The Club Marine and Lexus Adelaide to Port Lincoln race is South Australia's top ocean racing event. Seventy to Eighty boats set sail from Outer Harbour on Friday 21st February 2014 to compete in a 156 nautical mile race that takes participants southwest to Marion Reef at the foot of York Peninsula along the coast to the stunning Cape Spencer, then northwest past Wedge and Thistle Islands and Dangerous Reef, finally arriving at the welcoming Port Lincoln nestled on Boston Bay.
Sailing has always been an integral part of Port Lincoln's way of life. Regattas have been recorded as far back as the mid-1800s. Early fishing boats used to be the main competitors, but the First World War and the subsequent Depression led to the closure of the Port Lincoln Sailing Club and the Port Lincoln Regatta Club, consequently ending the regattas.
In 1930, a public meeting took place in the supper room of the Port Lincoln Civic Hall to discuss the formation of a Yacht Club once again. The new Port Lincoln Yacht Club, as we know it today, was established in 1931. Since the early days of the club, a race from Adelaide had been under consideration. In those times, there was no clubhouse, and speedboats and heavyweight sharpies formed the backbone of the sailing community, as the fishing boat racing era had passed. The race came into being through the efforts of Brian Verco, Alan Payze, and others.
Brian Verco, a resident of Port Lincoln, served as the Commodore of the Club. Allan Payze, a founding member and secretary of the Club, was a close friend of Brian's. They pondered over how to create more activity in the Lincoln area for ocean-going yachts from Adelaide. They recognised the need to give Adelaide boats a reason to venture around the "corner" (referring to the bottom of Yorke Peninsula at the time) and to entice them to visit Port Lincoln.
Allan and Brian came up with the idea of an Outer Harbour to Port Lincoln race, and it was embraced! In 1950, 19 years after the establishment of the new Club, the first Outer Harbour to Port Lincoln Yacht Race took place. The fastest time in the inaugural race was achieved by the Squadron's "Seevogel," owned by W. Harris, with a time of 19 hours, 39 minutes, and 36 seconds. The following year, it was Lincoln's "Pavana," owned by George Mayne.
Brian Verco presented the original and significant trophy, a silver tray adorned with a chart, which was allowed with special government permission. Initially silver, the trophy was later gold plated as it started to show signs of wear over the years. Numerous names have been added to the trophy over the past sixty years, and the race has created some remarkable memories. Today, it stands as one of Australia's most prestigious ocean races. It sets the stage for the "Lincoln Week Regatta" which has now become a well-established and popular event, attracting some of Australia's top competitors and providing an unforgettable social occasion for all. Additionally, it generates income for the community, thereby contributing to the local economy.
The race perfectly aligns with the Port Lincoln Yacht Club's primary objective, which is to "Foster a love of the sea...".
All participating boats will be equipped with a YB Tracker, enabling friends, family, and supporters at home to follow every twist and turn of this race with just a click of a button on their computer. The online map features an incorporated leaderboard that is regularly updated along with the GPS positions of all the participating vessels.