Written by Andra Bite
Photography by Sarah Motherwell
07 April 2023
Anticipation is building among sailors contesting the iconic Gladstone Ports Corporation 75th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race which sets sail Good Friday 7 April at 11am from Moreton Bay with an upwind start predicted – the first for many years.
47 yachts will line up today, so close to 400 sailors have been forced to carefully consider tactics as they scrap plans to sail the usual Easter trade winds and prepare to sail north headfirst into building northerly breezes.
Dr Richard Wardle from the Bureau of Meteorology unveiled the race weather forecast to competing sailors at the Official Race Briefing in Brisbane City Hall.
The forecast is predicting light winds for the race start increasing to north-north westerlies upwards of 20 knots.
The 75th B2G race fleet will see up to 25 knots around daybreak on Saturday, as the leaders pass Fraser Island, with the first boats expected in Gladstone early Sunday morning.
Queensland Cruising Yacht Club (QCYC) Commodore, Ian Gidlow says this will be one of the most tactical races seen in many years for the much-loved blue water classic.
“With the current forecast predicting the fleet will be racing into northerly winds, some serious sailing tactics will be required to move boats as fast as possible upwind for the 308 nautical mile passage race,” Mr Gidlow said.
“The sailors on the smaller boats could be having the happiest Easter with that end of the fleet now strong race chances to win overall and put their name on The Courier-Mail Cup,” he said.
The 75th B25 will start offshore east of Shorncliffe Pier from the gleaming and protected waters of Moreton Bay.
The race requires competing yachts to contest a demanding exit from the bay under pressure from the tide clock, a fast slide up the coast in the dark, a high pressure run into sub-tropical waters and an often intense and unpredictable finish. The race fleet has a diverse range of crews ranging from four two-handed entrants through to the largest with 30 crew on board.
This year’s fleet includes some of Australia’s best known ocean racing yachts along with a recently imported European yacht, the first ever electric yacht entry, and one yacht competing in their 30th B2G.
Yachts entered in the 75th B2G heading to the Brisbane start line in Moreton Bay have come from as far afield as the Netherlands, Sydney, Townsville, the Whitsundays, Gladstone, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.
On water: Boat owners and commercial charter operators are encouraged to join the colour, excitement and spectacle of the race start on the water. The start line is positioned offshore to the east of Shorncliffe Pier in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay. Spectator craft are reminded there is a strict exclusion zone which on the water will be marked by yellow exclusion buoys and exclusion zone mark boats carrying official orange flags. A map of the race start exclusion zone is available on the B2G website.
On land: The foreshores between Shorncliffe and Redcliffe offer land vantage viewing spots for spectators. Key spots include Shorncliffe Pier/Bluewater Festival, Shorncliffe headland, Sandgate foreshores, Decker Park (Brighton), Ted Smout Bridge Fishing Platform (Houghton Highway Bridge), Woody Point Jetty, Scotts Point and Margate Beach. The race fleet turns around a buoy off Suttons Beach and Redcliffe Point.
Live stream broadcast: There will be a two-hour live stream broadcast of the Gladstone Ports Corporation 75th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race start, commencing at 10am on Good Friday, one hour before the start of the race.
Proudly presented by Gladstone Regional Council, the live stream can be viewed live and free on Kayo Sports – Australia’s premier on-demand sports streaming platform or viewed on the B2G Facebook and website.
9am, Shorncliffe Pier – the Classic Flotilla sail past: As a tribute to the 75th B2G, a flotilla of Moreton Bay Classic Cruisers will be conducting a sail past Shorncliffe Pier and Bluewater Festival spectators.
The flotilla will be led by official start vessels, Mohokoi and Norlyn and will then make their way to the B2G start line to farewell the fleet of offshore racing yachts and send them on their 308 nautical mile journey to Gladstone.
10am, Livestream broadcast of race starts and can be watched LIVE and FREE on Kayo Freebies or on the B2G Facebook or website
11am, RACE STARTS. From the start, yachts proceed via a mark off Redcliffe Point to the North-West Channel up to Caloundra and through to Gladstone.
FOLLOW THE RACE OVER EASTER WEEKEND – Keep up with all the 75th B2G race news by following the race on: Facebook: facebook.com/brisbanetogladstone
Instagram: @brisbane2gladstoneyachtrace Website and Yacht Tracker: brisbanetogladstone.com