Black Jack breaks its own Brisbane to Gladstone record

Peter Harburg’s 100-foot Black Jack has taken line honours and smashed its own race record in the Gladstone Ports Corporation’s 74th annual Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, crossing the Gladstone Harbour finish line at 3.13am Easter Saturday, 16th April 2022.

Black Jack, the largest yacht in the 37-strong race fleet, eclipsed her previous race record of 16 hours, 53 minutes and 57 seconds set in 2018, with a new record time of 16 hours, 13 minutes and 56 seconds.

Skippered by Mark Bradford, Black Jack also broke the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race record a week ago and took line honours in the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in December.

Philip Turner’s Alive, skippered by Duncan Hine, crossed the finish in second place in the time of 17 hours, 3 minutes and 48 seconds.

As at 12pm Saturday, five of the 37 race fleet starters had crossed the finish line: Stefan Hair, Ichi Ban and Celestial.

Two race yachts were forced to withdraw during the race, Not A Diamond due to a broken rudder and Ignition because of a broken forestay. A third yacht, Crankster was delayed at Caloundra dropping an injured crew member off for medical treatment but was back in the race shortly after.

Ian Gidlow, Commodore of race organising club, Queensland Cruising Yacht Club (QCYC), said, “Yesterday’s start was truly spectacular and the finish equally as thrilling with Black Jack beating its own race record.

“Those crews who have finished reported wind conditions were stronger than expected as they sailed through the night, reaching 25 to 30 knots at times,” he said.

In the race hosted by Queensland Cruising Yacht Club (QCYC), the coveted prize is the Courier-Mail Cup, awarded to the overall winner and Alive is currently the leader. .

The Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race is steeped in history and was first ever sailed in Easter 1949 where seven vessels took part. Two carried radios while Brisbane’s Homing Pigeon Club supplied pigeons for the other competing vessels.

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