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QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone - Forty foot tussle    
Thu, 27 Mar 2014

Townsville skipper Leon Thomas has admitted he will be on a learning curve when he contests the 308 nautical mile QantasLink 66th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race over the Easter Weekend.

Leon has officially taken delivery of the former New South Wales Farr 40 Shaya Moya which will begin a promising new career under the Guilty Pleasures battle flag at 11am on Good Friday.

'Our plan is to sail a safe race to Gladstone before continuing on with a delivery cruise to Townsville' Leon said.

The Guilty Pleasures crew, already recognised as a team of talented individuals, should experience little difficulty with making sure they will be race ready to contest the north Queensland regattas later this year.

Meanwhile, their new challenge to win respect on the Queensland Ocean racing circuit starts with a match race against Cameron Pryce’s Farr 40, The Fat Controller representing the Keppel Bay Sailing Club.

Good pacemakers for the two Farr 40 crews will be Samurai Jack with Michael Lazzarini at the helm, newcomers to the offshore racing scene from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club Hasta La Vista a Farr 38 under the command of Jake Jacobson and the Simonis 42 Synchronicity with Greg Anderson calling the shots in the absence of owner Kingsley Fletcher.

Race Director Herb Prendergast added 'if that is not enough to keep them honest on the track, along comes twice Australian IRC Champion Rodney Jones with one of his 'very much on the market' former yachts, a Botin 42 renamed Audi Sunshine Coast'. Rod’s aim is to concentrate on his Farr 40 campaign through to 2016.

'We are not expecting to create any surprises in terms of results' Leon commented, 'but I’m sure our confidence and understanding of sailing in the fast lane will progressively take a step in the right direction'.

The expected match races between these yachts will be one of many highlights when the thirty plus yacht fleet including the race record holder, Grant Wharington skippered Wild Thing set their tactical strategy to win the prestigious 66 year old Courier Mail Cup.

by Nigel Statham

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