by Ian Grant
Peter Harburg’s Black Jack ocean racing crew left nothing on the water to eventually pave the way to win 64th QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Race.
Black Jack - Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race
Black Jack skippered by Mark Bradford entered a challenge to win the tactically testing 308 n/ml classic 4 years ago.
They won line honours in 2009 and 2010 and were outpaced by Peter Millard’s Lahana in 2011 however they fell short of the achieving owner Peter Harburg’s ambition to win the race on corrected handicap.
Interestingly Peter Harburg has a personal passion for motor sport naming his yacht Black Jack after his good friend and World champion Sir Jack Brabham has continued to provide his Black Jack racing team with the inspiration and budget to now be recognised as Queensland’s best in the sport.
His encouragement and persistence was rewarded over the Easter Weekend when Black Jack skilfully sailed for almost 23 hours in a nip and tuck tactical tussle against the larger super maxi’s Wild Thing (Grant Wharington) and Lahana (Peter Millard) was officially declared the overall winner in Gladstone yesterday.
The Black Jack crew now understand that there are rewards for doing the hard yards which involved a high number of sail changes, gybes and sets during their line honours arm wrestle against their maxi rivals.
Mark Bradford had the belief that if it came down to a ‘slug fest’ that his crew of good mates would come out on top.
'We are made up from a team of good mates who are dedicated to make our program succeed and this result represents a deserved reward' he said.
Their collective professional attitude was applied for almost 23 hours of highly intensive offshore sailing resulted in Black Jack producing a runaway 2 hour 43 minute 50 second corrected time win over Lahana (Peter Millard) while Rob Hanna’s TP 52 Shogun V filled third another 1 hour 33 minute 7 seconds astern.