Countdown is on for Brisbane to Keppel Yacht Race
THIS weekend's Brisbane to Keppel Yacht Race is expected to be fast and exhilarating, with records set to be broken.
For the first time ever, the fleet setting sail on Friday will be "all Queensland" vessels.
Starting at 11am, the race will commence just east of Green Island on Brisbane's Moreton Bay with crews crossing into Keppel Bay waters from early Saturday morning.
With 17 vessels ready to take on one of Australia's premier coastal races, Kylie Smith from Keppel Bay Marina said she was looking forward to welcoming sailors to Central Queensland as they disembark from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron's signature offshore yachting event.
"Even in these unprecedented times, it is so promising to see such overwhelming support of this long-standing competition," she said.
"The diversity of high-quality events across our destination truly provides a wonderful platform for highlighting what we have to offer and showcase the facilities, expertise and creativity of our local operators."
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Finish Line Festival at Keppel Bay Marina will look a bit different this year. With 180 sailors arriving across Saturday and Sunday, the event will be at capacity.
Locals wanting to be part of the celebration are urged to get in early and book a table at The Waterline Restaurant.
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll encouraged the community to take advantage of lookouts and cheer on the yachts as they arrived.
"Our coastline is brimming with impressive vantage points to witness the magnificent site of the fleet crossing the finish line, which lays in a direct line between Double Head and North Keppel Island," she said.
"The Singing Ship at Emu Park, Wreck Point at Cooee Bay or Double Head Lookout at Rosslyn Bay are all prime spots to watch the exciting finish.
"With Sunday's weather predicted to be fine and sunny with a maximum of 21 degrees, it's the perfect time to get outdoors and show support of our Queensland sailors."
Past Commodore and race director Mark Gallagher from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron said he was proud to see the event, now in its 14th year, going from strength to strength and continuing to hold its significance on Queensland's sailing calendar.
"The strong winds forecast for the early part of the race will see crews working hard for every bit of speed," he said.
"And despite our challenging times it's great to see Queensland entries supporting the race."
To track the fleet and see where the yachts are throughout the race, go to rqys.com.au.
The formal presentation of trophies will take place at Keppel Bay Marina on Monday, August 3. To keep up to date with real time news, placings, photos and videos, go to the Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race Facebook page.
To book a table at The Waterline Restaurant, call 4933 6244.