'Black Jack will be chasing the long standing race record.'
After a few too many weeks sitting around watching cricket, tennis, and even the Sydney Hobart race, it is time for us all to start the year with the unique Gill Surf to City Yacht Race from Southport to Shorncliffe, Brisbane.
Now in its 21st year, there is just nothing quite like this race, where you can choose the challenge of a reasonable size ocean race outside Stradbroke and Moreton Islands and back into Moreton Bay at night, or the challenge of racing down through the gorgeous string of islands and channels inside the bay – in very close company!
This year Gill has become the major sponsor for the race. At the official launch, Paul Schultz of Gill Australia said 'Gill has been a long time partner of the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club and we are thrilled to come on as a partner for the Iconic Gill Surf to City Race in 2014. We wish everyone a fast and fun race!'
In the Offshore fleet, the headline entry must surely be Peter Harburg with the former 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race entrant Telefonica, which Spaniard Iker Martinez won the first three legs of the race with, but ultimately finished the VOR fourth overall. Shipping his new Black Jack to Australia in 2013, Harburg ordered modifications to bring the yacht up to Australian standards. Following a strong race in the recent Sydney to Hobart, Harburg and his long-term sailing master, Mark ‘Squark’ Bradford, are unquestionable aiming squarely at setting a new race record and finally toppling Bobsled’s record of 9 hours, 36 minutes and 45 second set in 2002. Harburg has continued the Black Jack name for his friend and Formula One legend, Sir Jack Brabham.
The race starts at 0915 on Saturday 18th January. The inshore fleet will be expected over the line that evening whilst the offshore fleet cross the line during the course of the night and into the following day. The formal presentation is held at noon on the Sunday.
by Nigel Statham
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10:23 PM Wed 8 Jan 2014GMT
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