The Allyacht Spars Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race for 2013 is heading off at 11.20 am from Shorncliffe this year. We are again sharing this end of the bay, and for the first time in years also sharing the startline with our monohull brothers who leave at 11.00 am. With any normal Easter weather pattern I would be looking forward to passing the guys on the first start, but this year the wind pattern is a bit tricky to plot such an attack.
With a light southwester at start time, we will all be bobbing around searching for good kite angles and waiting in trepidation for the fresh, but hopefully not too brief, 20 knot southerly storm change coming from the south. As with many Gladstones, the first night will dictate the order for the rest of the race, and the winning crew will be on the boat that can stay upright and in the breeze for as long as possible before it goes east and drops back to nothing on Saturday night. The next 24 hours of a slowly building northerly will then determine who gets the gold, but any boat that gets to Lady Elliot Island for a hard turn to port is going to have a very happy crew for the 75 mile (screacher please Hughie) reach from there to the entrance to Gladstone Harbour. I bag that watch on the tiller!
The fleet of nine multihulls reflects the drop in numbers in the monohull fleet to 26, these races are an exercise in logistics and the dollars needed are continuing to reduce the fleets. It is no secret that both organising clubs are looking seriously at how to bring back the big fleets that I remember from my first Gladstone in the 80's.
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|Trimaran 'Spirit' a modified Formula 40 is competing in it's first Brisbane to Gladstone Race, Photo Peter Hackett|