Allyacht Spars 2013 Brisbane to Gladstone

Multihull Yacht Race Report

By Jim and Barbara Stubbings

Many thanks to all the sponsors.

Major Sponsor;  Allyacht Spars

Supporting  Sponsors;  Halsey UK Sailmakers; Aus Yachts; Multihull Solutions; International Paints

Many thanks to Bruce on Shanda for being the start boat and thanks to all the other official boats who helped with the start.

Not a lot of breeze at the start but conditions were fairly consistent for all competitors throughout the race whether they were at the front or the back of the fleet.

Nine boats set out, Boss Racing, Catalina, Cut Snake, Lightwave Raider, McMoggy, Morticia, No Problem, Rushour and Spirit. Seven catamarans and 2 Trimarans. Some of the crews and boats had done the race many times and for others it was their first race. At the start Cut Snake was first over the start line followed by Morticia and the No Problem.

The Race.

While this is not intended to be a detailed report on the race itself we can give our views of the comments that were heard from the participants. All agreed it was a very slow start but once things got going it could be seen from the trackers that all the crews were trying hard to perform well. It is unusual to hear that all the crews really enjoyed the race. This it would seem to have resulted from the fact that generally all the boats experienced similar wind conditions over the length of the event rather than what often happens, the leading boats have to work hard in indifferent conditions and the tailenders subsequently receiving a significant wind change enabling them to benefit from the changed conditions & enjoy good handicap positions.

This resulted in the whole fleet finishing with only about 13 hours spanning between the first and last finisher.

The trackers added a new dimension to this race and I would like to thank Zebb Peters for organizing them for the fleet.

The Finish

We met the guys from the SES who man the finish. The two main participants were Doug Savage and Graham Smith. They were well set up across on the other side of the marina and the photos show the land based leads in line and sea marker that is used for the finish. Our thanks go to Doug and Graham for doing a sterling job.

At the finish Narelle from the Gladstone marina had four of the multis moored in front of the Gladstone Yacht Club and it was a great advertisement for them and the club. One of the four was No Problem, a Gladstone boat, moored up on the Yacht Club pontoon while Boss Racing , Lightwave Raider & Cut Snake were on a special pontoon in Auckland Creek ahead of some of the monos. The pontoon was tied and accessed from  Victoria jetty.

Our thanks go to Narelle and her team who worked all night making sure all our boats were moored up in suitable berths and a special bus was laid on free of charge for the crews in Auckland Creek to be able to come back to the marina to use the facilities.

There is another aspect to this race and underneath Gladstone Yacht Club is a long mural that is a map in relief on a wall. Every year it is manned  by Gladstone stalwart, Barry, who keeps the position of all the boats up to date while they are in the race. I understand it has been going for decades and is all part of the Gladstone facilities. Thanks Barry.

Race Control

As is the usual practice we were housed in the old VMR building across the boat ramp from the Gladstone Yacht Club. This building has much improved facilities from the last time I was involved in running the Gladstone end of the race. We had plenty of space and I gratefully acknowledge beverage and snacks that were provided by the Gladstone Yacht Club. In fact as always the two teams from Brisbane worked together very well. I had a good chat with Herb Prendergast on a number of occasions to while away the time during our night vigils. The whole race control atmosphere significantly changed when the sad news of Stripey Grant's passing came through. I understand Stripey had been to 53 Brisbane to Gladstone races and he and Herb were great mates.

I must thank Diane Sommers for her dedicated work on the computer with providing 3 hour position reports to Gerd, and like a great stalwart that he is, these reports went straight into our web site throughout Friday night, all Saturday and into Saturday night. Thanks Guys very much.

Trophy presentation

As  previously arranged the trophy presentation took place in the Phoenix Room at the Grand Hotel. Rachael is the event manager and she did a great job and nothing was too much trouble when we needed some extra tables and chairs for lunch.

Our professional photographer Julie Geldard and her partner Phil McQueen came along and set up to show the film of the start plus Phil also set up a moving camera and sound to film the trophy presentation which was an experience in itself for yours truly.

Our excellent Trophy Officer Phil Wrench did a simply magnificent job in arranging, setting up the trophy table with all the trophies and prizes he had purchased on behalf of the Club.

This was done with very good humour and after he had had very little sleep being a crew member on McMoggythat only arrived early on Sunday morning. Thanks Phil very much for a truly sterling job.

After the crews and their families had enjoyed a great lunch proceedings got underway with a minute's silence for Stripey Grant as almost everyone in the room knew of him or were personal friends.

The Lord Mayor of Gladstone Her Worship Gail Sellers came to the trophy presentation and joined in the festivities and she was invited to present the major trophies. She is a most approachable lady and must have had very little sleep as she was out presenting all the crews both Multis and Monos with the traditional carton of beer on arrival. It must be said that all the major trophy winners were delighted with the position they came in the race.

A full list of the trophy winners can be found elsewhere and then there were the fun trophies to be presented that make this event so special.

Drew Carruthers skipper of Rushour had carried up the letters from Brisbane to Gladstone for the Philatelic trophy that was presented to Dale Low skipper for Catalina who came second on performance handicap.

Dale also won the wooden spoon for bringing up the rear of the fleet  but when you think Dale's boat is strictly for cruising and was only 13 hours behind the hot racing cat, Boss Racing it was quite an achievement.

We should not forget that, although we sold a number of Club tee shirts during the event, (thanks to the buyers), Dale Low and his crew off Catalina were the only boat crew that were dressed in the latest club tee shirt for the presentation. Thanks very much for your support guys.

The best crew award was split into two sections, one for two of the ladies that were nominated who both deserved the award they received. They were Vanessa off Mc Moggy and thoroughly deserved her award having to put up with the larrikin Mc Moggy Crew for over 300NM. The other was Becky off Rushour, for as the skipper said, providing  Restaurant quality meals and excellent fatigue management !!! The actual winner of the Ian Longland trophy was Joel Tyak for battling on against sea sickness and a strict skipper Rob Dean on Cut Snake without word of complaint and obviously helped to win the coveted OMR trophy for skipper, crew and boat. Well done Joel we could do with keen sailors like you in the MYCQ.

There were  a few visitors who turned up for the event, New Life Member Richard and Briony Jenkins  arrived on Sunday morning as they had a problem with their campervan that refused to go south when the race was being run and took them to Gladstone (A likely story!!!).

Ex Commodore Gordon Myers turned up, I don't remember which boat he was on.

Then out of the woodwork came Rosco Whiting who was a keen club member in the 1980's

He was complaining that we did not run AMOC any more: what about it guys???????

While thanking so many people including all the race participants and in particular the inimitable Peter Hackett who delighted all with his spur of the moment stories of his days sailing the Brisbane to Gladstone in the mono hull fleet.

Can we give a special thank you to our Vice Commodore Mike Hodges for his work, far beyond the call of duty, in organising this race and all the associated aspects that make it so successful. Thanks Mike you are a trooper.

Our Thanks to all concerned for a great event.