The Cleveland Yacht Club launched its new boat, naming it the Brian Russell on September 10.
For Brian, 78, now of Sandstone Point, the naming of the boat after him was a privilege and an honour.
A career navy officer, Brian joined the club in 1985 and is believed to be the club’s longest serving committee member.
He was commodore in 2004.
Brian remembered a history filled with regattas, sailing schools, yacht class preferences and camaraderie.
Brian also made his mark when the club turned 90 and later 100, writing a book about its history.
Next year, the club turns 120 and the book is set to be updated again to include changes over the last few decades.
“I feel chuffed and proud to have the boat named after me. I have always been proud to be a member of the club,” Brian said.
“I have made many friends there and it is always friendly and relaxed.
“I may not go there so much now, but I always follow what’s happening,” he said.
Brian said he had sailed on various boats with the club, including a trailer sailer, navy taser, sabre and various club boats.
But it is the latest rescue boat that has his heart.
The boat is a Rigid Inflatable which replaces Briggsy, a boat less suited to the short chop of Moreton Bay.
The Brian Russell RIB is larger, more powerful and designed with high manoeuvrability at low speed and to ride the bay’s choppy conditions.
The boat has a large antenna, hydraulic steering and a prop guard, and was fitted out by Jason Bradley, Nick Flint, Tim Brewer and David O’Driscoll.
The boat was bought with funds provided by a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous, the sale of Briggsy and a $35,000 Gambling Community Benefit grant.
Redlands MP Kim Richards said she was proud to see the grant spent in this way.
The boat was launched with champagne across its bow and a sprig of aloe vera.
Club commodore Steve Lawie said the branch served as a good luck omen.
“It symbolises a safe return from her journeys,” he said.
Brian said a rescue boat was vital to the club.
“I was rescued when I was about 64, just after I had had stents put in,” he said.
“I wasn’t strong enough and couldn’t get back up. I was helped to get out of the situation and was able to sail home,” he said.
Brian said one of the reasons he and his wife Susan retired to Sandstone Point was to be able to continue to spend time on the water.
“Enjoy happy sailing, fair winds and following seas as the club navigates its way towards its 120th anniversary,” he said.