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Return to Geelong 2009

Wil Heard actively raced Corio Vertue from the Royal Geelong Yacht Club between 1960 and 1970. This is an account of racing in the Skandia Geelong Week Regatta in 2009. I felt a great sense of pride and emotion in bringing CV back to her home in Corio Bay, and I'm sure Will Heard was looking over her.

Saturday Jan. 24th

After a challenging long beat in 20-25knt westerly winds ‘Corio Vertue’ made it to Geelong for the Skandia Week regatta. Sails often in the water and crew soaked by waves, after 12 hours of racing we decided to abandon the passage race in order to get to the marina before nightfall and skipped a couple of marks. Unbeknownst to us at the time the course had been shortened at the point where we decided to abandoned the race. We were the last boat home, and were very wet and weary after our slog, but ‘Team Corio Vertue’ got into the party mood and the pains soon anesthetized after a bottle of bubbles, several beers, and Bundy and Cokes.  Apparently this was the toughest passage race in the Skandia race history and quite a few boats retired.  On the Sunday heard that 2 boats sank, 1 lost it’s mast and the ‘Classic boat’ division Corio Vertue was in had most boats ‘retire hurt’ back to Melbourne.  Even the maxi yacht Skandia was slowed down to doing the race in 2hr 40mins instead of the expected 1hr 30 time!

Sunday Jan 25th.

We raced well on Sunday with a couple of close shaves where at one point we had only 1ft of water under the keel, and a little later nearly speared a competitor who rounded up uncontrollably a couple of feet to leeward of us.  Much to our surprise our result for the race was 'Did Not Compete',   Found out on the Tuesday so too late to protest!!   That evening Corio Vertue team caught up with our neighbour's from home who own ‘Quantum Leap’.  Pre-dinner drinks on their boat and then a riotous dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf watching the sensational fireworks.

Monday Jan 26th.

On Monday morning Team ‘Corio Vertue’ was reduced from 3 to 2 crew ( the young buck of 19 years slept in!) so just Andy & Di.    Therefore, racing was going to be interesting! Nevertheless, with some cunning strategy, some excellent boat handling, and only one miss-timed tack we were able to get first place on corrected time - Corio Vertue had won her first trophy in our ownership.!    Results overall were CV 3rd place in the Classic Boat Division ! ( not caring that most retired hurt)

But the story goes further; while CV was moored at the Geelong Yacht Club she had a number of visitors.

  • The first was the son in law of the Gil Allbut who built the boat for Wil Heard.

  • The second was from Darrel Morrison who sailed with Wil on his trips to Tasmania, and is now of the commodore of the Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club.

  • A young chap walked up and admired CV, and we had long conversation because his father owned a 'plastic' Vertue in Melbourne.

Finally, I was a bit inebriated with CV's success and the people who I had met who had known her. I had to go the gents at the Geelong yacht club and was minding my own business at the urinal when a quite inebriated chap rolled in and asked me about the time I had with the regatta. When I told him that I had won the last classic race he surprised me by saying that 'technically I had not won', but because it was Corio Vertue, and division leader would not be penalised, he gave the race to me. It turns out that this chap was the race officer for the day and had raced against Wil Heard in the 60's & 70's and had a soft spot for CV.

Tuesday Jan 27th.

We sailed back to Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron in half the time it took to go to Geelong!

Now that CV is based Williamstown getting to the start line of the Williamstown to Geelong race is not too difficult. This year the race was sponsored by Audi.

This  article was written by the First Mate Di and published in the Hobsons Bay Yacht Club  monthly newsletter.

Audi Week 2011 -  Highlights (Lowlights??)

SAT 22nd Jan:  Because of the lack of wind in Port Philip it was a long sail to Geelong.   Having tailed the fleet in 2009 it was satisfying for CV and crew to have 10 boats trailing at the Hopetoun Chanel 1 marker.   There was an hour before the race closed at 8.40pm and all was looking positive.   Then a ship decided to steam down the  channel!   To ensure we were out of it’s way the skipper ‘hoved to’  and hovered for around 15 minutes.   This resulted in a stressful race to the finish as the minutes and seconds ticked closer to 8.40pm.    After first mis-reading the finish line CV successfully sailed through the finish with 2 minutes 37 seconds to spare!!    The crew by this stage were freaking out.  To miss finishing after 11 hours of racing would have been devastating.   The day ended well with the RGYC bar easing the knotted stomach stress pains.

SUN 23rd Jan:    Having calmed down over night crew stress returned with a vengeance when getting across the Classic Boat start line seemed to be beyond CV and crew.   Seeing the race support boat lining up to remove the Audi starter buoy added to the strain.   After around 20 minutes from the start siren we tacked over the line just before the buoy was lifted.   To the skipper’s chagrin the  Committee start boat announced “the Bluebird has made it across the line – remove the buoy”!  “It’s a ‘Vertue’ not a ‘Bluebird’” screamed the skipper and started to dive for the radio to correct this heinous mistake.   Just in time he decided it was best to leave well enough alone given the generous amount of ‘start time’ we were allowed.

If only that had been all the day’s excitement.   Later in the day, at the other end of the channel, we found ourselves in the Maxi Yacht’s play-ground!    Made every attempt to get out of there fast but not before a huge 60’ Maxi came swooping down on us.   Bowsprit like an enormous dagger was aiming straight for the First Mate’s chest (mine!).   Could see the whites of the eyes of the 10+ crew hanging over the rail.  Only comfort was that they hadn’t started to jump ship.   Started screaming to our skipper who calmly replied – “It’s o.k. we have right of way, we are on starboard tack”!!!  The Maxi, at the final second, changed course and gave us 1 inch clearance as we looked up to see the soles of the Maxi crew’s boating shoes skimming overhead.   See Photo below  so you can decide if the First Mate was really overreacting!


Geelong Week 2011
Anchor 1

Geelong Week Again 2012

The skipper was still trying to capture the glory day of 2009 when Corio Vertue won a first place.
This year CV got her lowest handicap ever  .494 so there was a very good chance for a "gong", however this year there were a couple of S&S' in the field, and a Giles 34 so it was not going to be easy.

CV did not get close to a "gong" this year but was mentioned in despatches as being the last boat in the race. The following article was published online as part of the Geelong Week Regatta.


Posted on January 27, 2012 by festival of sails

Andy and Di Indrans’ 25-foot classic timber yacht, Corio Vertue, returned to her hunting ground, on Australia Day 26th January ’12, when she signalled the close of the Melbourne to Geelong passage race just before 6pm.

Corio Vertue’s elapsed time for the 34 nautical mile course was 8 hours 42 minutes compared to Tim Pepperell and his red hot trimaran, Bare Essential’s time of 3 hours 35 minutes and Premier division A line honours winner, Shogun, with an elapsed time of 3 hours 38 minutes.

The Indrans’ were delighted with their result as it’s the first time they have finished the passage race in daylight!

“The boat punched along nicely into the southerly at four knots. She weighs five tonnes and for her that’s flying,” said Andy.

Anchor 2
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