Electrical switchgear engineers NOJA Power today extends its congratulations to the crew of the South Passage, Queensland’s only tall ship, on its success in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. NOJA Power supported South Passage with sponsorship for the race and provided six members of the twenty-five strong crew - including - Managing Director Neil O’Sullivan plus Oleg Samarski, Jay Manne, Sam Griffiths, Ashley Smith and Samantha Stone.
The Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race is one of Australia’s flagship offshore sailing events. The event was first held in 1949 and the 2015 race was the 67th edition. On Good Friday (3 April), the yachts set sail from Moreton Bay and proceed via a mark off Redcliffe Point to the North West Channel and then up to Caloundra and to Gladstone.
South Passage––a gaff-rigged schooner based on the nineteenth century pilot schooners that sailed the east coast of America––skippered by Chris Galloway, won the Cruising and Classic Class in the event and came fourth in line honours crossing the finish of the 308-nautical mile (570-km) race in a corrected time of 1 day: 23 hr: 1 min: 45 s, at an average speed of 6.55 knots. (Queensland racer Black Jack took first in line honours in a corrected time of 1 day: 17 hr: 51 min: 54 s, at an average speed of 12.75 knots.)
Designed by Rick James, South Passage was launched in 1993, measures 30.5 metres in length, displaces 60 tonnes and has a sail area of 270 m². The ship has an aluminium hull and is constructed using modern materials and is designed to be manually operated. Crews typically comprise 14-to-17 year olds, so all sails can be managed from the deck. Since her launch, South Passage has played host to over 40,000 young sailors on voyages from six hours to seven days while promoting a philosophy of “transforming lives through adventure under sail”.
“At NOJA Power we encourage a healthy lifestyle for our staff. Our experience is that employees who participate in exercise and eat healthily take fewer sick days, are happier and more productive,” says Neil O'Sullivan. “What better way to underline the company’s commitment to staff wellbeing than sponsoring the South Passage and offering six members of staff the chance to flex their muscles getting this magnificent tall ship powering through the waves.
“The event was a tough introduction to racing under sail but one which taught NOJA Power’s staff how teamwork produces winners and from which they derived enormous satisfaction.
“The fact that the ship won its class and went on to take fourth place in line honours was a great bonus for a novice crew, which included one particularly inexperienced member who normally spends his time running an electrical switchgear company.”
The sponsorship of South Passage for the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race follows on from NOJA Power’s support as the main shirt sponsor of the Tribe7s international invitational rugby sevens club. The Brisbane-based club was established to provide female athletes without a rugby background the opportunity to play elite level sevens with and against the best players in the world and participated in a triumphant European tour during 2014.
NOJA Power is a successful Queensland company which produces switchgear for modern electricity distribution networks. The company is a multi-award winning exporter and its products have been installed by utilities in over 80 countries around the world. (See “About NOJA Power” below.)