Brisbane to Keppel Race – A gentle start

Morning at RQYS
Lisa Ratcliff
Brisbane has turned on a stunning winter’s morning for the record-equalling fleet of 35 yachts from Tasmania to Townsville starting the eight annual Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race.

The truck carrying spare parts and cruising gear has left RQYS for the long drive to Rockhampton and boats are docking out of the marina stocked with food and water for the coming days.

Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson and his race management team are on their way to the start line east of Green Island on Moreton Bay to set the line.

The noon start in favourable tide and a 10 knot nor’wester will offer a gentle intro to the 348 nautical mile race. In the early hours of Saturday morning a southerly change is set to change the tempo with 20 plus knots due on the racetrack.

Michael Bellingham, navigator on Tony Kirby’s Sydney based Ker 46 Patrice says, 'We think it will hit around 3am Saturday morning and of course the bigger boats are hoping it arrives earlier. We expect 20 plus knots for three - four hours then it should start to abate. It’s definitely coming; the later the better for the smaller boats hoping for handicap honours.'

Crew of Swish at breakfast at RQYS
Lisa Ratcliff