Grundig the favourite

Ian Grant looks at the form for the Brisbane-Gladstone yacht race

Monday March 31st 2003, Author: Ian Grant, Location: Australasia
Sean Langman’s record breaking modified Open 60 Grundig heads an impressive line up of yachts to contest the 55th Down Town Duty Free Brisbane-Gladstone ocean yacht race starting off the historical Sandgate Pier at 11am on Good Friday April 18th.

The Sydney-based pocket maxi showed her exceptional potential to complete a clean sweep of all the major trophies last year after she smashed the race record in 2001.

She has been the star performer over the past two years and Langman has every reason to complete another successful race over the 308-n/ml course following the sloops outstanding result in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race in late December.

The Murray, Burns and Dovell designed Grundig completed the 630 mile Hobart race with an 11.51 knot average speed to claim second place on line honours only 1 hour 43 minutes 58 seconds astern of Neville Crichton’s larger super maxi Alfa Romeo.

Skipper Langman and crew hope to repeat a similar performance in Queensland’s premier blue water classic this Easter.

One of their primary objectives will be to challenge the race record of 21 hours 44minutes 39seconds set in ideal power sailing South East Trade Winds that allowed Grundig to log a sensational average speed of 14.16knots.

Results from the Sydney Hobart suggest that Grundig will be a short priced favourite to win her third successive Gladstone Race line honours trophy in spite of an expected challenge from the former Whitbread 60s Magnavox and Merit Navigator.

Magnavox is the former EF Language and has the proven reputation of being a super fast performer in fresh and frightening spinnaker sailing winds.

The same applies to the Ian Treleaven skippered Merit Navigator which has also forced her skipper and crew to ‘hang on’ to a spray drenched weather rail while the sloop recorded exhilarating speeds.

However Grundig is also suited to sailing in the fast lane and her sail area advantage plus previous crew experience will allow skipper Langman the opportunity to be in the thick of the action to record another fast time in what promises to be a ‘drag race’ to Gladstone.

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