Hervey Bay Boat Club Bay to Bay Yacht Race
The annual Hervey Bay Boat Club Bay to Bay Trailable Yacht Race is an annual sailing event for monohull and multihull trailable yachts conducted by the Hervey Bay Sailing Club on the first weekend in May each year through the Great Sandy Marine Park and past the Great Sandy National Park and the World Heritage listed Fraser Island.
The race is sailed from Tin Can Bay to Hervey Bay through the Tin Can Bay Inlet and the Great Sandy Strait and into Hervey Bay with an overnight stop at Garry's Anchorage between Fraser Island and Stewart Island. The race is Queensland’s largest trailable yacht race and one of the three largest trailable yacht passage races in Australia.
The Bay to Bay race was originally conceived by members of the Hervey Bay Sailing Club on 18 April 1980. Originally suggested as a one-day Trailable Yacht race from Tin Can Bay to Hervey Bay, the course length of approximately 87 km saw it modified to a two-day event, with an overnight stop at Garry's Anchorage part way up the Great Sandy Strait. Although it was originally thought that no more than 30 people would participate in the race, over 114 vessels arrived to compete in the inaugural event in 1981.
Following the success of the first event, word spread through the sailing community with entries climbing to a high of 230 and dropping slowly to a now stable approximately 140 boats. Conditions have varied from year to year, with heavy winds (causing equipment failure and retirements), to light winds (resulting in a shortening of the course).
Latest Bay to Bay News
Trailable Yacht eligibility includes Type 1 Standard, Type 1-A Sports Like and Type 2 Sports Monohull Boats and Type 3 Standard and Type 4 Sports Multihull Boats.
All boats shall be:
- Strongly built, watertight, capable of withstanding solid water, properly rigged, fully seaworthy and meeting the standards of the Yachting Association Special Regulations and the requirements of Queensland Transport Marine Safety Queensland, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Queensland Water Police
- Crewed by a minimum of two persons one of whom is aged at least 18 years and capable of accepting the responsibilities of the owner and all of whom are fit to face the conditions of the race
- Greater than 4.8m in length
- All monohull boats shall be transported on the road without special permit and on the same trailer used to launch and retrieve it without the assistance of external equipment or detachment from the towing vehicle
- All monohulls shall be ballasted boats designed and built to resist capsize
- Rigged and sailed according to the boats details declared on the entry form
All boats must comply with the requirements of all relevant government authorities including Queensland Transport Operations Marine Safety Regulations for smooth and partially smooth waters and Queensland Transport Marine Pollution Regulations for the Great Sandy Strait (discharge of raw sewage is not permitted in the Great Sandy Strait) and Queensland Parks and Wild Life requirements.
The race is through a largely sparsely populated and remote area and there are no facilities for toileting, waste disposal, sleeping, refreshments, food, fuel, ships chandlery or boat repair at Garry's Anchorage on the Saturday night and competitors are expected provide all of the above provisions and to carry sufficient food, water and fuel to cater for extreme weather conditions.
The race is conducted in a number of divisions with separate start times; generally the slowest start first. On the first day the event is staged from the Tin Can Bay Yacht Club with the first start at 1100hrs north of the Snapper Creek Boat Harbour from which the boats will sail down the Tin Can Bay inlet, cross behind the Wide Bay Bar onto the inside of Fraser Island and then head along the Great Sandy Strait to the finish near Fig Tree Creek (before 1600hrs) just south of the overnight stopover at Garry's Anchorage a destination they need to reach before dark.
During the night, yachts are either beached or anchored up individually or rafted together in the Anchorage.
The second days race starts usually at 0730hrs north west of Dream Island with competitors heading north up the Great Sandy Strait, past Boonlye Point around the red lateral buoy S24 across towards the South White Cliffs on Fraser Island, past the entrance to the Mary River, past the Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island, past the Duck and Picnic Islands, up the east side of the sand banks off Big Woody Island between Big and Little Woody Islands, around the north cardinal BWN Pile Beacon and to the finish line near the red lateral beacon EU2 before 1530hrs.
Finishing line set up by the Hervey Bay Dive Centre. Yachts are recovered at the Urangan public boat ramps and trophies are presented at the Hervey Bay Boat Club in the Urangan Boat Harbour at 2000hrs.
Boat Type Divisions and handicapping
Approximate Division, Type Groupings are;
- Division 1: Type 2 Standard and Open Sports Boat – (typically Egan 6, Elliott 7, Leech 650, Melges 24, Shaw 650, Thompson 7 & 8, Noosa 620, Spider 550)
- Division 2: Type 1 Standard and Open Trailable Yacht (typically Austral 8, Blazer 23, RL24 DK, Ross 780)
- Division 3: Type 1 Standard and Open Trailable Yacht (typically Noelex 25, RL24 SK, Ross 650)
- Division 4: Type 1 Standard and Open Trailable Yacht (typically Careel 18, Farrs, RL28, Sonata 7)
- Division 5: Type 3 Standard and Open Multihull Boats (typically Haines Hunter Tramp, Jarcat, Seawind 24, Corsairs, Farriers, Graingers)
Within the fleet if a minimum number of any particular boat class are entered, then an additional class trophy is also raced for.
To provide even and fair mixed fleet Class or One of A Kind corrected time racing, where racing success is primarily determined by the skills of the crew, the race committee will apply an Australian Sailing (AS) CBH rating (new system commenced 31 August 2021 last update 21 February 2022) for Trailable Yachts and Sports Boats and a Multihull Yacht Club Queensland (MYCQ) OMR for Multihull Boats from lists current at the time of close of entries.
To provide even and fair boat mixed fleet corrected time racing, where racing success is primarily determined by the performance of a boat and crew, the race committee will apply a Personal Based Handicap (PBH) based on long term performance data to each boat.
Currently PBHs for Type 1 Standard and Open Trailable Yachts are based on past Bay to Bay performance data depending on the number of Bay to Bays completed (average of lowest 3 of last 5 or last 4, lowest 2 of last 3 (plus 0.5%loading), lowest of last 2 (plus 1.0% loading) or only 1 (plus 1.5%).
A first time boat will be assigned a PBH equal to its CBH if sailed at or close to CBH level or otherwise its CBH minus 1.5%.
If a boat doesn’t have a CBH then a best estimate PBH will be attempted. Sports Boat PBH ratings will be provided by an appointed Bay to Bay Sports Boat committee.
Multihull ratings will be provided by an appointed MYCQ committee.
All must accept that fair handicapping is a difficult task with many variables in play however obvious errors in the 41st PBH ratings calculation process and errors in the entry of CBH, OMR or PBH ratings into the 41st Finish Times and Results workbook that come to light before the posting of final results will be corrected before the 41st Bay to Bay results are finalised.