Melbourne Osaka Cup – stories from the first few days

The main fleet started their run to Osaka in the Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka Cup on Monday March 26th. Since then, quite a number of the fleet have been in touch. 

Not long after clearing the Heads on Monday, Grant and Sue aboard Blue Water Tracks sent in their first video clip. By all accounts they were enjoying the ride.

Rod Smallman on Maverick keeps his Facebook page fairly active and here’s a photo posted Tuesday morning after the guys spent the first night out on the water and then these words a bit later in the day.

Yes, you said it Jon Sayer – the 24hour butterflies are dusted. We both ejected last night’s dinner, I think more out of nerves and stress relief than sea sickness but it was pretty lumpy last night. Have just passed, could be the last of the land that we see for some time. By the way our new Zhik Isotak gear’s awesome. We had a lot of water over the boat last night and bone dry today. Starting to settle into a routine now, the Hydro generator is a cracker and we’re making the first of our water.

Tyson – Maverick

We’ve been humming along averaging 8kts all morning, but the wind died out this arvo and we’re getting a taste of the light headwinds promised – ughh. We’re moving slightly, just not where we want to go. We both spoiled ourselves with a hot shower today and feeling much better for it. Also did some washing so settling into a routine. The pilot is currently driving and behaving admirably. We had to give her enormous brain a lobotomy just before we left and perhaps it’s the fear of another one that make her behave sooo well.

Tyson’s cooking is awesome, we’ll be eating fresh for a while and by the look of the vegi space, it’ll involve a lot of cabbage. I have this idea that if we go and cross over the date line a couple of times that we could do a Finneous Fogg and gain a day or 2. Still working on that one.

Todd and Dubbo on Kraken posted on their page mid way through Tuesday. Here’s what they had to say alongside a nice shot of the guys taken just prior to the start by Chris from

Just finished fresh salad and chicken for lunch. Won’t be too many more of them – well precisely none. Had a good start being 3rd out of The Rip. Bit lumpy and breeze in the high 20 kts. Two reefs and No4 and Kraken was trucking along nicely.

At the breeze lightened to low 20’s, out with the first reef and several hours later back to a full main and No4. No kites in Bass Strait and past Wilsons Prom. Steady as she goes and we think the majority of the fleet did the same.

Lots of dolphins and a few seals to keep us entertained. Managed to get through with all our comms – HF, sat phone and email – so everything working well. Breeze is light now and we’re 30 nm off the Gippsland Lakes.

Todd and Dubbo

The guys aboard Kraken


Blue Water Tracks is one of the more luxurious vessels in the fleet – but it life on board in the first 24 hours has had it’s hassles as Sue shared late on Tuesday.

Blue Water Tracks March 27: At noon today whilst l was off watch, Grant went to put up the Code zero. When he went to unlock the bow sail locker, he found that it was already unlocked!

Grant pulled out the code zero, it felt damp and so he continued to take everything out of the locker and have a look under the floor. He found that we had taken on water. The bilge pump had separated from the floor and the screw that had been holding it down had been sucked up by the pump which in turn stop the pump for working.

Approximately 50 buckets of water later, surgery on the bilge pump by someone 6’4, the problem was solve and a well earned beer consumed!

Now back to sailing the boat. – Sue

Cleaning Up


Matric Reloaded posted on their page late on Tuesday evening, filling in some gaps as to why they didn’t get away at the start as smoothly as some may have expected.

Well what a ride down to Wilson’s promontory. Major issues with our staysail furler at the start line.Had to sail up through Port Phillip heads with a particularly furled sail due to control line wrapping around the sail.Once out the heads we were able to get it sorted out. Happy days.

Bill had a fall onto the tiller snapping the end off it complete with tiller extension. Once settled into a wet bumpy ride, we managed to get it repaired. Also snapped a reefing line. We had 2 reefs in the main a number 3 and staysail for our run to the prom getting up to 19 knots of Boat speed. What a ride. All’s well onboard, just settling into our routines.
Anyway for now Matrix out.

Bill at work


And for our last item in this catch up, here’s post early on Wednesday from Daniel and Tom on Runaway.

Interesting first couple of days aboard Runaway. After having a quick first day we found ourselves becalmed last night which was very frustrating! Back on the move now next to Lord Jiminy so hopefully we can keep the pace up through the day.

On board Runaway



JPK August 2023
NAV at Home
M.O.S.S Australia