Multihull yacht race organisers hoping for a big fleet
FIFTY years ago the Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race was simply an idea, yet to deliver any benefit of the organiser's concept.
A half-century on, the race reaches a very important milestone, bringing with it the biggest addition yet, with organisers hoping a fleet of more than 50 boats will be on the water.
Not all of these boats will be hungrily chasing victory though. Many of them will be sailing just for fun.
"There are two rallies to go with it. We are trying to get 50 boats up there for the finish," assistant organiser Jim Stubbings said.
"The rallies are not usual; this is the first time we have done it."
The addition of the rally boats, which are able to join proceedings at the official start of Moreton Bay or anywhere else along the way, is expected to dramatically increase the fleet size.
Organisers who are not usually able to be a part are looking forward to the opportunity, Stubbings said.
"There are a lot of us who don't race because there is so much work to do with the boat to race," he said.
"There are a lot of people who don't race that will rally. It costs an owner up to $5000 to race."
With extra boats on the water, the spectacle of the race is going to be as big as ever, even with a chance of a new race record.
The return of Sean Langman's Team Australia, who broke the record in 2012, will mean the pace will be on.
The possibility of the inclusion of Team Vodafone, skippered by Simon Hull, could make it a race in two for the 16 hour 28 minute record.
"If we get a decent blow of wind they could be in by closing time," Stubbings said with a laugh. "These boats are like rocket ships."