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Brisbane to Gladstone preparatory races

by Ian Grant on 15 Mar 2001
No one needs to send a message to ‘Old Hughie’ the sailor’s weather god than another two days of recreational time for aquatic pursuits will roll over after midnight tonight.

He has certainly been far from kind over recent weeks and capped a stormy mood with a downpour, which dampened the best intentions last Friday.

Hopefully the winds, which have almost blown the stars off the ensign over the past month or so, will finally fall into the moderate range for the important International Paints sponsored Blue Water championship race to Double Island Point and return this weekend.

Local Sunshine Coast offshore sailors need valuable time on the water over the next few weeks as they prepare to contest the Brisbane-Gladstone race and the important Centenary Celebration of Our Nation Cup.

The special hand crafted Italian Gilt cup specifically commissioned for a team’s race over the 308 nautical miles between Brisbane’s Sandgate Pier and Auckland Point in Gladstone has attracted a strong nomination.

As yet the Mooloolaba Yacht Club are to officially declare their team but wins in past years suggest they will again be a top contender.

But meanwhile the offshore skippers and crews are focused on gaining a major place in this weekend’s 90 nautical mile race for the prestigious International Paints trophy.

Nortruss G-Wizz a regular line honours winner vin the race north to Wolf Rock has not raced this summer which leaves the race wide open for the first to finish trophy.

Recent form and the promise of moderate winds will suit the highly experienced crew aboard the Adams 13m sloop Sumusilk.

Sailors like skipper Tony Woodcock, navigator Nick Cox, Trevor McDonaugh, Col Thomas and Chris Warnes who have sailed a collective total of 57 Gladstone races are expected to use this race as an important evaluation for the Easter classic.

Hours on the deck are always important and this combination that sail just as well after dark are conscious about being race prepared for the long haul.

The same challenge applies to Special Effect (Ian Caroline) and Tiga (Barry Wood).

All three crews have the experience, potential and tactical sailing endurance capable of winning the historical Celebration Of Our Nation Cup for the best three-boat performance.

However they need to refine their skills, which places a lot of importance on the results in the MYC ocean race starting off Pt Cartwright tomorrow at 0800 hrs.

Equal interest will surround the battle for honours in the shorter Blue Water series race for the Division 11 fleet where the consistent performing Soraya (Jim Craddock), Barranjoey (Noel Stanaway) and Jaroda Tide (Tim Darbyshire) are heading for a nip-n-tuck to resolve the major places.

Results from both Division races will also decide which crew head the point’s table in the Club championship.

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