Sailors from across South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales had more than F18s and fireworks on their minds at the 2018 Brisbane Riverfire Sailing Regatta on Saturday 29 September.

Vice Commodore at the South Brisbane Sailing Club and event organiser Robert Preston said that 38 sailing dinghies competed in the Regatta to create an amazing spectacle of sails on the eve of Riverfire. All boats sailed three laps of the Milton Reach of the Brisbane River, starting opposite The Regatta Hotel.

In first place, the winner of The Regatta Cup was Andrew Turnbull-Miller from the Oxley Sailing Club in Boaty McBoatface, followed by Michael Wilson from the Brisbane Sailing Squadron in Goldfish and in third place, Nicole Breadsell and Rosie Breadsell from the South Brisbane Sailing Club in Carew. Winners received cash prizes and trophies from the major race sponsor, The Regatta Hotel. Andrew Turnbull-Miller also won the award for the fastest Impulse class of dinghy, Michael Wilson also won the prize for the fastest Laser (Full Rig) and Nicole and Rosie Breadsell also won the prize for the fastest Heron.

It was a huge event for the South Brisbane Sailing Club, with support from 30 volunteers including safety boat operators from the Oxley Sailing Club, Darling Point Sailing Squadron, the Redland Bay Volunteer Coastguard with help from Australian Sailing at Manly. The Brisbane 18 Footers Sailing Club also displayed a historical 10 Footer Skiff, first raced in the early 1900s.  Boats from nine sailing clubs from across South East Queensland and North East NSW came to the event.

Robert said sailing’s popularity stems from being a surprisingly inexpensive and accessible sport. “Brisbane’s three river sailing clubs at West End, Oxley and Bulimba offer sailing lessons to kids and adults,” said Robert. “These sailing clubs also have sailing dinghies to hire for experienced sailors for between $30 and $50. A lot of people think you have to be rich and famous to sail, but that is simply not true. It’s a great sport for all the family. Once you get hooked, the thrill of cutting through the waves with the wind in your sails never leaves you,” said Robert. The South Brisbane Sailing Club operated a drone to capture highlights of the event that can be seen on their Facebook page.

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