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NORTRUSS G-WIZZ ESTABLISHES EARLY LEAD IN GLADSTONE YACHT RACE.

by Ian Grant on 21 Apr 2000
Ross Rayner’s Mooloolaba Yacht Club sloop Nortruss G-Wizz produced unmatched light wind speed to establish an early lead in the 52nd Carlton Brisbane to Gladstone ocean race today.

The Jim Inglis designed 15.18m sloop steered by Phil Gray managed to develop her lead with skilful crew work in the surprisingly light 5-8 knot South East wind to head the Sydney sloop Leroy Brown (Warren Wieckmann) and Maynard Smith’s Brisbane yacht Cruz Control.

Nortruss G-Wizz the line honours winner in 1999 seemed poised to claim a successful title defence as her key crew members warded off the challenge from the smaller Leroy Brown.

The leaders remained unchanged as the fleet of 52 yachts representing clubs from Papua New Guinea, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland faced a supreme test of light wind sailing which was assisted by an out going tide.

While the winds were light the leaders continued to make good progress clearing Moreton Bay shortly after 3pm.

As expected the light winds which had gradually freshened into a near perfect 15 knots by mid afternoon had compacted the fleet to present an interesting tactical struggle for the outright race lead on handicap.

However the small Royal Papua Yacht Club sloop Tower Matador skippered by Chris Walmsley was well placed just of the stern of Cruz Control then came PNG Gas, Terror, Esprit de Corps and Ocean Designs.

After 4 hours of racing the exciting Farr 40 Leroy Brown the current Sydney-Hobart class record holder sailing with a highly qualified helming team including dual race winners Warren Wieckmann (Sydney) , Bob Robertson (Caloundra) and Graham Jones (Port Douglas) continued to press the larger Nortruss G-Wizz.

This early drag race has the potential to provide Leroy Brown with the pace to set up an overall lead on corrected handicap while Ocean Designs, Sea Noble Engineering, Corum and Scampi A were also well placed.

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