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Robyn Elkington to navigate Gaff Schooner South Passage

by Ian Grant on 18 Apr 2000
Highly experienced yachtswoman Robyn Elkington will leave the comfort of her Manly, Brisbane home, to spend another Easter at sea sailing in the 308 nautical mile Carlton Brisbane-Gladstone yacht race starting from Sandgate at 11am on Good Friday.

Packing her sea bag with warm clothes has become a tradition for this respected sailor who will occupy the navigators nook aboard the Sail Training Association of Queensland 30.5 m Gaff Schooner South Passage.

Navigator Elkington has absorbed the traditional values of standing watch on South Passage which has been the launch pad and the introduction to ocean sailing for many first time sailors.

The schooner which is similar in design to the famed American Coast Guard sailing ships will again compete with a crew who come from various Queensland towns and cities.

They will meet for the first time on Thursday when South Passage skipper Shane Beard and Robyn Elkington make the crew introductions and form the watch teams for what promises to be an exciting sailing adventure.

South Passage the largest yacht setting sail for Gladstone this year has a comfortable sea-kind character which has made her a popular choice for the first time student sailors who have willingly paid for the opportunity to be part of her crew.

They expect to be called on deck after turning out of warm bunks to answer the commands from the qualified skipper and ocean mariner Shane Beard who has logged many miles with South Passage on her sail training voyages off the Australian coast.

Their rewards will be a unique sailing adventure under a bright moon by night and warm winds by day as the majestic schooner guided on a compass bearing by navigator Robyn Elkington logs her course to Gladstone.

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