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Melges IC37 2019 Leaderboard

Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Race 2019 - Preview

by Peter Hackett 17 Apr 15:19 PDT 19 April 2019
Rushour is ready to rumble - Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull Race © Multihull Yacht Club Queensland

Well I said never again but here I am packing up the foul weather gear for a wet and fast ride north from Shorncliffe Friday morning to Gladstone (hopefully Saturday Morning).

Again the quality of the fleet is way ahead of the number of boats on the line, but the predicted freshening 15-20 knots South East to East winds with big tides can only help the greyhounds, except that my weather eye tells me that the later boats might finish with more wind to chew up the elapsed times of the rock stars.

The crowd will go wild this year to see Beau Geste, arguably the fastest boat in the international and multidenominational fleet of Karl Kwok. This Mod 70 flying out of the bay on one hull (out of three) must surely blow the multihull and monohull race record out of the water if they can keep her upright and in one piece. Yes, she is 70 ft and yes, there is a 100 foot canting motorsailor out there somewhere but my superannuation cheque for the month is all bet the big mother picklefork. Shaun Langman's Team Australia record is looking very shaky....

And then in the 60 foot speedboats we have Darren Drew's Top Gun, fresh from some recent great race results, duelling with Drew Carruther's Rushour, also 60 foot but she took 2 growth spurts in the boat shed to get from a little Rogers oddity to a big Carruthers surging racer. I have sailed hours above 20 knots on both of these boats and this is a race that could well be an episode of Game of Cats as winter seems to be coming.

Dark horse Rogntudju (should be French for Phoenix) has well and truly risen from the ashes after a soggy Gladstone a few years back and years of waiting for the love and dollars to get her afloat again. Relaunched with her mast stepped 70 hours before start time this true greyhound has awesome potential if only the right shackles have been attached to the right pulleys.

Boss Racing knows the way to Gladstone at high speed without Gary Saxby having to lift a finger, but a few tinkerings of the sail wardrobe might make her shake the big boats up in spite of the soggy ride, very likely to be under 24 hours for all of these boats mentioned.

The little black beast Morticia might look like a haloween adornment but if my weather prediction is right they could take full advantage of the experience gained in the Caribbean races last year. Pickleforks like upwind but this girl loves everything since she grew a fine set of foils.

And my ride on the recently launched Stealth cat Cosmo will be interesting as we continue to see what she is capable of with builder Al Carwardine on board. A couple of weeks ago we stayed with Top Gun in strong reaching conditions in spite of a LOA under 40 foot.

Gladstone boy Ray Hobbs has enlisted a bunch of dinghy sailors to help him have another swing at sailing fast home to Gladstone, and Storm Bay and Fruition will be working hard to stay with him right to the line.

In any case it has to be more fun that my first tilt at this race in an Adams 13 monohull upwind in five knots for a 60 hour elapsed time.

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