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Bay-to-Bay Race History
Race Secretary at the time, Ivan Barnes, said the Committee expected 30 entries for the first event in May 1981. They were overwhelmed when 114 boats turned up for the historic start! That meant an influx of about 500 people to the small town of Tin Can Bay.
Strong south - easterlies sent the fleet bowling along at a merry pace. Some gear failure, including broken or bent masts, meant a few withdrawals but the inaugural Bay to Bay, chiefly sponsored then by the radio station 4MB, was voted an absolute success.
Rockhampton sailor, Rob McWatters took out the line honours that year in his seawind 24 catamaran. Fastest race time was set by Hervey Bay sailor, Bob Maslen, in the catamaran 'Bob Cat', which has been a familiar sight in the annual event in years passed.
The race now sees an average of 180 starters each year.
The organisers have coped with conditions varying from heavy winds with resulting gear failure, to light winds with shortening of the course, to torrential rain flooding the Maryborough bridge and preventing competitors getting their cars and trailers to Hervey Bay until the last minute, and rain showers at Garry's - dampening all but the sailors spirits.