Melbourne, 26 December, 2023
The 2023 edition of the Ronstan Cock of the Bay race, hosted by the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria (ORCV) will feature a intriguing aside; the race within a race, the appearance of two classic yachts of similar pedigree.
Both from the pen of Ted Kaufman (the former with significant input from Bob Miller) and built by Cec Quilkey, both are past winners of the Cock of the Bay race.
Mercedes III (1966), with Kaufman at the helm, led Australia to it’s first Admiral’s Cup victory in 1967. She went on to compete again for the Admiral’s Cup in 1969.
She was the overall winner of the Cock of the Bay in 1989, and won Div 2 (IRC) in 2011, and 2012 and won Div 2 (AMS) in 2004 and 2008.
Mecedes IV (1974) built to contest the Admiral’s Cup of 1975 was Ted Kaufman’s successor to Mercedes III. Whilst she competed valiantly, the conditions that year were not to the Australians liking and they returned home a disappointing 9th. She went on to compete in 15 Sydney to Hobart races with a best of 4th overall in 1974.
Mercedes IV claimed a line-honours victory in the 1979 Cock of the Bay race.
The relationship doesn’t end there, Mercedes IV was purchased earlier this year by a syndicate comprising Mercedes III crew. The bragging rights on this one will be enormous.
Both yachts are on the CYAA register and are regular participants in CYAA events.
The Cock of the Bay is a popular Boxing Day staple. Starting at Port Melbourne, it is a 21nm sprint to the finish off Mornington. It is the lead in event for the ORCV’s blue water classic Melbourne to Hobart event.
More details available here.