Local yachts set sail

April 6, 2022

LOCAL favourite, Restless Racing has officially set sail for Gladstone Port’s Corporation’s (GPC) 74th Brisbane  to Gladstone yacht race – setting out on a 300-nautical mile journey to the starting line before racing back  this Easter.

Family and friends gathered at Auckland Creek at the weekend to farewell skipper John Ibell and his crew. Restless Racing team member and wife of the skipper Leanne Ibell, said the crew had been training  tirelessly and were excited to reveal their uniforms at the starting line.

“Every year the team comes up with an exciting shirt design but this year’s design is particularly special  because it’s in honour of Mabo and celebrates 30-years since the landmark decision. My family has a  special association and memories of the Torres Strait Islands so we wanted to celebrate with our new race  shirts,” Mrs Ibell said.

 “The crew are all very excited for the race and I’ll be joining family and friends at the finish line to cheer  them on!”

Gladstone’s darling Wistari will also join Restless on the water this Easter after winning the Courier-Mail  Cup in 2021, one of Australia’s oldest and continual perpetual trophies.

Wisatri’s Skipper Scott Patrick said he was determined to race the 74th GPC Brisbane to Gladstone as it  might be his last.  “I had a fall over Christmas, crushing my vertebra.

My back will never fully heal but I figure it might be the  last race for the old girl, at least with most of the current crew. Three of the crew will have their own boats  going forward,” Mr Patrick said.

 As for the race conditions.

 “Naturally I have no idea what the weather will be like at this stage but I’ve managed to optimise Wistari  over the years to make her pretty competitive in most conditions. As the smallest boat we’re looking for a  light start and a heavy finish scenario, “he said.

GPC Marina Superintendent David Osmond said there was plenty to look forward to this Easter from  entertainment for the kids to yacht race action live streamed on the East Shores Cinema Screen and a new  finishing line.

“As the naming right sponsor to the iconic event, GPC is providing spectators with front row seats to the  race with the new finishing line at East Shores’ Patsy Lee Place, it’s a perfect spot to see the yachts hit the  finish line,” Mr Osmond said.

 “The race office is ready and the pontoon is out – we can’t wait to celebrate Easter in Gladstone,” he said.  “Restless and Wistari are among 38 yachts competing this Easter including racing heavy weights such as  Maritimo, Stefan Racing and two of Australia’s rival ocean racing maxis, Black Jack and Ichi Ban,”

 “The highly decorated racing teams Black Jack and Ichi Ban both took home a win in the Rolex Sydney to  Hobart last December so we’re expecting a nail biting race!”