ORCV Melbourne to King Island - Fleet almost in to Grassy Harbour

The Scarlet Runner crew celebrates at the King Island Boat Club - ORCV Melbourne to King Island
Craig Evans
It's going to be a tight one right to the end for the remaining boats in this year's ORCV Melbourne to King Island.

eXtasea is nine and a half nautical miles from the finish line, with a pack racing behind her to the finish.

Jazz Player and Primitive Cool are tussling it out, spitting distance from each other, while Alien, Geomatic and Bacardi are fighting it out about 20 NM away from Grassy.

Handicaps positions have been swapping around all race and that looks set to continue right to the end.

Crews earlier today reported the wind gaining some strength, but it seems to have faded as the day continued.

The Biddy Hu II crew was left asking, 'Where has the wind gone?'

Addiction's David Gordon sent through an afternoon update, again describing the 'champagne sailing' this year's race has put on offer:

'Over night it was champagne sailing on Addiction alright, but ORCV King Island Brut Curvee vintage 2013 is truly a remarkable drop. An hour after leaving the heads all the bubbles went flat. The easterly wind enjoyed wind enjoyed at the start died abruptly without warning and we were left to ghost along in light and variable westerlies.

Addiction shrewdly picked the right side of a big shift and in the space of half an hour, the masthead and running lights of the bulk of the fleet twinkled in the night sky way behind us. Navigator, Ian Lyall, said, 'That view is simply stunning!'. All crew agreed that even sans bubbles ORCV sparkling was tasting better than the flat Coke in the icebox. We ghosted along in the fickle and light airs, picking off competitors ahead one by one. By Daybreak Scarlet Runner was the only boat remaining ahead of us. Crikey, how good are we?!

Cometh the morning and cometh a honking northerly to blast us down the course. See - that's the magical thing with ORCV champers, the fizz comes back! We trucked down the course in 20 knots of breeze powered by our masthead spinnacker. Only seven boats remained in sight and all to our stern.

Breeze eased in the afternoon, but the mood aboard remained all good. We were well amused when back marker, eXtasea, finally crept up and passed us. By now though we've had our fill of metaphorical champagne.

Can't wait to pull into Grassy and get a taste of the real stuff!' - David Gordon, Addiction

The Scarlet Runner crew has settled in to post-race refreshments, thanking ORCV for a great race.

Race directors Ray Shaw and Mark Seager spoke to the smiling team, who said they hadn't managed to get much sleep through the night as they were 'feverishly' trying to make the record.

'Now that they are in port, they have had their fair share of King Island delicacies under blue skies and a light 10 knot northeaster,' Mark said.

The rest of the fleet is no doubt eager to dig in on arrival and catch up to the Scarlet Crew.