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7 April 2006, 11:34 am
Record Chase Looks Promising
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Brisbane To Gladstone Race 2006
Brisbane, Australia

Strong to fresh south east winds have been forecast to blow over the South Queensland coast this weekend as the 48 crews competing for honours in the 2006 Brisbane to Gladstone Race enter the final preparations for the start of Queensland's premier Blue water classic at 1100 local time on Good Friday 114 April in Australia.
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This would be a perfect forecast for the super maxi Vision Skandia to rewrite the 20 hour, 24 minute and 50 second race record she set in 2004. However her charter skipper Kerry SPENCER (AUS), who steered his Queensland pocket maxi Bobsled to a 21 hour, 59 minute and 43 second record eleven years ago, will have to 'pace the dock' for another seven days while he prays for the present forecast to last.

Hopefully his plea to the sailor's weather god Old Huey will be answered, but that will remain on hold while he posts the record breaking target time in the navigation station for all the crew to see.

Going For The Triple Crown

They will be required to produce a thrilling wave surfing ride, and average better than 15.09 knots to reach the finish line before 07:24:50 local time on Easter Saturday for SPENCER to become the first skipper in the 58 year race history to hold a triple record crown.

His previous best race times at the helm of the smaller Kel STEINMAN designed Bobsled was 25 hours, 57 minutes and 32 seconds in 1992, and 21 hours, 59 minutes and 43 seconds in 1993. Now he faces the personal challenge of beating his personal best by 1 hour, 34 minutes and 54 seconds to claim the honour of being the fastest in Gladstone Race history.

Theoretically the challenge is well within his grasp when the speed advantages are measured in the waterline length of the 18.6 metre Bobsled compared with the more powerful 30 metre Skandia.

However all hope and expectations of a race record rest with the actual wind direction and speed that must prevail between 1100 on Good Friday and 0730 on Easter Saturday for Vision Skandia to post a new record and become the first yacht in race history to set records with different skippers.

Ian GRANT (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Kerry SPENCER previously broke the race record in Bobsled:©
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