Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel – Across the Tropic of Capricorn

Keppel Bay Marina awaits the bulk of the fleet
Suellen Hurling ©
The bulk of the fleet in the fifth annual Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race is expected to finish tonight, but conditions are softening.

While the line honours winner Bob Oatley’s 100 footer Wild Oats XI finished at 12:22 yesterday, behind her was Peter Millard’s Lahana at 15:30, the TP52 Wot Eva crossed the finish line at a cold 0328 in a 6-8 knot breeze, while Stewart Lewis' Marten 49 Ocean Affinity come in at 06:12, just before sunrise and the crew had a hearty breakfast in the sunshine at the Keppel Bay Marina.

It is a perfect winter day, at Rosslyn Bay with south east trades dropping from around eight knots a few hours ago, but it is now eased back to four knots.

Lucas Down’s Farr 40 Bribie Star with current Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Commodore Greg Clarke on board, just crossed the finish line at 12:47:45. Another 10 miles further down the coast, is RQYS past Commodore Tony Love on the J133 Patriot who are 13 miles astern sailing along with Tim McCall’s Archambault 40 RC Arcadia and Dave Turton’s FT10 Likatiger.

Then around the Tropic of Capricorn there is a host of boats all in sight of each other. There is Andrew Knights’ Georgia Express, Chris Tyquin’s Farr 30 GOA/NOVA, Tim Faragher’s Ultimate Positioning, Laurence Pidgeon's Jutson 39 Custom Sweethart, Ray Sweeney’s Sydney 38 Mondo, the former Easy Tiger, Michael Lazzarini’s Farr 39 Samurai Jack, Craig Coulsen Trumpcard, Rick Morgan’s MBD 40 footer Dream Lover are either just north of Cape Capricorn or just south 30 nautical miles down the rhumbline.

With conditions softening it appears to be a big boat race, on handicap Lahana leads Wild Oats XI and Ocean Affinity overall in IRC Division 1. Division 2 sees GOA/NOVA a few minutes ahead of Georgia Express and Trumpcard.

In PHS Division 1 Wot Eva leads Sweethart by an hour, with Arcadia another hour back, while in PHS Division 2 Too Impetuous leads Georgia Express with GOA/NOVA third.

Wot Eva - Sailors with disAbilities - 5th Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race
Suellen Hurling ©


Dockside David Pescud the skipper of Wot Eva was all smiles ‘We had a perfect race with only a few incidents. One in particular was a spinnaker mishap with our bowman but we're not allowed to go into that because of the old saying, what happens on tour stays on tour.

‘We are very glad that we decided to do this race and will definitely be back next year. Don't know what boat yet but Sailors with disAbilities will be represented. On board we have four disabled sailors. Two are deaf and we use sign language to communicate. The other two, including myself are dyslexic.'

Deaf sailor Tom Murphy, who received the Man of the Match award from his fellow crew chimed in ‘I lip read and use sign language but have to keep reminding everyone that I can't hear in the dark! It's pretty funny.'

Ocean Affinity's Stewart Lewis commented ‘We are stoked that we are running third on IRC. We had a magic run up the coast. For us we couldn't have asked for better conditions. Now we head off to Airlie Beach then onto Hamilton Island Race Week.'

Four boats have retired from the race. Southern Cross Yachting advised of retirement at 0005 Sked Sunday, they are continuing to Keppel Bay Marina under motor as is Sirocco who similarly advised yesterday at the 1705 Sked Saturday.

Blunderbuss also advised of retirement at 0705 Sked Sunday and is now heading for Bundaberg under motor. She is expected to arrive mid afternoon.

Asterix advised of her retirement at 0005 Sked Sunday and is now at Urangan.

More to come.

Race Website - www.brisbanetokeppel.com

The Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race is part of Tourism Queensland’s Season of Sailing.

The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron is pleased to acknowledge the principal sponsors of the 2011 Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race; Club Marine, David Bray Yachts, Club Super, Morgan’s Seafood, Angove Family Winemakers, Bundaberg Rum and the Rockhampton Regional Council.

The race is hosted by Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron with the support of Keppel Bay Marina and Keppel Bay Sailing Club.
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