Mud race returns despite heat


Set sail into Queenscliff as the Couta Boats Around the Mud Island Race returns for another year.

The long passage trophy race will see boats navigate up the Symonds and down the Pinnace and South Channels from Queenscliff Harbour at 10.30am on March 9.

Queenscliff Yacht Club’s Geoff Cook said there would be close to 10 boats taking part in one of the club’s longest and most challenging races.

“I’ll be there running around pulling strings and hoping that we manage the tides, currents and wind,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully winning, but just performing well, getting around, coming in, and reliving the story after the race.

“The couta boats are Queenscliff’s living history because that’s where they all started, and our yacht club is trying to reignite the enthusiasm for couta boats.

“It’s looking hot with not a lot of wind and a bit of current. So, it’s going to be a hot day in the sun, but we’ll survive, and it will be an opportunity in disguise.”

Bad weather, winds and tides have prevented racing from taking place in previous years, but with 39 degrees predicted in Geelong by the Borough of Meteorology, Mr Cook said he expects the race to go ahead.

The first race was held in 1996 and won by boat ‘Joan’, built by Queenscliff’s Peter Locke in 1933 for fisherman Alex ‘Smacker’ Jackson, who named it after his oldest daughter.