The first Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race was held with a fleet of seven yachts racing and six finishing. Line Honours went to Hoana (George Pickers) with a course time of 47hrs 8mins 25secs. The overall race winner was Sea Prince (John Bourne) with a corrected time of 34hrs 22mins 18secs.
Two yachts carried radios while Brisbane’s Homing Pigeon Club supplied pigeons to the others for position reporting. Each yacht issued with birds was to release two each day.
The second Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race was held with a fleet of 19 yachts entering, 17 starting and only six finishing. Kyeema, the race winner, reportedly finished the race in a 45mph gale. The last boat finished at 10.23am Wednesday, 37 minutes short of 5 days.
The race also saw the first women compete – Mrs V Wraight on Graphique, and Mrs E Sanderson, navigator on Sari Marais I.
The first NSW boat to be a Line Honours Winner was Kyeema, and the first steel hulled boat Southern Maid, competed.
The race starting line was transferred from Woody Point to Shorncliffe Jetty, where it remained until 1996. Due to draft constraints with the more modern yachts the Start Line was moved to accommodate 4mtr draft entrants.
The second major change was made to the course when it became compulsory for yachts to leave Lady Elliott Island to port thereby sailing to the north of the island.
Competitors were also required to carry ‘two way radio telephones’ for the first time.
Fifteen yachts battled out of the bay in heavy conditions and a collision led to Cimba going aground on the northern end of Bribie Island. There were no injuries and she was re-floated with no major damage. Solo took out the double with only five other boats managing to finish from a fleet of 15.
The first challenge by Australia for the America’s Cup by Gretel, created immense interest from the general public and increased the knowledge and ability of designers, builders and spar makers in all aspects of Australian yachting.
The 20th race saw Laurabada competing in her 16th Brisbane to Gladstone and owner Ivan Holm and the crewman Doug Kemp competing in their 20th.
This was one of the slowest races to date; few boats had passed Mooloolaba by dawn on Saturday. At least 10 yachts anchored off Breaksea Spit on Sunday night, with more using ‘the pick’ outside Gladstone Harbour.
Cyclone Emily hit and winds reached up to 96 knots. There were 25 race starters and 20 of those retired. Of the five that completed, four were from NSW and one from Victoria.
The smallest boat, Harmony (Peter Hopgood) won with Line Honours going to Kintama (Russell George) who took 55 hours to complete the race, almost getting washed up at Bustard Head.
The first race where the 29 entrants competed under the International IOR Rating System, with the winner being Jim Hardy’s Nyamba.
Under the command of Commodore Frank Hunter and Race Director Ron Chapman, two additional Categories were added, namely Arbitrary and Cruising and this increased the fleet size considerably.
Apollo, logging 10-12 knots, grounded on Lady Elliott Island at about 9.15pm Saturday night, her port side stove in becoming the first Brisbane to Gladstone in which a vessel was lost. No injuries were reported however and salvage subsequently proved futile.
Di Hard (Bruce Tardrew), sailing under the burgee of the Royal Papua Yacht Club became the first overseas yacht to win the race.
1984, 1985, 1986
QTQ 9 televised the start live from 10.30am to midday Good Friday.
The RAAF Roulettes gave a great aerial display over the start area and followed this up with another great display of flying at Gladstone.
The Golden Anniversary Race, a record fleet of 196 keel yachts created a spectacular sight attracting the largest crowd to ever witness a yacht race start in Queensland.
Line Honours went to Hammer Of Queensland (Arthur Bloore) after several attempts to cross the finish line in a light South Westerly wind and strong ebb tide.
Four sailors from the inaugural race including winning skipper John Bourne were among the 1356 men, women and children who set sail in the race.
A world record was set for a point to point race over 300 nautical miles by Bobsled (Kerry Spencer) who clocked speeds of up to 29.7 knots and completing the race with an average speed of 14.1 knots in a time of 21hrs 59mins 43secs.
A record was set by the Steenland family whose 30.7m schooner, South Passage, had 30 members of the family aboard, 24 sharing the name Steenland, their ages ranging from 3 to 77.
A small alteration to the course was made with yachts now rounding a mark 200m east of Garnet Rock beacon off Redcliffe Peninsula and the finish line in Gladstone Harbour moved to the Western side of Auckland Creek.
Skandia (Grant Wharington) sets a new race record with a course time of 20hrs 24mins 50secs and an average speed of 15.09 knots.
Wild Thing became the largest yacht to enter the race at a LOA of 100 foot or 30.48 meters.
Black Jack (no.77) became only the second yacht to win both Line Honours and the Race overall for two years (2015/16) in succession. Solo (1958/59) was the first to achieve the double.
The start of the race was broadcast live, throughout the globe via social media channels bringing the excitement and spectacle of some of the best local, national and international boats and crews to anyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer.
A great day on the bay leading up to the race start with a RAAF C-17 Globemaster giving a low level flypast over the start area.
Black Jack 100 (Owner: Peter Harburg Skipper: Mark Bradford) sets a new race record with an elapsed time of 16hrs 53mins 57secs and an average speed of 18.23 knots. Ichi Ban (Matt Allen) came second over the line and also broke the previous record with an elapsed time of 19hrs 36mins 42secs, which had stood for 14 years.
39 entrants faced the Starters Signal with a storm looming on the Eastern skyline.
Black Jack 100 leapt out of the start area on the Eastern end of the line and hit 22 knts boat speed before her whole length had crossed the Start Line.
Before the fleet had crossed the Bay from Redcliffe to Moreton Island some were dealing with 30 plus knts of wind with Ichi Ban losing her rig, leaving Envy Scooters to claim the Courier-Mail Cup.
Black Jack 100 missed her record by about 2.5 minutes proving her record of 2018 was no fluke.