Couta Boats race again in Port Phillip Bay

February 26, 2024 BY

Couta boat fleets made their return to the waters of Port Phillip Bay over the weekend. Photos: SUPPLIED

THE historical Queenscliff Couta Boat fleets made their return to the water in a passage race from Sorrento.

Last Saturday’s event saw members of the Queenscliff Lonsdale Yacht Club (GLYC) and Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat

Club (SSCBC) go head-to-head in a series of competitive races in Port Phillip Bay.

The Couta Boats are an integral part of the history of Queenscliff, which is considered to be the true home of the iconic vessel.

The fishing boats have a distinctive gaff rigg and were used for many years in the 19th century to support fleets of fisherman on their travels out into Bass Strait and through the treacherous Rip.

The vessels have been transformed into slick racing machines in recent years.


The vessels more recently have been transformed into slick racing machines and used by many for competitive racing throughout the summer months.

QLYC member Geoff Cook said the event showcased the true spirit of Queenscliff and relived its history in a race for rewards.

“The racing on Saturday was tight and furious battling one of the strongest tides of the year.

“Fortunately, the wind picked up and the race to the finish created lots of excitement.

“The Passage Race and the short race off Queenscliff was part of the Couta Boat State Championship series and the Queenscliff Couta boat fleet performed strongly in difficult conditions.

“It was a spectacular sight as the skippers navigated the tides, currents and each other around the buoys and channel markers of Port Phillip Bay.”