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The Port of Melbourne – Port of Osaka Yacht Race

A unique race between Port Cities – Sister Cities first held in 1987 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the opening of the Port of Osaka. Former CoM Lord Mayor Trevor Huggard sailed in the first race.  The City of Melbourne provides the licence to use the “Melbourne to Osaka Double Handed Yacht Club” trademark and have provided hospitality support to competitors in the past. This is Australia’s longest Category 1 yacht race, the equivalent of eight back-to-back Sydney to Hobart’s with only two people on board.


Now held every four years (on average) to celebrate the City of Melbourne and the City of Osaka Sister City and Sister Port relationship.

The 2018 event was fully subscribed with a waiting list of keen competitors.
Next event is scheduled for 2022.

The City of Melbourne has an opportunity to support allocated events at Docklands.
The race commences at the Heads. Preparation of the boats occurs at Sandringham.

Melbourne to Launceston Yacht Races

The Melbourne to Launceston Yacht Race is the ‘Grand Old Dame’ of Australian ocean races. It is the oldest ocean race in Australia and the fifth oldest on the face of the planet.

In 1907, Thomas Fleming Day, editor of the American magazine ‘Rudder’ wrote to his friend, the Commodore of the Geelong Yacht Club, T.A. Dickson, suggesting a race across Bass Strait to Tasmania in order to promote the sport of yachting. Day struck a trophy worth 60 guineas, a fortune at the time, as a prize for the winner. More than 100 years later, yachts are still racing across Bass Strait for the honour of winning the Rudder Cup. The Rudder Cup is Australia’s oldest ocean race and the 5th oldest organised ocean yacht race in the world, predating the Fastnet race by nearly 20 years and the Sydney to Hobart race by nearly four decades.

Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race

Now in its 44th year, the 435 nautical mile blue-water classic Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race was the brainchild of Stan Gibson from Hobson’s Bay Yacht Club in Melbourne and Dr. Joe Cannon at Derwent Sailing Squadron in Hobart.

Arguably Australia’s most challenging ocean race, the Melbourne to Hobart starts from Portsea Pier.

Couta Boat Events

The Couta Boat Association is dedicated to the promotion of iconic wooden Australian gaff rig fishing boats now raced in competitive and social fleets.

The Victorian Couta boat is a distinct Australian designed working boat going back to the latter part of the 1800s. Queenscliffe, just inside Port Phillip Heads, was a fishing community, which initially worked their local areas inside the bay. To go out the heads required a boat capable of handling the ‘The Rip’ as the passage is known, and then the much rougher offshore conditions. By the 1890s they had established a fleet that was working out into the strait, using sailing craft that were different from the inshore boats. When railways reached coastal communities the ability to transport fish quickly to Melbourne encouraged the fleet size to expand and made it practical to fish offshore and to freight the catch to the market.

Round the World Yacht Races

Round the World Yacht Races e.g. Volvo Ocean Race, World Clipper Races

These races are multi-million dollar events and involve many sailing clubs throughout Melbourne. More could be done to optimise an economic up-lift in Melbourne itself and reinforce Melbourne’s historic role as a port city destination.

Dragon Boats Victoria

President – Adrian Stephens

Based at Victoria Harbour Docklands.

Dragon boat racing has cultural origins in ancient China and has evolved into a highly competitive sport right across the globe. Dragon Boats Victoria delivers regattas across metropolitan and regional Victoria. Their premier event is the Victorian State Championships, which is held at the end of each season in March.