Entries have opened and the Notice of Race published for the 2023 Yacht Sales Co Brisbane to Hamilton Island Yacht Race, due to start at 11am on Friday 4 August 2023.
The 530 nautical mile race, inaugurated in 2019 and organised by Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in conjunction with Hamilton Island Yacht Club, is open to monohull and ocean-going multihulls with fully crewed and double-handed options in both categories. The race blends in nicely to allow competitors time to prepare for the Northern Queensland circuit of Race Weeks.
Last year, Matt Williams’ Cookson 12 Trouble & Strife from RQYS won the race on handicap, while Andoo Comanche (John Winning Jr) from NSW took line honours from the local favourite, Black Jack (Peter Harburg), and Hamilton Island Wild Oats (Oatley family). Andoo Comanche is proving hard to overcome since arriving back in Australia last year.
Williams is adamant his crew will return to defend their win in 2023: “Yes, we thought we’d come back and give it another go. It’s a great race, a great initiative by Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and Hamilton Island Yacht Club,” he said.
“It’s a good distance, providing an opportunity for a hit-out before the Sydney Hobart. It’s an excellent destination; Hamilton Island is very popular with the crew and their partners,” Williams added.
A bonus, of course, are the humpback whales and pods of dolphins that frequent the course and keep competitors enthralled.
Commodore David Redfern agreed. “Last year’s race kept viewers engrossed throughout with the 100 footers Andoo Comanche, Black Jack and Hamilton Island Wild Oats and the Botin 80, Stefan Racing chasing line honours.
“We had a strong field for overall handicap honours, including all those mentioned above, as well as the likes of Philip Turner’s 2018 Sydney Hobart winner, Alive (from Tasmania), Wings (NSW – finished second last year and won PHS) and No Limit (NSW) among others.
The race is very much a navigators race, starting on Moreton Bay in Brisbane and finishing in Dent Passage at Hamilton Island, with only two marks after the fleet departs Moreton Bay. The fleet will be fitted with YB trackers allowing families, friends and sailing fans to follow the action throughout the race.
On the line are the current race records, both set in 2019. Karl Kwok’s MOD70, Beau Geste, created the multihull record of 1 day 2 hours 11 minutes 41. The Oatley family’s Reichel/Pugh 66, Wild Oats X, established the monohull record of 1d 10h 46m 53s. They will be hard to beat, as it was a quick, mainly downwind race.
“The Yacht Sales Co is proud to support this great event once again and we look forward to the fabulous racing and camaraderie that was on display last year,” said the company’s Marketing Manager Rachel Crook.
Early Bird entries are available until 1 June 2023, with standard entries closing on 15 July, 2023.
RQYS thanks naming rights sponsor The Yacht Sales Co and support sponsors: Robert Oatley Vineyards, Club Marine and Hamilton Island for their support of this major Queensland event.
Entry, NoR and all information on the race at: https://www.rqys.com.au/brisbane-to-hamilton-island-yacht-race/
By Di Pearson/RQYS media