The Brisbane to Gladstone exemption plea
The Brisbane to Gladstone exemption plea

Brisbane to Gladstone exemption plea

The Queensland Cruising Yacht Club's famous Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race scheduled to start on Friday is in the hands of Queensland Health granting boat owners an exemption to prepare their vessels.

QCYC commodore Ian Gidlow said "we may prevail'' if Queensland Health allows a couple of crew from each boat to "do tasks around the village'' that were essential to prepare yachts.

"If they can let a couple of crew off the boats to do tasks around the village that they do to get the yachts ready, then I think we can pull it off.'' Gidlow said.

Gidlow said the final days leading into the race were the busiest for crews.

"We are waiting on feedback from owners. We have contacted every yacht owner about what they need to do and we will compile that into a complex application for an exemption,'' Gidlow said.

Ichi Ban and Black Jack - Picture credit to Shoebox Images
Ichi Ban and Black Jack - Picture credit to Shoebox Images

The COVID-19 three day shutdown is a bitter blow to organisers who were unable to race last year because of a lockdown.

"We have worked so hard to get a new sponsor up (Gladstone Ports Corporation), to get to this point where our race director has almost 50 yachts starting.

"But we are under threat because they can't get out from under their houses to get their boats ready,'' Gidlow said.

The www.couriermail.com.au has arranged to livestream the start of the famous race if it goes ahead from 11am on Friday.

It is to be the 73rd running of the great Queensland sporting event.famous race which this year is sponsored by Gladstone Ports Corporation.

QCYC Vice-Commodore Harley Cowlishaw and hundreds of fellow competitors contesting the race.

Ii it goes ahead, it will be Cowlishaw's second year on his Sydney 38 "Hasta La Vista", but he has over the years raced on no less than 11 other yachts in the annual event.

He was a crew member on the Farr 40 "The Gambler" in 1990 when they won "The Courier Mail Cup" as overall winner, and he was also on board "Bobsled" in 1993 when the yacht achieved line honours and set a new race record of 21 hours 59 minutes.

This record stood for eight years.

 

Envy Scooters during the start of the 2019 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello
Envy Scooters during the start of the 2019 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in Sydney. Picture: Brett Costello

His slowest race was on board the 32-foot Miller and Whitworth yacht "Timana 2" when they limped across the finish at 7pm on Easter Monday evening with an elapsed time of 80 hours.

The Race has for many years attracted many high profile entrants., including Rupert Murdoch - owner of The Courier-Mail - who won line honours in 1964 and 1965.

The race is shaping up to be another classic with Peter Harburg entering his

Monaco registered Reichel Pugh 100' Supermaxi "Blackjack" and he and his crew will

be keen to lower the race record of 16 hours 53 minutes 57 seconds that they set in

2018.

 

Alive and its crew competing.
Alive and its crew competing.

"Blackjack's" skipper, Mark (Squark) Bradford, originally from Brisbane, but now

residing in Sydney and heading the North Sails Australian operations, has indicated that

they will have a crew of 14.

A newcomer to this years' race is "Stefan Racing" owned by the proud Queenslander

Stefan Ackerie.

 

Stefan Ackeri. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Stefan Ackeri. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

"Stefan Racing" is headed by Grant Warrington who himself has won line honours in the Brisbane to Gladstone race and set a race record on his 100-foot yacht "Wild Thing".

Also new to the race is Bill Barry-Cotters' yacht "Maritimo".

Best known for producing luxury power cruisers at his Gold Coast factory, Barry-Cotter ventured back into yacht racing when he restored the 32-foot 1904-built yacht "Katwinchar" and contested the Sydney to Hobart race.

Having completed the race but considering that the cockpit was too cramped, he with the assistance of yachting veteran Michael Spies, sourced a Schumacher 54 yacht from America and had it fully optimised in his facility.

Now named "Maritimo", Barry-Cotter is looking forward to racing against his good friend Stefan as they have done against each other on the offshore power boat circuit.

"Bill has also kindly provided QCYC a newly produced 55-foot cruiser to act as a co-start boat and host the Governor of Queensland, Mayor of Gladstone and race sponsors on the morning of the race,' said Ian Gidlow, QCYC Commodore.

 

Hammer of Queensland.
Hammer of Queensland.

Marcus Blackmore of Blackmore Vitamin empire will contest the race on his newly acquired Southern Wind 96 "Ammonite".

Although not expected to push "Blackjack" for line honours, this yacht will be up with the leaders as Blackmore is a highly respected yachtsman having won the Brisbane to Gladstone race in 2011 on his previous yacht

Another proud Queenslander, navigated by Arthur Bloores' will be "Hammer of Queensland".

Incorporated within the race will be The Courier Mail Cup where the most recent two past winners (Matt Allen's TP52 "Ichi Ban" 2018 and RQYS Commodore Barry Cuneo's "Envy Scooters" 2019) lining up at the start.

 

Bary Cuneo.
Bary Cuneo.

"Ichi Ban" which means number one in Japanese, lost its mast in the 2019 race while still in the confines of Moreton Bay, and will be keen to complete this years' race.

Ray Roberts is another past winner having won in 2008 and 2009 on his yacht "Quantum Racing.''

This year he has entered his Botin Fast 40 "Team Hollywood".

These modern racing machines could be surprised by some of the older veterans as Scott Patrick who will be sailing the family designed and home built yacht "Wistari". This yacht has sailed the Brisbane to Gladstone race 52 times and won the Courier Mail Cup on four occasions.

The Alan Payne designed 11-metre Tasman Seabirds have also entered fresh from placing

first and second overall in QCYCs Surf to City race in January.

 

Hasta La Vista competing in last year's Sunshine Coast Ocean Regatta.
Hasta La Vista competing in last year's Sunshine Coast Ocean Regatta.

Dan de Buriatte's "Joanne Brodie" won the race with "Pagan" Peter Kerr a close second.

Whatever the outcome, these seafaring men and women are looking forward to

partaking in one of Australia's flagship ocean yacht races,'' said Harley Cowlishaw, QCYC Vice-Commodore.

Originally published as Brisbane to Gladstone exemption plea



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