The fifth Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race started in near perfect conditions at 12 noon today. The breeze was in from the south east at 10-15 knots. The only things missing were the sunshine and warmth!
Just 45 minutes prior to the start the conditions changed from warm and sunny to cold and overcast, however that change did bring the wind which was the key point missing from the forecast given to competitors at the race briefing on Thursday evening.
The 32 entered yachts were all on the line with a clear start at precisely 12 noon today on the waters east of Green Island on Moreton Bay in Brisbane. Wild Oats XI (Robert Oatley, skippered by Mark Richards), and Lahana (Peter Millard) began an early tussle weaving in between both the smaller yachts in the fleet and the eager spectators who ventured to the start line to catch a glimpse of these high profile maxi racers.
Peter Millard was all smiles as the media boat passed and gave a confident 'thumbs up' when asked if he was excited to start the race.
The crews on board Wild Oats XI were in their serious racing mode not letting anything jeopardise their concentration to be the first boat over the line at the start.
The rest of the fleet ranges in size from 52’ (Wot Eva, David Pescud) right down to the Farr 30’s who have their own division with five of the one design yachts entered in the race.
Current Farr 30 Australian Champion GOA/NOVA (Chris Tyquin), led the other Farr 30’s off the start with Loco (Jon Dummond) right on their tail. The match racing between these two boats was intense with mainsails being pumped at every opportunity. The other Farr 30’s Italian Job (Lew Perrin), Asterix (Colin Loel) and RBS Morgans Immigrant (Jeff Paul) were hot on the heals of GOA/NOVA and Loco proving that it will definitely be a race to the end for these highly competitive one design performers.
Cruising boats Meltemi (SS34, Fergus Keegan) and Sirocco (Beneteau Oceanis 50, Greg Egan) were all taking a relaxed approach at the start. Sirocco were keen for their first sundowners at sea with a spectacular menu on offer for the chilled out crew.
The majority of the fleet is now off Tangalooma (Moreton Island) with the trackers updating every 15 minutes. The first scheduled radio reporting time is 1705 hours this afternoon when all boats will report their positions to the Radio Relay team who are shadowing the fleet north.
The first boat to finish is expected to arrive at Keppel Bay Marina on Saturday afternoon where they will be greeted with a fresh local pineapple and a carton of refreshments.
More to come…
For the latest visit 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, 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 and Keppel Bay Sailing Club.