Yacht race grows in success
THE normally placid stretch of water between Tin Can Bay and Hervey Bay, sheltered by the spectacular Fraser Island, was rife with competitive sailing action at the weekend for the 30th Annual Bay to Bay Yacht Race.
Conducted by the Hervey Bay Sailing Club, the event, growing in popularity every year, attracted a field of 172 yachts.
Hervey Bay Sailing Club race officer Colin Verrall was pleased with the event’s success.
“Favourable sailing breeze conditions of 10 to 15 knots with some gusts reaching 25 knots for brief periods provided a spectacular sight,” he said.
Race records were threatened during the event but remained safe for yet another year.
Queensland’s Kevin Costin competed for the first time on Welbourn 24 Brace Brace Brace and narrowly missed out on breaking Pierre Gal’s Wide Sports Boat Monohull (Conquistador) race record of 4hrs 41mins 27secs by a mere four minutes.
Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast’s George Owen on Mad Max out of Melbourne almost improved his own race record of 3hrs 52mins 08secs set in 2009 by a slimmer margin of two minutes.
“Similar race record attempt stories unfolded for the fancied entries,” Verrall said.
The Bay to Bay Yacht Race has an extensive history spanning 30 amazing years and over time has established its place as Queensland’s largest yacht race and the second largest in Australia.
Sailed over two days, the race was born when 14 people in 1980 sat down to plan a trailer yacht race from Tin Can Bay to Hervey Bay.
An incredible 114 boats registered for the inaugural race, stunning organisers who were blown away by the response.
Since those early beginnings, the race has grown in stature and has a cap of between 200 and 250 by authorities due to safety considerations.
Tin Can Bay also benefited from the event as the venue for the shotgun start.
Hundreds of competitors, their crew and spectators flood the town, providing a handy financial boost for local business.