by Ian Grant
Qantaslink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race
Brindabella will challenge previously uncharted waters when the multiple record breaking pocket-maxi contests her first 308n/ml QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone ocean race on Good Friday.
The sloop launched in 1993 for original owner-skipper George Snow holds more race records than any Australian ocean racing yacht and will use the Brisbane to Gladstone race as a full scale sail and crew evaluation trial before setting a challenge against the 37 day one hour 23 minute seven second around Australia record starting from Sydney next month.
Meanwhile her proud owner Jim Cooney and Save Our Seas campaigner Ian Thomson who broke the solo circum-navigation of Australia record with Kamikaze in 2010 remain focused on achieving a good result.
This race for the prestigious first to finish trophy promises to be the most exciting line honours battle since the Grant Wharington helmed maxi Skandia claimed the 20 hour 24 minute 50 second record with an 11 minute 56 second win over the smaller pocket maxi Grundig Zena.
The line honours competition is heading for a second by second match race with Brisbane’s Mark Bradford skippered Black Jack winner of the past two first to finish trophies expecting to be locked in a match racing style dog-fight against the Brisbane to Keppel record holder the Peter Millard helmed Lahana while Brindabella, the Marcus Blackmore skippered Hooligan and the Bruce Abslolon steered Spirit of the Maid have the speed sailing potential to remain in the mix.
Size and sail power suggests Lahana will be the pre-race favourite but a recent upgrade of Black Jack’s North Sails wardrobe suggests the defending champion will be on the pace to perhaps win three line honours trophies in a row.