The mix of a fast finishing race combined with the revived Yachties Party resulted in a full Yacht Club when the winner of the 69th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race was announced as President of Australian Sailing Matt Allen and his Ichi Ban crew.
Matt commented after the finish of the race “What a fantastic return to this race after our back to back line honours victories in 2007 & 2008! The Brisbane to Gladstone race is always such an enjoyable race, even if you get wet you don’t get cold. I did my first race back in 1984 and we are looking forward to returning in 2018 to defend our win”
Black Jack took second spot just missing out on historic title of being the only yacht to achieve the “trifecta” of winning three years in a row of both Line Honors and Overall. Despite taking the fourth Line Honours title in a row, Peter Harburg has committed to bringing a new, bigger 100’ Black Jack to next years race as he continues to chase the overall race record set by Skandia fourteen years ago.
The Shorthanded division saw three strong entrants; Samurai Jack from the host Club, Queensland Cruising Yacht Club, as well as Apriori and Dream Lover. Trevor Hill and Lucas Burns of Apriori took back to back wins in the division.
Duncan Hine, skipper of Alive, joined the Race from his home base in Tasmania after a successful racing campaign in Asia in 2016 and had a strong showing in all the divisions including a win in the ORCi handicap category. “When the boat is in Australia, we think this is one of the glamour races. This year it was no different, warm, dry and with breeze and if we had champagne we’d have been drinking it too” commented Hine after the presentations “It’s great to have a race that coincides with full moon, making night time sailing easy. We have an enthusiastic team of sailors, which makes sailing FUN.”
Gladstone personality Wistari, sailing in her 49th race, had a dream run to win both of her divisions in IRC and ORCi but missed out on the treble; Flying Colours II trumped the fleet in PHRF and the Veteran category.
In the Cruising Division, which continues to grow, Marriah took the spoils with a strong sail. This win helped cement Queensland Cruising Yacht Club’s second place in the Federation Cup Teams Trophy. The winner of the trophy for 2017 however was the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia thanks to the strong showings of both Ichi Ban and Hollywood Boulevard.
The success of bringing the start of the race to the world by live stream seems to be a phenomenon that the fans across the globe are not yet willing to give up watching. With the reach of the live stream continuing to rise, the race’s Facebook site has already hit the 100,000 mark.
From all angles, the race can only be declared a success. Barely twelve hours after the last boat has finished and the meetings for the Silver Jubilee in 2018 have begun.