On Monday March 26th, 19 yachts left Blairgowrie in VIC to cover the 5500 nautical miles to Osaka, Japan. The Osaka Cup double handed yacht race, first held in 1987 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the opening of the port of Osaka, is held every four years (on average) and is one of the only South-North long distance ocean races in the world. The route passes through multiple weather systems and seasons as it crosses the Pacific Ocean. They leave Melbourne in autumn, find summer at the equator and spring in Osaka. No stop-overs or outside assistance are allowed.

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.

Wichard Pacific was involved in the 2007 edition of the race by supporting the yacht Southern Light – an Adams 11.9 – with Tom Crabb and Trent Justice on board taking the 2nd place. This year sees us supporting Tom Crabb again, however this time on a different yacht and with a different partner. Daniel Turner, from Adelaide, is the current owner of Runaway,  which was constructed by Jon Sayer for the 2003 edition of the race, competing then as Team FGI.

Tricky weather conditions delayed the start of the race by two days, and about a week later the Race Committee were forced to suspend racing due to Cyclone Iris. Most yachts found a safe harbour along the north-west coast of Australia and were able to reach their suspension Latitude once resuming the race. All but one yacht are back racing now, and Team Runaway reported spotting land in PNG on April 10th.

We proudly supplied Team Runaway with the best of Wichard, Profurl and Tye Tec products combined and look forward to the many stories upon their return. In the meantime enjoy a few pics and videos sent to us by Tom and Daniel.

This is the latest message we received from Tom & Daniel:

“Good Morning team Wichard, all going well on board just hard yakka with all this lef over cyclone stuff, lots of light air confused sea beating. All the gear is going well, cheers team Runaway”.