Afternoon Reception for the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club in the lead-up to the 70th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race
Mayor of Gladstone Regional Council, Mr Matt Burnett;
Commodore Scott Murphy and Members of the Executive of the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club;
Ms Elsa Dalessio, representing Title Sponsor QantasLink; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House. Can I say what a great pleasure it is for us to host this afternoon reception ahead of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
Only three days from now, more than sixty boats will set sail for what will be the 70th staging of a marvellous tradition. After so many years, it would be impossible to imagine Queensland without the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
It truly is an icon of our state.
It would be equally impossible to imagine the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race without the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club and its founders. Indeed, the success of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race is the success of the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club.
As most of you will know, the idea for both came from Doug Drouyn, who competed in the 1947 Sydney to Hobart race with his yacht Sea Tang. Soon after, Doug gathered a crew of fellow sailing enthusiasts who unanimously agreed to form the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club. They clearly had the wind in their sails. Only two years later — in 1949 — the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race was a reality.
Thousands of spectators watched from Woody Point as the first seven vessels left the bay area to head for the open sea. It must have been a mesmerising sight.
In 1949, Brisbane and Gladstone had a combined population of around 50,000. King George VI was our monarch, the Australian pound our currency. We still used the imperial system for measurement.
A lot has changed over the past 70 years, but what still characterizes competitive yachting is a healthy competitive spirit.
I’m convinced that Doug and his men would be extremely proud of you. True sportsmanship has given the yachting fraternity in Queensland strength and resilience: competitors from start to finish, but always united in the collective joy of being out on the water.
I would like to congratulate all of you on this important anniversary. And to those competing in the race: good luck and fair winds.