The weather God’s were smiling on the start of QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race this morning. After a night of almost constant rain, the race started in bright sunshine and a good breeze.
A highly competitive start saw a number of the smaller yachts lead the fleet out, of particular note was Leeway who punched well above her weight.
Predictably it wasn’t too long before Black Jack and Alive came to be at the front of the field with Black Jack reaching the first turning point at Redcliffe in just 23 minutes and Alive was chasing her hard.
First retirement of the race was B52 after they devastatingly blew their main sail.
As dusk fell on the fleet the leader, Peter Harburg’s Black Jack, had already passed Noosa and if the wind should hold, they will expect to reach Gladstone early on Saturday morning. Currently leading the field in the IRC battle is Black Jack, followed by Alive. In ORCi, Alive is heading the pack and in PHRF Black Jack is currently looking to take honours.
Overnight an almost full moon will guide the fleet up the coast and around the top of Fraser Island. With the wind expected to die early on Sunday morning, the race to reach Gladstone Harbour is most certainly on.
– Nigel Statham