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J/Crews sweep Queensland Surf to City Race

by J/Boats 21 Feb 11:35 GMT 1 February 2020
J/Crews sweep Queensland Surf to City Race © J/Boats

The annual Surf to City Yacht Race from Southport on the Gold Coast to Sandgate in Brisbane started on Saturday, February 1st.

There are two fleets for this race, an inshore fleet going inside Stradbroke Island, and an offshore fleet sailing a 100.0nm course up the seaward side of Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island, around Cape Moreton and back into Moreton Bay. Rodger Vinton's J/111 Black Dog and James and Sally Crowley's J/122 Javelin competed in the 100.0nm offshore course.

At 1000 hrs the race started in four knots of breeze that built during the day. Most boats started under Code 0 before the breeze shifted further north, that meant a change to headsail and tacking up the shoreline of Stradbroke to stay out of the current; astonishingly, there were forty-two tacks recorded on the J/111 Black Dog.

Then, it was a long, tight starboard lay to Cape Moreton before turning the corner across the top of Moreton Island to the entrance of the bay at NE2. From there, the course took the fleet on a spinnaker run along past Tangalooma via a series of shoals and channels which are a challenge in the dark.

Finally, turning to the southwest at Cowan Cowan for the 14 miles to the finish line, the fleet saw the wind gradually fading and rotating further north. As luck would have it, the wind shifted to the northwest about one mile from the finish line!

Who knew that J/Boats asymmetrics can double as a headsail! The net result was the J/122 Javelin taking IRC handicap honors with the J/111 Black Dog taking the silver...good on ya, good show mates!

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