2003 Brisbane to Gladstone
Jamie Morris recorded a 6th line honours win on Flat Chat when they eclipsed a quality fleet and averaged 13.9 knots to win overall line honours
Martin Riley was unusually quite after the finish but veteran on the crew John Diskson was juping out of his wet weather gear, which protected him from the speed induced salt water spray for the 22hrs 15mins it took for Flat Chat to sail the course.
"That was a sailing experience I will never forget", said Dickson.
Flat Chat, measuring 12.7m, handed a lesson in speed sailing to her rivals when she beat the large Victorian 17.5m catamaran Raw Nerve and the super fast 21m Sydney pocket maxi Grundig (skippered by Sean Langman) to settle a claim to the title of Australia's fastest ocean racing yacht.
Flat Chat had the brakes on, logging well above a record-challenging pace of 8.1 knots. They were hard on the stern of Grundig as the leaders exited Moreten Bay on Friday afternoon. But the pace lifted into top gear when Flat Chat, sailing on the edge of the pressure wind, sailed the remaining 266 nautical miles of the race in al little over 18 hours to give Morris his sixth overall line honours win. Morris was understandably proud of his crew who worked like 'drovers dogs' to ensure Flat Chat logged the fastest possible boat speed.
They were so locked into that fast sailing mode that none of the crew left the spray drenched deck for a meal break or rest, but they enjoyed a big feed and a deserved cold drink which compensated for them missing three meals, including the traditional Easter Saturday breakfast.
The race winning margin was 15 min 53 secs over Raw Nerve with Grundig another 34 min 53 secs astern in third.
By Jenny Maruff
There were only seven competitors this year which was disappointing for us and for the Race Organiser Bruce Wieland. The cost of Insurance and safety equipment could have put off some. The insistence on escape hatches put off three potential competitors I spoke with. And yet, this was the year that Multihulls dominated the media reports. Line Honours contenders FLAT CHAT and RAWNERVE received
far more attention than the monohulls. The man who sent out the information to the media was well-known yachting journalist Ian "Stripey" Grant.
We had seven quality multihulls in the fleet. All of them were in Gladstone by Saturday night so we were able to have our Trophy Presentation on Easter Sunday at lunch time. The Gladstone Yacht Club gave us a special room and supplied the luncheon. There were white table cloths and each course was served by pleasant staff. We were fortunate in having the Mayor of Gladstone Peter Corones to present the Trophies. Thanks to Paul Steinhardt the Trophies looked good for the occasion. Robyn Scholl made sure that each was presented correctly. She has been a hard worker behind the scenes at Gladstone for years. Many thanks, Robyn.
Before we left Gladstone, Dudley and I thanked the people there who had helped the Club-the men from VMR who supplied the Sked Room and who took the Mayor out to each finishing boat, Noel and Barry from the Gladstone Yacht Club who manned the Information room with the map showing the position of every boat. These volunteers got very little sleep on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Gladstone Race has been the most important event in the big Multi sailing calendar. One gets caught up in the excitement at the Briefing on the Wednesday before Easter, at the Start on Good Friday and over Easter at Gladstone. Entries were down in both mono and multihull fleets . Let's hope they pick up next year