaberg owner, John Kint. Pic – Dave Hewison

John Kint, skipper of the Adams Radford, Bundaberg travelled from Royal Geelong Yacht Club to join the race. Kint said, “With new sails and only an opportunity to train for the past month, I saw this race as my first chance in a competitive fleet to test and try the sails and crew.  We need more practice but we thoroughly enjoyed the race.” Bundaberg claimed first place on PHS.  

“We’d normally see fleets of at least 40 plus boats join us,” said ORCV Commodore Grant Dunoon. “Many of our members taking today to test and train rather than race on the first day of allowed racing. For those who chose to race, it was smiles all around with sunshine and the perfect amount of wind.”   

With many crews now rushing to prepare for a season of offshore racing, Damien King skipper of MRV said, “It was great to have had an opportunity to test out a few of the new improvements we’ve added.  We’re not quite ready but I’m super lucky to have an outstanding crew of Olympians, National and World Champions on the crew and pleased to take 1st on ORCc, the first win since purchasing the boat recently.” 

Having suffered through another 112 days with lockdown six, we’re back racing on what felt like ‘Paradise in Melbourne.’ 

For the full results, see: 

Entries are open for the first ocean race of the season, West Offshore Products Coastal Sprint, on November 27. For more information, see: 

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