FIRST: Black Jack does it again, taking line honours the 2016 Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
FIRST: Black Jack does it again, taking line honours the 2016 Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards GLA260316BOAT

Black Jack in a box wins with ease

AS BLACK JACK romped to the finish line on Saturday afternoon, Gladstone's unsung heroes in the SES went to work to ensure the yachts' entrance to the harbour is a welcome one.

Doug Savage and his army of helpers - Carol Savage, Grahame Smith, Nathan Lutton, Nathan Rose, Jaime Hall and Chris Hixon have worked around the clock as the yachts arrived.

"It all started two months out," Doug Savage said of preparations for the 68th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.

"On Thursday afternoon we got all our hardware delivered like the power, huts and scaffolding from Multi Trade, Flexihire and Lister Motors."

Good Friday was spent assembling it all together.

This SES team work in cohesion with branches from Mt Larcom and Calliope to make sure someone is on the "floor" 24/7.

"I got some sleep on Friday night and now we're waiting for the boats to arrive...we could be here in the morning," Savage said of the late arrivals this morning.

Meanwhile it has been a hat-trick of Black Jack wins and rather expectedly.

The Brisbane-based mono-hull stormed to the finish line at the race in the easiest of fashion despite breezes that have never exceeded 12 knots throughout the journey which started on Good Friday morning.

Tactician Bruce Clark was enjoying a few beers with his crew at the Port Curtis Yacht Club on Saturday night and said conditions were ideal for the Peter Harburg-owned vessel.

"The conditions were easy and the wind blew at no more than 12 knots and there was a good wind angle on Friday night," Clark said.

"There was an easterly and then it went to the north-east which benefited us."

Black Jack finished the famous race in one day, five hours, 13 minutes and 50 seconds and Clark said the crew entered the race confident, but not cocky.

"Realistically, we're the biggest boat and if we didn't win, then there'll be something drastically wrong," he said.

Experience played a huge role in Black Jack's past three line honours.

Clark began his career more than 40 years ago and has sailed across most parts of the world.

The battle is on for second and third places in the class between Kerumba and Mr Kite.

Meanwhile, Morticia won line honours in the multi-hull category ahead of Top Gun and Boss Racing.

Gladstone's No Problem, Restless and Wistari are expected finish in the early hours of today with 20 to 30 knot easterlies predicted.

RESULTS

MONO-HULL

1ST Morticia

2nd Top Gun

3rd Boss Racing

MULTI-HULL

1st Black Jack

2nd Kerumba

3rd Mr Kite



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