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Fastest yacht in Southern Hemisphere to compete in 2019 Brisbane to Gladstone Race

by Chris Dewar 21 Mar 15:15 PDT 19 April 2019
Beau Geste in the Round the Island Race © Gavin Brady

The 2019 Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race has something the 2019 Sydney to Hobart won't have; the trimaran Beau Geste. She is a 70 foot (21.2m) trimaran weighing in at nearly 7000Kgs. Karl Kwok bought the MOD70 designed trimaran in August 2017 and they are now based in The Yard on the Brisbane River.

Since taking ownership of the yacht she has set a new race record for the China Sea race of 38hr 30m 7s (600nm). She also set a new multihull race record for the Hong Kong to Hainan Race 24hr 01m 59s (390nm). The Multihull Yacht Club Queensland's Brisbane to Gladstone Race is a 305nm race and so they will need to improve on these times to beat the existing Brisbane to Gladstone race record set by Sean Langman's ORMA 60 Trimaran Team Australia in 2012 with a time of 16hr 28m 21s.

Some of the Beau Geste crew attended the Multihull Yacht, Queensland's (MYCQ) Club meeting where Spencer talked about the yacht and its history.

Karl bought the yacht from Lloyd Thomburg when it was called Phaedo3. Phaedo3 (originally Foncia) launched in August 2011 and had a reputation of being one of the fastest yachts in the world. Some of the records it set included:

  • Trans-Pacific record in 2017
  • Trans-Atlantic Race record in 2016
  • RORC Caribbean 600 race record in 2015 and 2016
  • RORC Ile d'Ouessant Race record in 2016
  • Isle of Wight Tour Record in 2016
  • Round the Isle of Wight in 2016 (twice) and in 2012 as Foncia
  • Ireland circumnavigation record in 2016
  • Monaco to Porto Cervo. (The Wally Record Route) record in 2016
  • Bermuda to Plymouth record in 2016
  • Around Jamestown Record in 2015
  • Antigua circumnavigation record in 2015
  • Redonda circumnavigation record in 2015
  • St Maarten circumnavigation record in 2015
  • Les Voiles de Saint Barth (St. Barth to Tintamarre and back) record in 2015
  • Plymouth to La Rochelle record in 2015
  • Crowes to Dinard record in 2015
  • Fastnet Race Record in 2015
  • Channel Crossing Record in 2015
  • Antigua to Newport record in 2015
The yacht was delivered to Brisbane in December and they encountered the worst conditions they ever had heading west through the Great Barrier Reef near Mackay. Modifications they have made include adding a 2m prodder and setting it up for lighter wind sailing. This will suit the conditions that are more common in South East Asia.

To see this boat in action, be at the start of the Brisbane to Gladstone at the Shorncliffe Pier on Good Friday 19th April. The multihull race will be starting around at 11:30am just meters from the jetty. Be sure to be there well before the start (at least 30 minutes) to see the prestart manoeuvres and get a good spot to see all the action. They will be heading south for 1 mile and then returning under spinnaker past the jetty again, so be sure to stay for 15-20 after to the start to see them return and then head to Redcliffe. It will be a spectacle usually only seen out in the bay and it will be something very special which should not be missed.

This year organisers are expecting around 15 multihull yachts and most of them, depending on weather, will arrive in Gladstone the following day, Saturday 20th April. If all goes to plan Beau Geste should arrive well before Black Jack just after midnight Saturday morning. Some of the other entries include the Grouparma Race winner Rushour, previous Brisbane to Gladstone winner Top Gun, the Chamberlin Catamaran Storm Bay, the 9.2m Grainger Trimaran (and probably the smallest yacht in the fleet) Big Bird and an entry from Thailand. If you are in Gladstone, then the presentations will be held at the Port Curtis Yacht Club on Sunday at 1pm. Come down and meet the crews and see the yachts. It will be a fun afternoon.

For more information go to facebook.com/themycq or mycq.org.au

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