Loss of heritage

Ian Grant looks at one of the key omissions from Good Friday's Brisbane to Gladstone race

Saturday April 5th 2003, Author: Ian Grant, Location: Australasia
Queensland’s premier blue water yacht race will be robbed of some nostalgic history when the 2003 fleet faces up to the start on Brisbane’s Moreton Bay at 11am on Good Friday morning.

Sadly the famed 15m ketch Laurabada which completed a record of 50 consecutive Brisbane to Gladstone races last year has been officially retired.

The traditional timber crafted yacht built over a period of six years by inaugural Gladstone race sailor Ivan ‘Skipper’ Holm has established a history which will remain unchallenged.

She will be retired gracefully to cruising on Moreton Bay however no dedicated ‘Old Salt’ will be surprised if she tugs at her mooring lines on Good Friday morning.

No other yacht in the history of ocean racing can equal the feat of 50 ocean passage races over a course beyond 300 n/mls.

However she deserves the opportunity to carry the second and third generations of the famed Holm family into a relaxed cruising life style.

Sure there will be the memories when her new master Ivan Holm Jnr wakes up on Good Friday morning realizing there will be no need to record the events of another Gladstone race in Laurabada’s racing log.

All of the ‘Old Salts’ who were once part of her crew and now since retired agree that Laurabada is far more than a Gladstone Yacht Race history maker, she is a World history maker.

As expected Laurabada was always sailed with a special pride and passion but never won the Gladstone Race on outright handicap.

But she has the distinction of recording the closest line honours victory with her 41 second win over Peter Docker’s Sydney sloop Syonara in 1967.

Now the grand old ketch built to sail beyond the lifetime of her builder the late Ivan ‘Skipper’ Holm can gracefully sail on with her crew of family and friends knowing they have the responsibility to care for one of Australia’s most famed old yachts.

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