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18 April 2003, 09:02 am
Grundig Leads Over The Starting Line
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Brisbane to Gladstone Race
Brisbane - Gladstone

Blue skies and a 5-8 knot southerly before the start of the 55th Brisbane to Gladstone race this morning.
The First Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery fired big 20-ounce charges from a barge-mounted 109mm Hammill gun and the noise reverberated into Shorncliffe.

The giant blue Grundig spinnaker seemed to fill the sky on a post card start in the 2003 Brisbane to Gladstone race.
Sean Langman's Murray Burns Dovell 66 sailed hot off the line towards a pressure line. The gold-hulled Ichi Ban followed her, with Magnavox 2 UE third about 50 metres behind.

Grundig the monohulls winner in 2001, when she broke the race record and the winner again last year is looking for a third win.

Jim Fern's Kiska was best placed off the multi-hull start line.

While the monohull fleet continued to the east, the multis quickly gybed for the western shore. Jamie Morris had Flat Chat moving quickly with Raw Nerve following.

However Martin Riley's Raw Nerve was the first to gybe back with Flat Chat covering, in third place was Free Spirit.
The fleet then moved down towards the Garnet Rock mark off Sutton's Beach, the mark for which has been moved northeast closer to the viewers on the Redcliffe Peninsular.

Outside the Bay, more breeze was anticipated, with a forecast 22 knots at Cape Moreton, however, in fact the breeze started to fade.

Grundig managed to hold out last years multihull winner Flat Chat by 200 metres at the buoy at 11:54:59 (local time), although an untidy spinnaker almost stalled Grundig. Thee two boats managed to stay in reach a pressure line about half a mile east of the mark and hold their kites as the continued to the east.

Second place catamaran was the big Southern Ocean 50 Raw Nerve, who gybed close to the beach before spearing back towards the mark. She rounded at 12:00:01 She is suffering now as the breeze has dropped down to 5 knots
Sister ship to the multihull and out right Brisbane to Gladstone record holder Rogntudijuuu, the Melbourne speeder should power away from the fleet when she has pressure.

The white kite of Matt Allen's new Farr 52 Ichi Ban (which means Number One in Japanese) took her round the mark at 12:05:35

Rob Kothe/Sail World
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