Couple line up in own yacht for classic
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE couple Jeff and Janet Paul (pictured left) will be feeling just that little bit more nervous tomorrow at the start line of this year's Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.
The reason is their Mumm 30 yacht Immigrant is lining up for the first time in the prestigious bluewater classic.
Immigrant will be one of three local hopes in the 57th running of the race and will represent the Port Curtis Sailing Club alongside Thylacine and Wistari.
An experienced yachtsman who is lining up in his 10th Brisbane to Gladstone race, Jeff is counting down the hours before skippering his own boat in his home town race for the first time.
'Now the start is getting closer, I cannot wait to get down to Manly and get started in the race,' Jeff said.
It will also be a special race for his wife, who is just hoping to finish in her third Brisbane to Gladstone race.
'I have been in two Brisbane to Gladstones so far, but unfortunately the two boats did not finish the race, so hopefully I will this time around,' Janet said.
Since being brought over from England in November, Immigrant has gone from strength to strength for the couple.
Immigrant finished second on handicap at last weekend's Sydney to Mooloolaba race and Jeff is confident of at least repeating that form this weekend.
'The boat is built for speed. We believe it is possible to win on handicap honours for our class and also be in the top 10 over the line,' Jeff said.
Expected moderate to fresh south-east winds have been forecast for the start of the race which will begin off Sandgate at 11am tomorrow.
Forty-three yachts have nominated for the race, with AAPT and Skandia the line honours favourites.