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Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race 2014 – Tough competition expected

by Nigel Statham on 13 Feb 2014
J Statham 29-03-2013 - QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race 2014 © Queensland Cruising Yacht Club
QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race 2014 will start at 11:00 hours on 18th April. Easter is late this year but for the crews preparing for the race it will come around all too quickly.

The 2014 edition of the QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race will be the sixty sixth time the race has been held. The race will start at 1100hours on 18th April. From the start, yachts proceed via a buoy off Redcliffe Point to the North West Channel up to Caloundra and through to Gladstone, a distance of approximately 308 nautical miles. Weather dependent, the first yachts can be entering the Harbour in Gladstone around 7.30a.m. the following morning with the bulk of the fleet finishing late Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Entrants in the QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone race for the Courier Mail Cup, one of the oldest perpetual trophies in Australia that has been competed for on a continual basis.

2013 saw Wedgetail win the race ahead of stiff competition from an impressive list of challengers including the infamous line honours winner Wild Thing and Queensland racer Black Jack, both regular Brisbane to Gladstone and Sydney to Hobart entrants.

The current record for the fastest time to complete the course is held by Skandia [Grant Wharrington] in a time of twenty hours, twenty four minutes and fifty seconds set in 2004. Many believe that this year is the year this long standing record will be broken. At the pointy end of the fleet the battle between Wild Thing and the all new Volvo 70 from Black Jack is likely to be a fierce one.

Wild Thing have thirty feet on their side but despite this, Mark Bradford, sailing master for the Black Jack team strongly believes the battle for Line Honours is going to come down to angles and based on their last meeting during the Sydney Hobart, he is right. During the recent Gill Surf to City Yacht Race, also organised by the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club, Black Jack took full advantage of the perfect wind angles to slash the twelve year old race record by nearly three hours. Wild Thing will clearly need to be at their best.

Of course, both parties may be well and truly spoilt if rumours turn out true and Perpetual Loyal rock up at the start line. The chances of this happening may well have become more of a reality last week when Sean Langman announced the revitalisation of the Sydney Mooloolaba race which will act as the perfect feeder race to bring crews up to the Brisbane start line.

Others likely to be near the front will include Alive, the previous incarnation of Black Jack (66), Maxi Raggamuffin, Kerumba fresh from a fine showing in the Sydney Hobart and the Volvo 60, Spirit of Mateship.

Event website: click here

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