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8 April 2004, 09:07 am
Strong Winds Forecast For 56th Race
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Brisbane To Gladstone Race
Brisbane-Gladstone

The 56th Down Town Duty Free Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race will start off Brisbane's Sandgate Pier tomorrow in a strong wind warning.
Winds gusting to a peak of 30 knots have been forecast for Queensland coastal waters from St Lawrence to Coolangatta.
This 'brute' breeze and weather system is similar to the racing conditions which allowed the Sean LANGMAN skippered Grundig to set the 21 hour 44minute 39 second race record in 2001.

Langman now racing the same sloop as AAPT will be among the front line sprinters when the fleet of 41 keel yachts and 20 fast lane sailing multihull yachts blast away with a spectacular spinnaker start for the first leg of the 308 n/ml blue water classic.

Both class fleets contesting separate races will face a supreme test of heavy wind sailing in what promises to produce the fastest race on record.

Skippers and crews will prepare for a rollicking white water wake producing ride as the spinnakers are filled shortly after the 11 am start to begin the charge to round the first mark at Garnett Rock off the Redcliffe Peninsula before setting a course to enter the North West Shipping channel and exit Moreton Bay off Caloundra.

The scene is set for all the crews to sustain a high level of seamanship and endurance while they experience a wet and cold ride on a spray drenched deck as they race against the clock for a place in Gladstone race history.

Grant WHARINGTON'S Victorian super maxi Skandia which will be contesting her first ocean race in fresh spinnaker sailing winds is the nominated favourite to win line honours in record time over the defending champion and record holder AAPT.

While Martyn RILEY'S speed sailing Melbourne catamaran Raw Nerve a sister design to the multihull race record holder Rogntudjuuu has been nominated by race officials as a hot chance to set a new race time in Gladstone on Saturday morning.

The record target finish time for Raw Nerve is 7-35-02 on Saturday morning while the match racing Skandia and AAPT need to finish before 8-44-39 to eclipse their race record.
Ian Grant
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