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24 March 2005, 09:59 am
Wind Stacks Up To Favour The Baby Boats
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Brisbane to Gladstone Race 2005
Brisbane-Gladstone, Australia

The pre race forecast of a changing weather pattern has swung the 57th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race towards a small boat result.
Light to moderate south west to south east winds will provide the 43 yacht fleet with a spectacular spinnaker start off Sandgate at 11:00 (local time) tomorrow but the forecast suggests the breeze will swing into a head wind sea breeze by late afternoon.

Race line honours favourite Sean LANGMAN's AAPT should be untroubled to win their fourth Down Town Duty Free line honours trophy in five years while the forecast will give him little chance to out sail his high handicap rating to defend their 2004 Courier-Mail Cup win.

Langman is a master in long distance ocean racing having already finished with silver medal results in the gruelling Rolex Sydney to Hobart race and the 469n.ml Sydney to Mooloolaba autumn classic.

He manages to generate high boat speed averages in fresh winds but this forecast will see the AAPT crew produce a high work rate of sail changing and still fail to build the time they will need to beat the smaller yachts on corrected handicap

Sydney Hobart race winning skippers Ed PSALTIS (AFR Midnight Rambler) and Michael SPIES (First National Real Estate) will also be pressed to record the fastest corrected time particularly when the smaller sloops power home at a faster rate under a freshening spinnaker sailing breeze on Saturday night.

The Mumm 30 class yachts Anthony PATERSON's Lake Macquarie Yacht Club champion Tow Truck and Jeff PAUL's Gladstone Yacht Club Immigrant are strong handicap contenders but they will need to build a big break on the trio of race veterans Saltash 11 (Ian WRIGHT), Wistari (Scott PATRICK) and Pagan (Peter KERR).

All three yachts have won before and the Blow Home finish sets the stage for them to be the star performers again.

Ian Grant (As Amended by ISAF), Image: 1st National Real Estate © Event Media
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