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17 March 2005, 09:46 am
Husband And Wife Sailors Revel In The Rough Stuff
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Brisbane to Gladstone Race 2005
Brisbane to Gladstone, Australia

Gladstone skipper Jeff PAUL and wife Jenny spent most of last night drenched in spray but no one could wipe the smiles away when their Mumm 30 Immigrant led the Sydney to Mooloolaba race on IRC handicap.
The central Queensland sailing team considered as a slim chance to win on handicap in their first Sydney to Mooloolaba race had upstaged some of Australia's top crews including former Sydney-Hobart winners to produce an impressive performance.

Immigrant, match racing with her class rival and former race winner Tow Truck (Anthony PATERSON), had shown she was a sprint machine surfing the ground swell in the ideal spinnaker sailing winds to clearly log a speed above her handicap rating.

The Pauls and the Immigrant crew who were relatively unknown before the race started showed their collective fresh wind sailing skills to become a giant killer in the first nine hours of the race.

Holding the provisional race lead after 90 nautical miles of physically demanding racing in one of Australia's toughest offshore classics has proved that Immigrant should be considered as a top contender to feature in the tactical duel for handicap honours in the 57th Brisbane to Gladstone race to her home port over the Easter weekend.

They have expressed the potential and their intense match race with class rival Tow Truck has shown that a corrected handicap win should not be ruled out.

The Immigrant crew continued to enjoy the spray drenching ride as the Sydney Mooloolaba line honours leaders Wild Oats, Seriously Ten and the Brisbane to Gladstone race line honours trophy favourite AAPT surfed towards Coffs Harbour at record challenging pace last night.

All three yachts had shared the lead at various stages and continued to log speed above the record 10.62 knot average set by George SNOW'S Brindabella in similar squally winds in 1994.

Meanwhile the Immigrant crew who have shown they can pace it with the best remain focused on securing a top result to enhance their prospects of becoming the 2005 Brisbane to Gladstone race champion.

Ian Grant (As Amended by ISAF)
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