It was the first time a local had won the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race in decades and to do it Scott Patrick literally sailed through a storm.
But when he hoisted the Courier Mail Cup last night, he thought only of his father, Noel.
Noel Patrick built the winning 56-year-old yacht, named Wistari, with bits and pieces he gathered from around the port city.
“The hull’s made out of war surplus ply that was used to make mosquito bombers,” Scott said.
“The deck was made out of the cheapest ply he could find.
A historic win
This year was the 51st time Wistari had sailed in the Queensland’s flagship race, which equalled the record for the most starts from the one yacht in the race.
It was also the fifth time it had won the cup, which made it the second most successful vessel in the race’s history.
After the win, Scott couldn’t help but think of his dad as it was the first time since he died that the Wistari had won the cup.
“The fact that she was just getting older and older I couldn’t imagine it’d ever happen,” he said.
When Noel died in 1993, Wistari was “at the end of her life” and Scott said he had been “nursing” the vessel for the past 28 years.
“When we took it to Brisbane in 1994, in memory of Dad, bits were breaking off,” he said.
“It’s just been constant work ever since to bring her back … it’s a lot of nursing.”
Race had ‘horrific’ moments
A barrage of winds and rough seas in the 73rd Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race put the restoration to the test.
“We could not have kept pushing the boat that hard without the crew I had. Simple as that,” Scott said.
“The scariest moment was Friday night as we were flying into the beach at Double Island Point.
These same conditions forced race favourite and record holder Black Jack from the competition when it snapped its mast mid-race.
Yet somehow, the hand-built Wistari pulled through.
“We really did punish her. We ripped out one winch, I headbutted one of the windows and broke one of the windows,” Scott said.
“The brand new mainsail looks pretty second hand right now.
“But she still lives.”
Port Curtis Sailing Club Commodore John Ibell said he was glowing with pride for Scott.
“It’s a really good story,” he said.
‘Ridiculously fast’ design
Wistari had not won the race in 39 years and one of the original crew from the yacht’s first race congratulated Scott on the win.
“He came up and said, ‘You’ve finally earned the rights to the boat now,'” he said.
But Scott was reluctant to accept the many accolades.
He said the win was more about the yacht than about any of its crew.
“I just happened to be the caretaker,” Scott said.
“The design Dad did, it gave us a boat that was ridiculously fast against its rating, even after 56 years.