May 15, 2018

After a challenging 35 days, Mark Hipgrave and Rohan Wood aboard Mister Lucky finished the Sundance Marine Melbourne Osaka Cup 2018 early morning on Friday, 4 May. The duo placed a respectable 9th in Line Honours and impressive 5th in IRC overall. Mark and crew left OHYC yesterday on Mister Lucky to make their way home.

Below is a closing summary of the race from Mister Lucky crew member Rohan Wood and photographs of the event.

“Thanks for all your messages after the finish of the M2O race.

As you were aware, 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. Some have called it the “Everest of Yachting”. It is unassisted – no stops, no on-boarding, just two crew in a boat.

Even with the ignominy of crossing the finish line with a shredded spinnaker wrapped around the forestay, not achieving a podium finish, it was a really great race, with lots of tactical decisions and strategy to be considered, from handling the East Australian Current (starting off Gabo Island) through to the Kuroshio current (off the coast of Japan), with the Solomon Sea, the Doldrums and lots more in between. Even watching the chart plotter tick over from S to N latitude as we crossed the Equator was a buzz. There was a heap of lessons – somethings would definitely of been done differently – many things kept the same.

You may remember our very basic goals for the race. To start healthy, finish healthy, remain mates and return home safely to our family. You will be happy to know that we achieved all these goals as stated. The other (unwritten) one was to be competitive and place on the podium. While we were competitive, we missed out on the podium finish which was disappointing – with only minutes separating the minor placings.

The three SF3600s sailed in a close group throughout the race, proved to be an ideal boat for the event, with Kraken getting a podium position in all three divisions. For the record, Mister Lucky finished 9th on line honours, 5th on IRC, 6th on AMS. Therefore, the real winner was OFFSHORE SHORTHANDED YACHT RACING.

You will be happy to know that the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron burgee is flying proudly in the Osaka Hokko Yacht Club, all the committee members have some small memento from RQYS like a tie, cap, belt etc, thanks Mark. All I gave them was a couple of drinking games, a lesson in drinking sake, a hangover and a lot of laughs.
More photos can be found on the Facebook page is

Running the event takes a lot out of the organising committee, it’s likely the next event won’t be until 2023, but it’s one we would love to do again. The hospitality in Japan is overwhelming and alone makes it all worthwhile. All the club’s contribution to the M2O was sensational, with us all making life long contacts in the sailing fraternity.

I have returned to Brisbane and Mark and another delivery crew member (Bill) is leaving Japan on the 16th of May. All the best mate and we will be watching on the tracker. It will be good to motor through the doldrums thins time rather than ripping up days going in circles.

Big shout out to all our supporters and sponsors – including Zhik clothing, Sundance Marine, A to Z Sports Nutrition, Epono-co (best marine beanbags ever), Dr John Barletta, Jeanneau Australia Marketing and, Perfect Potion, our families and last but not least – Mark Hipgrave and MISTER LUCKY….until next time (race?).”

– Rohan Wood

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