Following the success of the inaugural Brisbane to Hamilton Island Yacht Race in 2019, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in association with Hamilton Island Yacht Club have set the 2020 race start from Brisbane’s Moreton Bay for July 31.
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Prominent ocean racing yachtsman Gavin Brady and the international crew on Karl Kwok’s MOD70 trimaran, Beau Geste (Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club), set a blistering multihull race record time of 1 day 2 hours 11 minutes 43 seconds for the debut event. Their course time and average speed of just over 20kts for the 530 nautical mile stretch is an awesome benchmark likely to stand for many years. At the finish, Brady said: “It’s a really nice racecourse and Hamilton Island is a great destination to sail to. This event has a bright future.”
The Oatley family’s RP66 Wild Oats X, skippered by Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke, also rode the wild south-east tradewinds from start to finish, clocking a time of 1 day 10 hours 46 minutes 53 seconds and establishing a monohull race record that will be equally tough to beat.
Owner/skipper of the IRC division 1 overall winner Ichi Ban, Matt Allen, recapped at the finish: “It was a really quick, exhilarating race – a navigator’s delight. We had a lot of water over the deck and helming a tiller Botin 52 downhill doing an average 19 knots was a challenge. The guys are pretty sore.”
Winner of Division 2 was Ocean Gem, David Hows’ Queensland-based Beneteau 445.
Feedback from competitors on the first ever Hamilton Island Race Week feeder out of Brisbane was overwhelmingly positive and organisers are confident of the event’s place alongside other bluewater events of note listed on the Australian racing calendar. “It’s great to see Queensland putting on a race with a bit of distance; it’s definitely a winner,” said the skipper of the Beneteau First 45 Banter, Mark Jacobsen.
RQYS is committed to providing the option of the Brisbane to Hamilton Island Yacht Race or the shorter, coastal Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race which starts at the same time.
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The Notice of Race for the second annual Category 2 race (with AS Special Regulations Part 1), which feeds into Hamilton Island Race Week August 15 – 22, will be available early 2020.