The Finish Line Festival was the perfect finish to an amazing weekend of sailing at the Club Marine 11th Brisbane to Keppel Yacht Race that saw Wild Oats XI take out line honours with a time of 20hrs, 17min and 5sec.
Skipper Mark Richards says the conditions were in their favour for most of the race.
“It was a pretty easy race. We had a good breeze at the beginning, then last night we had some light air but we got good wind at the end and here we are.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though, the crew got to the start line with just a minute to hoist sails.
“We got to the start very late. We put ourselves under some pressure but once we dealt with our glitches we were off,” Richards said.
Supermaxi Wild Oats XI’s line honours win seemed never to be in doubt.
“We’ve got a fantastic crew. “Boats are not easy to sail and a good team is important. We’ve been sailing together for 13 years and we deal with most situations well.
“One of the biggest challenges was missing the whales. One of them swam belly up straight under the boat. There were so many whales, sharks and dolphins,” Richards said.
“The Brisbane to Keppel is a nice race, it’s quite different with lots of directional and tidal changes.
But for Richards and the Wild Oats XI crew there seems to be one other big drawcard in the Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race.
It’s a very relaxed destination and when you get here there are cold beers and an awesome steak.
Keppel Bay Marina General Manager Kylie Smith says it was a great to welcome Wild Oats back to the Keppel Bay Marina and provide that steak.
“The Capricorn region is famous for our Banana station beef, our Pure Gold pineapples and our hospitality, we had all three waiting at The Waterline Restaurant as soon as the 19 Wild Oats XI crew stepped off the boat, not too mention some very cold Heineken,” she said.
“The weather was mild and there was a great crowd here to enjoy the boats arriving. Ben Beasley was playing and band blended it all went really well.
“The kids were kept entertained all afternoon with the jumping castle, face painting and some amazing balloon art.
“The sailors bar was very popular with all the yachties coming in and the Rum and Coke were flowing very nicely.”
“Richard, Libbie, Kylie and the Wilson family have been on board for the first ever Keppel Bay Marina race and they’ve been on board ever since.
So what would Skipper Mark Richards say to anyone thinking of doing the Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race? Go for it!
“Take it on, it’s got to be on your bucket list. The coastline is pretty special and the wildlife and the marine sanctuary is amazing.
The race results as of going to print are Wild Oats XI, Alive and Celestial taking out first, second and third Line honours.
For full results visit the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron website www.rqys.com.au
All day dining
From 7 am 7 days
Evening Dining Wed-Sun until late
Keppel Bay Marina
Rosslyn Bay Qld 4703