Classic yachts finish top of the table Brisbane to Gladstone

The classic pint-sized yachts have proven their might weathering this year’s brutal and long 75th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race which set sail on Good Friday (7 April) with the oldest yacht in the race fleet winning overall on corrected time and other classics also taking the top placings.

Joanne Brodie – a 1960 Alan Payne designed Tasman seabird, 11.3 metres in length – with skipper, Dan deBuriatte who represents Wynnum Manly Yacht Club, has won the iconic race in a corrected time of 2 days, 9 hours, 25 minutes and 18 seconds. Dan was presented with the coveted overall trophy, The Courier-Mail Cup at the Official Presentation Ceremony staged at Gladstone Yacht Club earlier today.

Joanne Brodie’s ‘sister’ yacht, Pagan II (skipper, Peter Kerr) – the exact same design and model as the overall winner has placed second overall while Australian offshore racing favourite, Azzurro has placed third overall with new Queensland owner/skipper, Jack Kliner.

Unusual weather conditions including fierce northerly wind conditions made it one of the toughest and longest seen in the 75 year history of the much loved Australian blue water classic with 46 yachts starting the race and 36 yachts completing the 308 nautical mile race with the last boat arriving in Gladstone late last night after almost 58 hours at sea.

Ten yachts were forced to retire on the first night of the race after sailing through two storm cells due to yacht damage, crew sea sickness or seamanship decision. Other yachts managed to overcome damage to stay in the race while one yacht reported to have been hit by lightning on the first night and losing all electronics and GPS but managed to continue on.

Celestial and owner/skipper, Dr Sam Haynes took out line honours crossing the finish line on sunrise on Easter Sunday in a time of 1 day, 19 hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds more than double the time they spent on course last year, when they broke the race record for the fastest conventionally ballasted yacht in a time of 19 hours, 24 minutes and 52 seconds.

Queensland Cruising Yacht Club Commodore, Ian Gidlow says the milestone 75th edition of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race will be one of the most memorable where the smaller classic yachts showed how tough and competitive they truly are in punishing conditions.

“This year’s 75th anniversary race saw the smaller classic boats prevail over the larger more modern yachts which is testament to how variable the sport of sailing can be in different weather conditions and that the classics were built to withstand the toughest of offshore racing conditions,” Mr Gidlow said.

“It has been an honour to be Commodore of Queensland Cruising Yacht Club for nine editions of this mighty race and I would like to personally congratulate and thank each and every sailor for making what is my last Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race in this role one of the most memorable,” he said.

Joanne Brodie’s owner/skipper and now overall winner of the 75th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, Dan deBuriatte paid tribute to his long-time mentor, friend and owner/skipper of Pagan II, Peter Kerr after being handed The Courier-Mail Cup.

“Pagan II is virtually identical to Joanne Brodie and I have sailed with Peter Kerr for more than 15 years. He is my sailing mentor and close friend and helps me no end with everything to do with my Tasman Seabird,” Mr deBuriatte said.

“This was my eighth B2G and the second crack at this race on Joanne Brodie after withdrawing mid-race during our first attempt,” he said.

“After a rough first night, we experienced some great conditions for Joanne Brodie that took us to victory. I just didn’t realise I would need to beat Peter to win the race.”

In what is believed to be the largest cash prize in Australian sailing, Joanne Brodie also took out the PHRF – Performance Handicap Racing Fleet – category and will take home $10,000 in prize money and their place on the Peter Holm Cup.

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