Gill Surf to City Yacht Race - Gotta love an Easterly!
by Peter Hackett on 22 Jan 2014
Occasionally the weather gods get it right, and they were certainly smiling on the 92 competing boats inside and outside the unique and awesome 2014 Gill Surf to City Yacht Race.
Crews prepare to do battle. Jordana Statham
On the cruise down over a few days there have been plenty of interesting stories coming in and you will hear little about them here, except to say that in the F22 Midnight Rain I was lucky enough to head down in, we only had to tack three times between Sandgate and Southport for a lovely seven hour sail. The usual rumble of nongs on jetskis, clowns getting nosebleed somewhere in the towers of Riviera stinkboats, and even the ubiquitous seaplane tried to land on our parade, but it was still all fun in the fresh easterly with a soupcon of south.
As expected, the awesome Volvo 70 Black Jack completed the ocean course and blasted across the finish line in an elapsed time under seven hours to take a few hours off the race record and even beat the (smaller) multihulls home. Thankfully their canting keel was up enough to not pick up any of the old crab pots and sunken sharpie keels around the fisheries beacon. They also claimed corrected time on IRC from Jessandra II.
Local hero Scott Murphy bought extra bags of lollies to get his young crew on the wings and win PHRF Div I - also from Jessandra II in his home built gold rocket. The Qld Cruising Yacht Club coup continued with the Commodore Phil Lazzarini easily winning div II ahead of Bad Habits.
In the ocean multihulls course, Andrew Stransky just edged out Boss Racing with his continually dominating Fantasia in the lumpy conditions which suited his waterline length nicely.
There were plenty of traps for the unwary on the inside course with the tricky decision of when to put the kite up as the fleet entered the bay after tacking out of the Karagarra Island channel. A few sailbags came home with just luff tape in them, and a couple of boats also had to motor home with new low profile rigs.
Bob Engwirda and a mate on a gorgeous little boat called Bruce ventured up from the Richmond River (by road) to give the hotshots a sailing lesson in Div 2. Their corrected time was 26 minutes ahead of line honours and Sports Boat winner Bad Grandpa.
Christopher Eldridge proved that there is plenty of speed still in his Compass Careel Alyth for a similar domination of the competitive Div 3 fleet from Best by Farr.
Mad Max cracked the multihull line honours and PHRF easily this year from rapidly improving On Top sailed by Ian Jones and an imported high performance crew from the Sunshine Coast. The OMR was a narrow victory for Coco Loco and Garry Scott sailing hard in the final hours to edge out Mad Max by only a couple of minutes.
See you next year!