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Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race

Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race at Multihull Yacht Club Queensland

The Multihull Yacht Club Queensland (MYCQ) invites all Off-shore Multihulls to compete in the Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race which has become the most prestigious multihull event in the country, sailing in the beautiful waters of Moreton Bay, past Maroochydore and Noosa with the back drop of the Glasshouse Mountains, along the shore of Fraser Island, to the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, past Lady Musgrave Island to be welcomed at the finish line in Gladstone by the Multihull Yacht Club Queensland (MYCQ), Port Curtis Sailing Club and the City of Gladstone.

The race will start at 1200 hours on Friday 10 April 2020 and the presentation in Gladstone will be on Sunday 12 April 2020. The race currently has no major sponsor so if you are interested then please contact the commodore at

One of the legends of the Brisbane to Gladstone Race is Rogntudjuuu, and she is back in 2020. She is a previous Race Record holder and is recently gone through a big upgrade and has been doing some impressive speeds.

The name says it all. A French expression of fear and disgust used by cartoon character Gaston La Gaffe whose surname also says it all- translates as “the blunder”.

Launched in 2000 by Hart Marine in Victoria for New Caledonian Dr. Plillip Coste as a sister ship for “Raw Nerve” she made a splash winning ocean races in new Zealand and Noumea as well a setting a record for the Brisbane – Gladstone in 2001 of 20 hrs 35min. 1 sec.

Rogntudjuuu on the reef in 2007 - Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race - photo © Malcolm Clark
Rogntudjuuu on the reef in 2007 – Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race – photo © Malcolm Clark

Both Southern Ocean 50s were extended to 56′ with modified bows after displaying some aberrant behaviour in certain sea conditions. Rogntudjuuu! made an even bigger splash in 2007 when she pitch poled in the Gladstone race chasing the eventual winner Raw Nerve. After a Cook’s tour of the reef islands she took up residence on the pristine scientific research station “One Tree Island”.

The resident scientists were not pleased with her somewhat incongruous presence and insisted on every tiny scrap of carbon, Nomex and paint being assiduously removed.

The recovery, righting and return to Brisbane under her own outboard power is another unlikely and eventful story….

Back in Brisbane looking a little the worse for wear with no coach house, many minor war wounds, and as empty as a politicians promise she was purchased by an ambitious sailor with a dream of circumnavigating Australia- single handed- in record time! A likely team was assembled, moulds were built, modifications for easy operation were made, a longer mast section materialized, dollars were spent, more dollars were spent and the GFC struck.

Rogntudjuuu! languished on the Gold Coast backwaters for an interminable time waiting for a financial miracle; to no avail.

Rogntudjuuu during the modifications and refit - Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race - photo © Geoff Cruise
Rogntudjuuu during the modifications and refit – Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Yacht Race – photo © Geoff Cruise

And then, at last, another visionary with delusions of grandeur: Ken Trevillien was taken with her saucy demeanour and racy attitude. Another epoch began of dollars spent, moves to various and sundry boatyards, earnest and fickle artisans, more dollars spent, groundings, a few collisions, overflying by crane and eventually, inconceivably, after nine years, more dollars spent, just in time for the Gladstone race, another splash. Could this really be the final countdown? Ha! “The best laid plans of mice and men gang oft aglae”. Robbie Burns.

A myriad of seemingly minor setbacks from rigging woes, to engine faults descended like a pestilent plague of locusts to devour our limited time frame and destroy our race plans. We were out of options and Gladstone was out of reach. Rogntudjuuu! mourned on her mooring while we blathered and dithered while concocting our future race plans,

Of course even then we found ourselves with more dilemmas yet to be solved but that’s another story…

Our disappointment in missing the Gladstone race was tempered with the exciting prospect of Airlie Race week and Hamo. With time on our side we confidently stripped for action. Crew were pressed into service, accommodation was sorted, lists were made, and more lists ad infinitum.

Anyone who has a penchant for lists (an absolute necessity with creeping age) will understand how the completions at the top of the list inversely affect the additions at the bottom of the list until a kind of mania takes hold that can only be cured with copious drafts of rum and eventually blind indifference.

Que sera!

Three of us set off ‘sans souci’ with a week in hand to find our tropical paradise and contemplate future celebrations of glorious success. A perfect day reaching across the benevolent Moreton Bay at 18 knots seemed a positive omen but a mischievous crab pot near Bribie brought us up short. A mere inconvenience we thought, but it proved problematical and fearing entanglement with our motor leg we decided on a speedy diversion to Scarborough to sort it out before continuing our triumphal voyage.

Anchored up and rum calmed, we suddenly noticed a severe stern down attitude to starboard quickly followed by the port side. Our carefully designed pumping system had failed and although we couldn’t sink we soon found our engine rooms flooded and engines inoperable. An embarrassed call to VMR ensued and a decision was made to be towed into shallow water where we could assess the situation aground at the fall of the tide unfortunately in plain view of every sailor in Australia on the internet. A hired high volume pump had us floating again and retracing our track home next day. Our week of racing became a week at Redlands Marina reviving drowned motors, replacing batteries and burnt out pumps caused by clogging with boat gunk.

Somewhat abashed we kept a low profile apart from a few practice forays in the bay until the St Helena Cup races which became our very first competitive event in 12 years. We played a conservative game to avoid any chance of another ignominious display and were happy enough with our two line honours results which were by no means crushing but for our bruised egos they were decisive. Bring on 2020!

For more Race details including the Notice of Race click here or visit Also see Facebook and Twitter.

by Geoff Cruse

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