Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race: Spectacular spinnaker start

It was a spectacular spinnaker start for the 37 offshore racing yachts who are now racing 308 nautical miles up the coast to Gladstone for the Gladstone Ports Corporation’s 74th annual Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race which started at 11am today (Good Friday, 15 April 2022).

Ian Gidlow, Commodore of race organising club, Queensland Cruising Yacht Club (QCYC) said the race start was arguably one of the best in the history of the race.

“It was a truly magnificent race start with colour, speed and excitement,” Mr Gidlow said.

“The racing yacht crews are so impressive to watch and this race truly does attract the ‘best of the best’ in terms of sailing talent and skills,” he said.

“The fleet looked to be heading into some rainy weather as they made their turn around the Redcliffe turning buoy and we anticipate in conditions like this, we will be greeting the line honours winner very early and likely before sunrise on Easter Saturday.”

The hooter start gun was fired at 11am sharp by Professor Nimmo – joint patron of QCYC and husband of Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, 27th Governor of Queensland to send the race fleet on their way.

Black Diamond crossed the start line first in conditions of approximately 15 knots.

Immediately as the race yachts crossed the start line, the spinnakers went up and current race record holder, Black Jack quickly took the lead with Stefan Hair close behind followed by Alive then Ichi Ban and Celestial as the first five leading the race.

The fleet originally had 38 entrants with one withdrawal, Morning Star earlier this week due to Covid.

The yachts will be met at the Gladstone finish line by Gladstone Mayor, Matt Burnett handing each yacht a congratulatory carton of beer.

Considered Queensland’s most iconic annual Easter sporting event and hosted by Queensland Cruising Yacht Club (QCYC), the Gladstone Ports Corporation Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race sees sailors compete for the coveted overall prize, The Courier-Mail Cup.

The race start is live-streamed thanks to Gladstone Regional Council’s Easter in Gladstone.

Land spectators watched the race from foreshore positions between Shorncliffe and Redcliffe and from both Sandgate Bluewater Festival and Redcliffe Festival of Sails.

The Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race is steeped in history and was first ever sailed in Easter 1949 where seven vessels took the start line, two of which carried radios while Brisbane’s Homing Pigeon Club supplied pigeons for the other competing vessels.

Further information about the Gladstone Ports Corporation’s Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race is available by visiting www.brisbanetogladstone.com or telephoning Queensland Cruising Yacht Club (QCYC) on (07) 3269 4588.

While in Gladstone, the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race is celebrated throughout the Easter weekend thanks the Gladstone Regional Council’s ‘Easter in Gladstone’. For more information, see: https://www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/easter

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