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Spectacular Sailing: Moreton Bay

Spectacular Sailing: Moreton Bay

Looking back: Summer races

Summer sailing on Moreton Bay does not get any better than what we have already seen this year.

The Manly Summer of Sailing brought together competitors, supporters, enthusiasts and the public to enjoy some of the finest sailing the sport has to offer. The Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and Darling Point Sailing Squadron hosted approximately 1,200 national and international competitors, 200 volunteers, and 3,000 visitors across eight major events in January. This year’s success is only the beginning for Moreton Bay, undoubtedly demonstrating her ability to host major, consecutive world-class sailing events. RQYS intends to host a Manly Summer of Sailing series each year to add to the Bay’s vibrant summer sailing program.

Our local sailors competed with exceptional skill, pride and sportsmanship. Notable mentions are owed to local Olympian Jake Lilley who took home 1st in Ronstan 2018 Australian International Finn Championships, and Tom Needham who won 1st in 2018 Australian Youth Championships (Laser Radial) in his last youth event.

For the bigger boats, January also saw the Club Marine Pittwater to Paradise Yacht Race, and the 9th annual Bartercard Sail Paradise Regatta. The latter race boasted champagne-Gold Coast sailing conditions for the 42 entrants who competed in four days of intense tactical racing. Bradley Ginnivan, on RQYS yacht Beachball, took home the 2018 Queensland Yachting Championship crown with a near perfect series score. Graham Sherring’s Returned won every race in its series, walking away with a double-win in both the 2018 Australian Sports Boat Queensland Championships and the 2018 Queensland AMS Championships.

 

Looking ahead: Autumn races

March brought a new event to Moreton Bay: the Moreton Bay Multihull Regatta (16-19th), a cooperative event between RQYS and the Multihull Yacht Club of Queensland. At a community level, this regatta and rally is about engaging people, crew and owners, and inviting them to enjoy everything the Moreton Bay multihull community has to offer – from great racing to good comradeship. At the delivery level, the event ultimately endeavours to represent different kinds of sailing, as part of a Day Racing and Cruising program. Longer day races gave racing yachts a chance to stretch their legs, and short courses on test boat handling and strategy. For cruisers, there were courses that take on the Bay and provide pleasant experiences and trips in the company of like-minded sailors. Set to be a point of diversity in the Bay’s sailing calendar, it hopefully establishes an annual tradition for the multihull community.

The Queensland Cruising Yacht Club’s Qantaslink 70th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race kicked off on March 30. Competitors and spectators alike have been looking forward to the Easter spectacle as the 100-strong competitor fleet commenced this annual pilgrimage north. RQYS’s super-maxi BlackJack100 entered again this year, as have 26 other RQYS yachts – which comprise the bulk of the fleet. Notable mention should go to PCSC’s Wistari, which is celebrating 50 years of race entries this year. This event is one of Moreton Bay’s pre-eminent off-shore yachting events, never failing to attract a diversity of competitors across Queensland and New South Wales, and always pioneering to increasingly engage a greater spectatorship through their race-start live streaming.

April highlights include the 2018 Queensland Hobie State Championships, SSAQ 2018 Sabre Queensland Championships, and the Etchells Brisbane Fleet Championships. Autumn on Moreton Bay then rounds out with the Sail the Bay in May series, which takes yachts of all sizes around the Bay, up to Mooloolaba, over two weekends in May.

Moreton Bay’s diverse and inclusive sailing calendar means there really is something for everyone – catering to all boats (dinghy, keelboat, monohull or multihull), interests (inshore, offshore, cruising), and experience (new or veteran).

 

By Natasha Hoppner

 

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