Grundig favourite for line honours

Ian Grant previews the Brisbane-Gladstone race

Tuesday April 8th 2003, Author: Ian Grant, Location: Australasia
Sean Langman’s super fast pocket maxi Grundig is the firm favourite to win her third successive line honours trophy in the 55th Brisbane Gladstone Yacht Race starting on Good Friday morning.

Grundig returning from her outstanding success in the Gladstone classic last year when she made a clean sweep of trophies including winning the prestigious THE COURIER-MAIL CUP for the fastest corrected handicap is race tuned for another impressive result.

Skipper Langman and the Grundig crew buoyed with confidence and enthusiasm following the impressive second to Alfa Romeo in the 2002 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race has the chance to sail into a place in Gladstone race history alongside the Fred Markwell skippered Alvis which claimed three consecutive line honours in the 1952-53 and 1954 races.

Grundig will start her Brisbane-Gladstone preparation as the favourite to take the line honours in the Forrester Kurts Properties Sydney-Mooloolaba race starting off Watson’s Bay tomorrow.

She is the defending champion in both of the East Coast passage races however her crew has set their goals to be a record challenger providing the ideal race weather forecast of spinnaker sailing winds continue to prevail.

The Grundig crew has the potential to complete the 469 n/ml Sydney to Mooloolaba race under 44 hours and this will become the benchmark time heading up their race strategy. All they need is to produce a race average of 10.65 knots to beat Brindabella’s present race record.

This seems like a comfortable cruise when compared with her record breaking race average of 14.16 knots when she established the fastest mono hull Gladstone Race time in history on Easter Saturday morning in 2001.

A long range forecast for the Gladstone Race has provided a glimmer of hope for the fleet to be powered with spinnaker sailing winds. However a lot can change over the next 10 days before the start signal is fired at 11am on Good Friday Morning.

But if the South East Trade winds prevail then it will be up to the Grundig crew to not only chase the record time but also show their class to answer the speed sailing challenge from the former Volvo Globe race winner EF Language now racing as Magnavox and former Gladstone race record holder Bobsled.

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