Melbourne-Osaka Yacht Race 2013 - The epic journey begins

Melbourne-Osaka Yacht Race 2013 - Fleet Farewell SYC
Sally Williams
Melbourne to Osaka Yacht Race 2013 is all ready to go with the 5,500 nautical mile sailing event scheduled to start in three parts from Sunday, March 17 at Portsea Pier.

'Competitors are primed and ready to race,' said organiser and former competitor, George Shaw.

This weekend signals the moment all Australian and international crews in the 2013 Melbourne – Osaka Double-Handed Yacht Race have been waiting for.

The first of three groups of yachts will greet the starter at Portsea Pier on Sunday, March 17 at 1:30 pm.

The second and largest group will start the following Sunday, March 24, at 10:30 am. This is anticipated to be the most closely contested division.

The third start will be for the highly rated 66-footer Gusto, which will start on Thursday 28th March 2013.

Ahead of them will be the toughest, most extreme race to start from Australian waters; up to six weeks of non-stop, two-handed sailing in conditions which rival any ocean race in the world.

'After 2 years preparation, a 5,500 nautical mile battle is about to begin,' Mr Shaw said.

The starts are staggered to allow all boats to finish at about the same time. The three starts reflect the performance of each of the boats, with the fastest starting last.

'Crews are also going to be asked to nominate the order the yachts will finish. This will give an interesting perspective of how each boat views its competition,' Mr Shaw said.

In contrast to other races, like the Sydney-Hobart, all yachts and crews must clear customs at Sandringham Yacht Club early on the Saturday before their start. Call ahead for details.

Each yacht must be crewed by only two people.

'Many are asking who will lose the most weight. In every race crews lose weight and many lose over 10kg during the 'M2O'.