PORT Curtis Sailing Club skipper Ray Hobbs has sailed a lot of fast miles in his yacht racing career, including winning the prestigious Courier Mail Cup in Restless, an Andrew Cape designed 35-foot mono hull racing yacht, and setting a slew of race records in Central Queensland.
The Brisbane to Gladstone race is undoubtedly the premier offshore racing event in the Australian multi-hull racing calendar, and is actually the scene of two races run simultaneously. In 1963 the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club, organising the mono-hull Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, invited the Multi Hull Yacht Club of Queensland to join its premier race.
Since those days the multi-hull club has organised its own event, sailed along the same course at Easter.
The attraction of skippering his own yacht in the annual Easter race prompted Hobbs to enter his new 40-foot Schionning Waterline catamaran No Problem in the Brisbane to Gladstone multi-hull race last year, and he took third place on performance handicap in his first outing.
In a race as iconic as the Brisbane to Gladstone, performance rating honours are elusive and to win speaks volumes of the sailing ability of boat and crew.
Hobbs will be fortunate this year to have Gordon Myers in his crew.
Myers, a member of the Port Curtis Sailing Club for many years, rates among the highest achievers in the history of the race, with three handicap performance wins on Escapade in the mid-1980s.
Hobbs will be sailing with a crew carefully selected for youth and vigour, as well as age and experience, with daughter Carli Hobbs, Jeff McInnerney, Anthony Constance, Jim Garner and Gordon Myers carrying the flag for the Port Curtis club.
No Problem has also been honoured with the task of bringing home the mail for the Gladstone and District Philatelic Society. Hobbs and crew will have precious cargo aboard as they carry this year's multi-hull covers, another Easter tradition associated with the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.