Local triumph in Brisbane to Gladstone

By Liam Emerton

The Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht race gave our local vessel a chance to shine on the sea.

In her record equalling 51st race Wistari and her crew made the journey through tough conditions to take out a historic victory.

The Gladstone-owned yacht finished in an elapsed time of 1 day, 8 hours, 42 minutes and 55 seconds before that was corrected to 1 day, 2 hours, 53 minutes and 7 seconds to give Wistari an incredible win.

Behind her was Flying Colours 2 which finished just over two hours behind Wistari while third place was taken out by Mayfair.

Gladstone Yacht Club Commodore Neil Moran spoke at the awards presentation about the boat and the special meaning for the local club.

“The win by Scott here today makes it equal with Norseman with five wins each,” he said.

“Each of those occasions Wistari has been racing against the cream of Australian racing at the time and beaten them.

“This year they have been racing against modern yachts and the boat that is 55, 56 years of age is still being sailed well enough.

“And that good sailing is recognised by a very creditable victory, so congratulations.”

And it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the local vessel, Wistari lost use of a winch with just nine nautical miles to go but the yacht was able to overcome the problem and still sail in for the victory.

Sadly many boats did not complete the race, two did not set sail before eight others fell to the cruel nature of the ocean.

One of those was one of the favourites, Black Jack, which lost its mast during the race.

Skipper Mark Bradford said in an interview that it was a tough outing in the crew’s return to the B2G.

“We had a pretty conservative approach to the race because it was about delivering the boat for us,” he said.

“It was windy, around 28 knots, but everything was going pretty well then the mast fell out of the sky.

“We must have just hit a wave and jolted or something changed the load instantaneously and that was it.

“For us it’s a huge victory that we still got 15 people on board.

“Look it’s disappointing and it’s not what anyone sets out to do.”