Ivan MCFAYDEN's Hick 50 was second as the fleet moved north, ahead of Ed PSALTIS Farr 40 AFR Midnight Rambler. Michael SPIES Beneteau 44.7 First National Real Estate was moving forward in the fleet.
For many years the Brisbane to Gladstone Multihull fleet has started with the Queensland Cruising Yacht Clubs monohull fleet, sharing two ends of the one startline, with the Committee boat in the middle. As the Monohulls have upgraded to HF radio for radio communications, while the multihulls have stayed with VHF, race management for the two races have now separated. The monohull fleet starting off Sandgate as always but the multihulls near Manly.
Last year's monohull line honours and handicap winner Sean LANGMAN is expected to helm his big skiff to its fourth line honours win in five years.
The light conditions make back-to-back handicap victory difficult for AAPT.
Just before the start, Langman commented, 'This race could easily be decided by the tides in the Gladstone Harbour, we are hoping to reach the entrance, on tomorrow afternoons incoming flood tide.'
With a small boat race likely, the local boat that has dominated the race over the last seven years, Ian WRIGHT's converted day sailer Saltash 11 is clear favourite again. She only went into the water yesterday morning and is ready for a strong run.
Ian WRIGHT similarly felt the tides would play and important part in this years race, 'Back in the 90's we had a race, with such a strong tidal rip, we were tied up for six hours only a few miles from the finish waiting for the tide to turn'
This year we are hoping to be blown home. We think it will definitely be a little boat race and we thing the boat who could do best, is the smallest boat in the fleet, Scampi A.'