The 11am start of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race was won this morning by Kerumba who lead the pack over the line. However, moments later the heavily tipped line honours winner, Black Jack, took the lead as the yacht headed up the Redcliffe peninsula. Despite shifting breeze she held a commanding twenty-minute lead over Mr Kite at the first turning mark off the Sails Festival in Redcliffe and is continuing to extend the gap into the early evening.
Despite Black Jack’s good place in the tricky conditions, it already looks like their chances of finally beating the 2004 race record are ebbing away due to lack of wind earlier in the day.
Race director, Nigel Statham, congratulated the large spectator fleet for their cooperation at the start line in ensuring the fleet left Moreton Bay safely and is now looking forward to welcoming the crews to Gladstone.
At 10pm Saturday the yacht tracker on the race website, www.brisbanetogladstone.com.au, had Black Jack crossing the finish line at noon on Saturday and was predicting the boat may repeat last year’s double by also the winning the race on corrected time and retaining her grip on the prestigious Courier Mail Cup. However, with the current wind patterns set to continue into the weekend this may well change many times before the cup is finally awarded.