Peter Harburg, the popular owner of the champion Queensland Ocean racing yacht, Black Jack, is preparing to spend the early part of Easter paying another personal tribute to his late father Clive Harburg.
by Ian Grant
Peter who will stand watch on the deck of the speed sailing Black Jack will have fond memories of his father who passed away aged 90 on July 24 2002 when Black Jack contests the start of the 2012 Qantas Link Brisbane to Gladstone Race on Good Friday April 6th.
His father the famed ABC sport commentator was assigned to broadcast the start of the inaugural Brisbane to Gladstone Race from the Woody Point Pier on Good Friday morning 64 years ago.
'I remember the occasion very well although I was a small boy enjoying a day out walking along the pier with my father,' Peter Harburg said recently.
Now a little over six decades later Peter Harburg has formed his Black Jack racing team to carry on the strong family bond with Queensland’s premier blue water classic.
Black Jack a super fast American designed and built 20.3m pocket-maxi named after personal friend and Formula One World champion Sir Jack Brabham OBE has already claimed a special place in Gladstone Race history winning the line honours trophy in 2009 and 2010 while finishing second last year to the larger Peter Millard skippered Lahana.
The exciting Black Jack raced under principal helmsman Mark Bradford and the Mooloolaba yachts Audi Centre Sunshine Coast (Rod Jones) and the Bob Robertson skippered Lunchtime Legend head another impressive fleet.
Audi Centre Sunshine Coast is the former 2006 line honours winner Heaven Can Wait which has been recently modified for the dual Audi Australian championship winning skipper Rod Jones to set a future Rolex Sydney Hobart challenge in their race diary.
The high performance OceanBuro ocean racing team have focused their attention on contesting the 308 n/ml Brisbane to Gladstone race followed by the Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Race in early August as a lead in to entering the 628 n/ml Rolex Sydney Hobart in 2013.
Meanwhile both skipper Rod Jones and his equally talented crew including World champion Etchells sailor Bucky Smith and Queensland Academy of Sport sailing coach Adrian Finglas will continue with the required learning curve to have the exciting Hugh Welbourn designed sloop on the pace for her serious ocean racing challenge.
They will no doubt be hoping for a fast spinnaker sailing trade wind forecast to make sure that the revamped Heaven Can Wait has the speed to beat her 2006 line honours winning performance of 35 hours 16 minutes 32 seconds.
Race veteran Bob Robertson a dual winner of the 64 year old Courier Mail Cup with Sellar’s Witchcraft 11 and Corroboree has been nominated among the corrected handicap favourites with his new Beneteau First 40 Lunchtime Legend.
However he is not prepared to place the traditional bets of Bundaberg Rum on the result until the final entries which promise to include last year’s winner the 2012 Audi Australian champion Hooligan are declared by race director Herb Prendergast.
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8:21 PM Tue 24 Jan 2012 GMT
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