Alive wins everything but line honours in yacht race
ALIVE has won everything but line honours in the 66th Brisbane to Gladstone, taking home The Courier-Mail Cup and all handicap competitions in a demolition of the race.
Only Blackjack was able to snag silverware in the 2014 edition of the race, finishing in front of Alive by a narrow margin.
Skipper of Alive Duncan Hine said the crew had the goal of keeping Blackjack in their sights all the way north from Brisbane, achieving the task and hence being fast enough to take the handicap trophy.
The result is even more remarkable given Alive was the boat known as Blackjack in the race last year, which finished second to Wild Thing in the line honours then.
Laughing about his fortune, Hine said the crew had an omen the trophy was in their grasp before the race even began.
"It is the 66th event and we are number 66," he joked.
"We had an exciting race. Blackjack was our target boat and we set out with the goal of seeing her at the end. We hit our mark."
Heading out of Gladstone on Sunday afternoon, the crew of Alive was unable to hang around to see the official presentation.
The boat would have passed many of the competitors who were still in the race overnight.
Hine believes the main contributor in the good race was the plan the crew stuck to religiously throughout.
"The plan was the same as always - stick in close," he said. "Luck plays a certain role.
"Good planning by the navigator, planned well by David Turton, he was the man.
"We had no issues, it was a dream run for us."
Getting in well before the wind died off completely, Alive was fortunate to not find themselves still on the water.
Hine is after the same luck in heading back to Brisbane.
The team is on a high, though. The Brisbane to Gladstone marks the second race Alive has won, from just two starts.
"This is our second race," he said. "We did Sail Paradise Regatta and won that. We are going great guns.
"We are still training; we are going to get better."
He's certain the team will return next year to defend the title, and they wouldn't mind the light winds holding up the fleet once again.
"The weather played our way," he said. "We hoped for light air and got it."