In 1963 the Queensland
Cruising Yacht Club invited multihull yacht owners to participate in
their annual 300 nautical mile Brisbane to Gladstone race. Three multi's
entered, one completed the event.
In 1965, twelve multihull
owners decided to form a club (the beginnings of the MYCQ) and
organise their own race separate to the monohulls race, following an
almost identical course and run on the same day (Easter Friday). The
tradition continued every year until 1998 when the two organising bodies
decided to run the events simultaneously, with the same extended start
line (monos up the deep end, multis the shallow end), and following the
The weather in late Summer when the event is
held is dominated by South Easterly winds. This augers well for a reach
or down wind run for the entire event, conditions ideally suited to the
Multi's. Of course, being a sailing race, anything can happen, and often
does. With the exception of 1999, the last few years have been more of a
headwind race, and often light winds at that.
The first twenty years of the race were
dominated by trimarans with catamarans becoming more prominent since the
In this decade line honours have been
dominated by Jamie Morris on his catamaran Simply the Best. His
four times line honours feat has been matched only twice in the history
of the event. Both Syd Luxford and Brian Willey achieved this in the
Performance Rating honours have proved even more
elusive. To win this honour is an event in itself. To win more than once
speaks volumes of the sailing ability of boat and crew. The 1999
winners, Cliff Fraser and his crew on Nudgee Budgie Sandgate RSL
have walked away with the crown three times. Gordon Meyers achieved the
same on Escapade in the mid 80's
In 1993, a race record of 20 hours
50 minutes was set in by Paul Nudd on his catamaran XL2. Unfortunately
for Paul, the record is not recognised by the World Speed Sailing
Council as he went to the aid of another yacht and his adjusted time
would not be officially recorded by them.
In 2004, Victorian catamaran skipper Martyn Riley steered Raw
Nerve to a record-breaking line-honours win at a remarkable average
speed of 16.28 knots. Raw Nerve reached speeds to 28 knots to complete the race in a
record-smashing 18hr 55min 9secs
“That was one of the rides that most ocean racing sailors dream
about,” Riley said.
"And to complete the race
with a record is very special.”
Also in 2004, Geoff Berg’s Raider claimed the OMR Measurement
by the narrowest-ever margin of just 3 seconds over Raw Nerve, with
Cliff Fraser on Nudgee Budgee just
2min 25sec away in third place. Now that's REALLY close racing !
MYCQ has developed its own ocean racing Performance Rating system called the Offshore Multihull Rule (OMR) and is
based on Texel rule used for off the beach catamarans. This replaced the
ageing and cumbersome OMR and has been well received by all. Because of
this new rating system, visiting participants in the event will have to
make arrangements to have their vessels measured and weighed by club
officials prior to the event. To make these arrangements, contact
the MYCQ official measurer.
The Brisbane to Gladstone Race is undoubtedly the premier
offshore racing event in the Australian multihull racing calendar. Why
not include it in your sailing adventures if you are thinking of heading
our way around Easter?