CYCA Vice Commodore Sam Haynes’ TP52 Celestial won Line Honours in the 2023 Gladstone Ports Corporation Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
The 75th edition of the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club’s race was described as “brutal”, with a storm on the first night leading to the retirement of nine boats.
Difficult upwind sailing made it a much longer race than anticipated for the frontrunners, with Celestial first across the line in the early hours of Easter Sunday, after 1 day, 19 hours, 30 minutes and 49 seconds at sea.
The Celestial crew included CYCA Members Callum Cecil, George Richardson (YSA), Lindsay Stead and Rob Greenhalgh.
In an interview with the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race channel, Sam reflected: “It wasn’t what we signed on for! It was a very different race, very hard.
“We were just ahead of most of the storm, so we didn’t have lightning around our boat, but a lot of squalls and heavy rain.
“I’ve never seen a sea state like that. It was like a washing machine, waves going everywhere, very difficult to sail through.
“We probably had 80 tacks in the whole race, we had to keep changing direction.
“I haven’t had a Line Honours title in a significant race like this; it’s fantastic for us.”
CYCA Members featured prominently throughout the fleet.
Member Jack Kliner steered his S&S 34 Azzurro (which he purchased from Shane Kearns after the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart) to third place overall on IRC and victory on ORCi.
Member Michael Spies steered his Schumacher 54 Maritimo to first place in IRC Division 1, for fifth place overall. Member Kendal Barry-Cotter was also on board.
Member James Irvine’s Rogers 46 Mayfair was fourth in IRC Division 1 and 13th overall.
Meanwhile, Russell McCart’s Farr 40 Night Nurse was forced to retire with a torn mainsail.
CYCA Rear Commodore Tom Barker, and Members Wendy Tuck and Shane Guanaria were on board Ian and Annika Thomson’s TP52 Ocean Crusaders J-Bird III, which was second over the line.
The crew on Mark Griffith’s DK46 LCE Old School Racing, which was second in IRC Division 2 and 12th overall, included Members Angelique Kear, John Crawford and Sarah Crawford.
- Cruising Yacht Club of Australia https://cyca.com.au/2023-brisbane-to-gladstone-results/