Celestial shines

The 2024 Gladstone Ports Corporation Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race dished up assorted conditions, and Celestial came out on top.

Written by Commodore David Hamilton

03 April 2024


Beginning near Shorncliffe at 11am on Good Friday, 29 March, as it does every year, the Gladstone Ports Corporation Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, organised by the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club, set off in lighter than expected conditions, but with unpredicted sunny skies, much to the delight of spectators.

This provided a brilliant spectacle and enabled great images for the live stream of the start sponsored by Gladstone Regional Council.

All up 39 Yachts started the race, 36 Monohulls and three Multihulls, approximately 300 sailors made up the various crews.

Three yachts withdrew from the race, leaving 36 finishers in Gladstone.


The first yacht, Wild Thing 100, reached Gladstone at 7.55am on Saturday 30 March, claiming Line Honours in the Monohull Division in a time of 20 hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds – not a race record but a very good time none the less.

The race record was set by Blackjack 100 in 2022 with a time of 16 Hours, 13 minutes, 56 seconds.

Second across the line was Alive, the 2023 winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and third over the line and first Multihull was Top Gun, arriving at 10:34am

Fourth over the line was Celestial previous winner of the Sydney Hobart, competing in her third Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht race.

In fifth place was Rush Hour who eventually took out first place on corrected time for the Multihull division with an elapsed time of 1 day, 7minutes, 23 seconds.

The other yachts came in over the next day with the second last yacht finishing being Jenisis, in the two-handed division crewed by Niamh Ni Lorcain (Neve Larkin) and Michael Andrews. Niamh is the first women to complete the race as part of a two-handed crew.

The last yacht to finish was the oldest yacht in the fleet, Birdie, a Lapworth 50 built in 1962 who finished at 4:21pm on Sunday 31 March with an elapsed time of 2 days, 5 Hours, 21 minutes, 58 seconds

Celestial ended up being the overall winner of the Courier Mail Cup, which goes to the winner of the race on corrected time under the current recognised International Rating System (IRC).

This is one of the oldest perpetual trophies to be competed for on a continual basis in Australia, having originated in 1949.

Each member of the Celestial crew also wins a custom-made Adina Watch, which is only available to those who crew the vessel that wins the Courier Mail Cup and the Monohull Line Honours Skipper.

We look forward to doing it all again next Easter.



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