Surf to City Yacht Race 2013 - Upwind all day

Alegria V Audi is ready - Surf to City Yacht Race
Peter Hackett
The Queensland Cruising Yacht Club crew will be running again the Surf to City yacht race this year, marking the 20th anniversary since the inaugural race from Southport to Shorncliffe both inside and outside the bay. The locals are aware that 2013 would not be a record-busting year as shifty upwind expected to dominate during the race. However, a clubhouse was made to make the crews feel welcomed.

Well not really, but the renovation has really made the place look pretty cool. It would be easy to write another exaggerated story about records falling faster than drunks at the bar, but the reality is that we will have a shifty upwind into the predicted northerly in the 'drain run' as it is affectionately known inside the southern Moreton Bay islands before we clear out past Peel Island. The outside fleet will make the most of the breeze to enjoy less destruction than previous years, and that could well be why their numbers are swelling the total fleet close to the magic 100 that sponsors love to see.

medres Surf to City C auth P Hacketts by Julie Geldard02751
Peter Hackett

The upside of the northerlies is that the magic of this event sparkles earlier when the boats make their way down under spinnaker over a few days or more of cruising or trailing to the start line. If you are near Canaipa on Thursday night you might smell Ian Jones’ famous lamb roast on the back of On Top, or something more exotic on some of the bigger yachts heading down from Mooloolaba in blue water. The bulk of the fleet head down on Friday however, and as all creeks converge on Rome, I mean Southport, there is a great atmosphere generated that brings us back each year.

medres 2Mad Max
Peter Hackett

Oh Yeah, the race.

The smaller trailer sailors inside will feature the usual handicap tussles of the fast Elliots like Barney Army, Jaspa, and Hot Chilli, as well as the perennial favourite Ross 780’s, Noelexes, Blazers. Steve North will deserve a pat on the back for coming back to this race on his tuned up RL 24 Go Again after losing his sweet Go For It near Mud Island in the blustery 2011 race.

Noel Leigh-Smith will be trying to get the same speeds out of his Shaw 650 Money Shot that he got from Vivace, and the other boats in the new breed of cool production sports boats will be keeping him honest. Charles Baker will be keen to show that More Dough is a lot faster than the superseded Baker’s Dough.

Charles Baker's new toy cost him More Dough - Surf to City Yacht Race
Peter Hackett

The multihulls inside will be trying to hang on to the heels of Mad Max again, many will be hoping that the light windward work will cool him down and allow either of the well sailed Raiders or Dux Nutts to get some gold. The outside monohulls will work hard to jostle Rod Jones on Alegria V Audi, the fastest on paper, but the BlackJack Too boys have learnt some new Hobart tactics that could unsettle that prediction.

McMoggy joins the outside multihulls this year after a great hitout in the Whitsundays and Magnetic Island series last year, but the upwind course might be more favoured to Chill Pill or Boss Racing for overall honours. Whatever the result, I can personally verify that the beer at the new bar is cold and fast.