Crew are Restless for big Easter race
PORT CURTIS Sailing Club veteran John Ibell hopes for smooth conditions for Ray Hobbs-built mono-hull boat Restless after a setback last Sunday which forced Ibell and his crew to reschedule.
It all is ahead of the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race on Good Friday.
As Ibell and his crew of fellow skipper and maintenance person Ken Watson, who will be in his 40th Brisbane to Gladstone race and delivery crew members Maria Mohrholz, Bill Feeney and Wayne Taylor set sail yesterday morning to the Queensland capital.
Yet without a win, Ibell hopes his fortunes will change on Easter Sunday which is the predicted day of arrival back in the Gladstone harbour.
"This will be my 13th Brisbane to Gladstone race and hoping to get a win after finishing second in both divisions last year," Ibell said.
His crew trained late last year to prepare for a race that has been a popular Gladstone event for more than six decades.
VIDEO: See John Ibell introduce his delivery crew to the Observer
"The preparations have been good and we have replaced all the riggings on the old girl," Ibell told the Observer.
"The crew have been training in Yeppoon in November."
Ibell predicts that conditions will be light on Good Friday, but a strengthening south-easterly may hasten the race for Restless to head north to Gladstone.
"We'll start at 11am on Good Friday and arrive in Gladstone by about lunchtime on the Sunday," Ibell said.
The tactics throughout the race are all dependant on the conditions.
"When conditions are light, we go what you call in shore and when the wind gets up we sail line-to-line which is called the rhumb line," Ibell explained.
He expects to arrive in Brisbane this Saturday at lunchtime.
Despite the challenges that the sport poses; it is something Watson thrives in and that is why it keeps him going.
"I get a lot of joy even though I get wet cold and sometimes miserable," Watson said.
He has been involved in five Brisbane to Gladstone wins which includes victory on the Restless yacht.
The veteran and Ibell will joins Simon and Bruce Jenson, Tony Dart and Perth-based sailor Kerry Millard will join Ibell and Watson to make up the crew for the famous Easter race.
Delivery crew: Co-skippers - John Ibell and Ken Watson, Maria Mohrholz, Bill Feeney, Wayne Taylor.
Brisbane to Gladstone crew: John Ibell, Ken Watson, Simon Jenson, Bruce Jenson, Tony Dart, Kerry Millard