Message from the Governor of Queensland – 30 April 2020
As Governor of Queensland and Patron of the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club, I have been privileged to act as the Official Starter of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race every year since 2015.
Kaye and I were looking forward to boarding the South Pacific II once again on 10 April for the start of the 2020 race, and were more than a little disappointed when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the first cancellation of this iconic Queensland event in its long history.
We know our disappointment is shared by every club member and by the owners, skippers, crew members and supporters who had committed so much time and effort to preparing for the 2020 race.
The repercussions of cancelling an event of this size and complexity are immense. However, we know it has survived perilous times – including Cyclone Emily in 1972. With such a track record, I am confident that the Club has the determination and strength to confront whatever metaphorical storms and rough seas lie ahead.
One of my predecessors as Governor of Queensland was Sir Henry Abel Smith. His remarks before officially starting the 1959 race could well have applied to the situation today.
The Start of the 70th Anniversary Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race in 2018
“We all admire toughness, endurance and good team work”, he said, “and we all know that this race is not an easy one”.
Navigating the course to 2021 may indeed be testing, but I have every confidence that, next autumn, Kaye and I will be with you once again for another spectacular start to the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC
Governor of Queensland