Cowes Yacht Club

Around French Island Catamaran Challenge

The Around French Island National Catamaran Challenge 

RACE RESULTS 2024 - click here

2024 Video link

RACE DAY: 23 March 2024 

WHAT: An 'Australian Sailing' National race hosted by Cowes Yacht Club Inc.  23rd March 2024 for a 1200hrs start (briefing at 1000hrs).
Resail: 24th March 2024.

Entries close 20th March 2024 (unless maximum entries received prior to this)

To watch the race please click this link

Notice Of Race - click here
Sailing Instructions - click here

Event Summary Booklet 
 2023 Results
2023 Photos

Arrival details: 2023 road arrival details
Dinner bookings for Saturday: Book here

***Further catering info for the day***

2-for-1 Egg & Bacon Muffins will be available downstairs between 8am and 9.30am 🍳🥓

 Coffee van will offer 2-for-1 coffees throughout the morning from 8:00 am ☕🍩

Free Sausage Sizzle will operate between 10am & 12 noon 🌭😋

A selection of salad rolls, muffins, and chocolate brownies available for purchase from the kitchen throughout the day 🥪🍰

Latest news articles:


If you or your business would like to sponsor or support the 2024 Around French Island National Catamaran Challenge please get in touch by emailing afi@cowesyachtclub.com

The 2022 & 2023 Around French Island Catamaran Challenge events (AFI) were an outstanding successes, and the 2024 event is shaping up to be even bigger and better!

We will be restricting numbers to 70 boats for the 2024 event (no prizes for 71st!) so you need to save the date right now and put a circle around 23 March 2024 (with resail on 24 March 2024 if required). The 2023 event had an amazing level of excitement and energy supported by an awesome team of volunteers and we are expecting the 2024 race to be sold out. 

If you are wondering what it all looked like in 2023 then feast your eyes on the video production above or else have a look at the teaser below which shows the excitement from the 2022 event, or have a read of 2022 second place Gary Maskiell's account here!

In 2024, there will $11,350 in prize money generously provided by Australian Air Safaris, this will be spread over 3 divisions with prizes for the first 3 places in each division, as well as, numerous spot prizes.

The event is scheduled for a 12.00 pm start on Saturday March 23, 2024 with a resail day scheduled for Sunday March 24, 2024 (if required).

The race averages approximately 4 to 5 hours duration (wind dependent) with the most direct route being approximately 70 kms. However, the data from the 2022 GPS Trackers showed most boats sailed roughly 100kms, making this race a marathon plus! Repeat: it is a marathon, not a sprint! This type of race tests the skill level as well as endurance.

The race exposes boats and crews to many and varied weather conditions with anything possible, from a drifter to heavy weather with consequent stormy wind and water conditions. Combine this with strong multi directional tides and current, variable water depths and exotic land/sea/wind conditions around French Island and within Westernport Bay means all boats and crews will be tested to the max!

Race conditions and rules are conducted under the guidance of Australia Sailing via RACING RULES of SAILING. All boats must comply with AS Safety requirements for "Off the beach sailing" and are subject to audit on the day of the race. All entries must be class legal and comply with class rules.

So what are you waiting for – put this date in your diary NOW and remember to keep an eye on the COWES YACHT CLUB Web site (www.cowesyachtclub.com/afi) for further details to be released soon.


The history of this signature Cowes Yacht Club event goes back decades. The Isle of Wight hotel was once the original sponsor—with the winner having their name engraved on the "Isle of Wight" trophy and receiving some samples of the iconic pub's wares to celebrate their win. This trophy is still in use today, and sailors are very keen to add their name alongside other French Island legends. 

In previous years the event was run as a fun event giving local catamaran sailors the chance to circumnavigate the historic French Island in company and safety. In 2022 this all changed. 

With a total prize pool of $10,000, the use of GPS monitors on every competing boat and a fleet of over 10 support / rescue boats all controlled via radio from the Cowes Yacht Club tower ensures the event has become safer and more competitive. The use of the GPS monitors even allows support staff and families to watch the race live from the comfort of Cowes Yacht Club and treat themselves to a coffee (or something a little stronger) while the sailor’s battle it out on the race course.

The 2022&2023 races attracted sailors from 4 States with numerous state and national champions with a number of crews having international experience, thus ensuring a very high level of competition. The vibe is even more exciting for 2024, with a number of classes indicating even more support for the 2024 race. 

The 2024 event will have 3 Divisions (similar to the 2023 race). The difference being the 1st, 2nd and 3rd finishers in each division being in the money (subject to numbers in each division). This will ensure an even greater level of competition within each division and a wider spread of prizes throughout the fleet.

2023 Results
2022 Results

Tourist Information:  https://www.visitphillipisland.com.au/

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