Hervey Bay Boat Club Bay to Bay Yacht Race


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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).

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Entries for the 2024 Hervey Bay Boat Club Bay to Bay Yacht Race are now open!

Thank you once again to our valued sponsors!

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Entries for the 2024 Hervey Bay Boat Club Bay to Bay Yacht Race are now open!Thank you once again to our valued sponsors!https://herveybaysailingclub.org.au


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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Greater than 4.8m in length
  4. 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
  5. All monohulls shall be ballasted boats designed and built to resist capsize
  6. 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 Whalesong Cruises. 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.

Divisions and handicapping

Approximate Anticipated Division Groupings are;

Division 1: Type 2 Sports Monohull Boats (typically Egan 6, Elliott 7, Leech 650, Melges 24, Shaw 650, Thompson 7 & 8)
Division 2: Type 1 Standard Monohull Boats (typically Austral 8, Blazer 23, RL24 DK, Ross 780)
Division 2-A: Type 1-A Sports Like Monohulls (typically Noosa 620, Spider 550, heavily modified Standard Monohull Boats)
Division 3: Type 1 Monohull Boats and Type 4-B Multihull Boats (typically Noelex 25, RL24 SK, Ross 650)
Division 4: Type 1 Monohull Boats(typically Careel 18, Farrs, RL28, Sonata 7)
Division 5-3: Type 3 Standard Multihull Boats (typically Haines Hunter Tramp, Jarcat, Seawind 24)
Division 5-4: Type 4 Sports Multihull Boats (typically 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.

Handicapping, the race committee applies two different types of handicaps the CBH, SMS or OMR and the PBH. The CBH, SMS or OMR is a measure of the boats Class, Individually Modified Class or One of A Kind design rules and measurement specifications and is used to provide even and fair best of class / individual boat corrected time racing.

Where a boat does not have an established CBH, SMS or OMR in the current ATYSBR Appendix A CBH list, ASBA SMS list or MYCQ OMR list the race committee will not allocate a CBH, SMS or OMR handicap for that boat and those boats will only race on PBH corrected time.

The PBH is measure of the capability of a particular boat and crew combination, these in theory give all boats and competitors regardless of age or skill an even and fair chance of winning on PBH corrected time.

The Bay to Bay Race Committee will set PBH ratings for each boat based on past bay to bay and other relevant performance.