Every year on Good Friday the shores of Shorncliffe and Redcliffe, North of Brisbane, are lined with spectators for the start of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. Moreton Bay is a sea (no pun intended) of beautiful sailing yachts, and many spectator boats to the side.
This year we were lucky enough to be a media boat for the start of the 66th race, which spans some 308 nautical miles North to Gladstone.
Usually the first boats sail into the finish within the first 24 hours. Most of the fleet usually roll in the Saturday night or during the early hours of Sunday morning. This year, the conditions at the start and with the forecast to follow made it clear that it would be a long and slow race.
It was so slow, in fact, that over 50% of the fleet pulled out before the finish.
At 5:59pm Saturday evening, Team Australia, was the first boat across the finish line, as part of the multihull race. This is over 30.5 hours after the start. Isn’t she beautiful:
Almost 3 hours later, beautiful Blackjack came in, claiming line honors for the monohulls.
An hour later Alive crossed the finish, leaving almost 24 more hours before another boat arrived.
As you can see, conditions were very very calm:
It was so great being a part of the action on Friday morning, even without wind. I can imagine it would be one hell of an experience in windy conditions!