Restless will be in full race mode on Good Friday
SAILING: On the eve of his 16th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, Restless captain John Ibell wants to leave no stone unturned.
The famous race starts in Brisbane on April 19, but Ibell and his crew will set sail to Brisbane to start preparations for the race known as B2G71.
"The aim has been to ensure the yacht is as race ready as possible and to get her to Brisbane without damage," Ibell said.
"We aim to take the yacht south when the weather is favourable."
The trip south was supposed to start tomorrow, but navigator Paul Janson is hopeful better weather returns next week.
"It was supposed to be Thursday, however the weather doesn't look too favourable at the moment, so we are looking at a window possibly on Monday or Tuesday now," he said.
"Hopefully the weather gods will be kind." Ibell said there has been work done on the mono-hull 35-foot boat to ensure it will be all systems go for Good Friday.
"We sustained minor rudder damage after the last B2G and have carried out repairs on it," he said.
"We have monitored it to ensure repairs are working. We have conducted general maintenance and all safety equipment checks required for the race."
Long-range weather forecasts suggest an autumnal pattern will be established over the Good Friday and Easter weekend.
"The long-range forecast is for 15 to 20-knot east-south-easterlies, however as we know the weather can change well and truly before the race," Ibell said.
"We will have all our sails with us in Brisbane and select which ones we use when we finally know what the weather will be."
The other members are Kerry Millard (bowman), Bruce Janson and Matthew Ibell (crew), Martin Cooper (second skipper).
Ibell will lead an experienced team with a total of 60 B2G's between them.
"Being born and bred in Gladstone and from a sailing family, I progressed from crewing on small boats to sailing my own sabot to larger dinghies and yachts until today," Ibell said.
"All the rest of the crew are locals or ex-locals as well and grew up around boats, starting in learn to sail then progressing to bigger things from there."
Ibell is excited that the race will be 'taken to the world.
"Live-streaming has certainly increased the viewing numbers," he said.
"We have a lot of ex-Port Curtis Sailing Club members around the world these days who enjoy viewing the race now.
"The only other way they could follow the race was through the yacht tracker application so the vision streaming is being well received.
"We also have a Facebook page for Restless called Restless Racing which we try to update as often as possible."