just three days 32 yachts will line up for the start of the fifth annual Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race (B2K).
Wild Oats XI - 5th Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race 2011. Andrea Francolini/Wild Oats
The race has come a long way since the humble beginnings circa 2007 and five years on is gaining the momentum that race organisers had visioned.
B2K is the signature offshore race of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (RQYS) and was born from an idea thrown around a regular Sailing Committee meeting.
'We have a race from Manly (QLD) to Mooloolaba and return known as the Commodores Ocean Classic Cup, but were looking for something with more distance and challenges to mark as our offshore event,' said current RQYS Commodore Greg Clarke.
'Initially the B2K took us to Great Keppel Island, however with the resort closure we needed to find another finishing location. The Capricorn Region is just beautiful and we wanted the finish line to stay in the area so we approached Keppel Bay Marina. Owners of the marina, Richard and Libby Wilson welcomed us with open arms and the rest is, as they say, history,' continued Clarke.
Like all races, records are made and names etched in history. The current record is 27 hours 11 minutes 22 seconds, set by Lahana, owned by John Honan and RQYS member Peter Millard, in the 2010 B2K race. It was a close finish between Lahana and Robert Oatey’s Wild Oats X with just 22 seconds separating the two after 348 nautical miles of racing. Millard won the 2011 RQYS Offshore Sailor of the Year award at the annual Senior Prizegiving for his line honours result in the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club Brisbane to Gladstone Race and for holding the B2K race record.
Lahana - 5th Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race 2011
The record could be in jeopardy for the fifth anniversary race with the addition of Robert Oatley’s five time Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race line honours winner, Wild Oats XI in the starters line up. The sheer size of this maxi could very well hold the secret key the unlocking the record, even though the conditions are set to be light for the duration of the race.
2010 B2K had mixed conditions with approximately 10 knots from the south for the first 24 hours then a 20-25 knot south easterly on the second day pushing the the fleet up the coast. The conditions then eased considerably giving the bigger boats the advantage. Wild Oats X secured the overall IRC win.
This year’s race will start on Friday 5th August at 12 noon on the waters east of Green Island on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay. The forecast for the start of the race currently sits at 5-10 knots from the east-northeast but the ebb tide will help launched the yachts out of the bay and into open waters and up the tropical Queensland coast.
Spectators are encouraged to watch the start of the race and to farewell the fleet who continue their journey north for the annual race weeks, Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island.
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, who has renewed their commitment as naming rights sponsor for the fifth year, David Bray Yachts, Club Super, and 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, Keppel Bay Sailing Club, Yeppoon Coast Guard and Bundaberg VMR.