Black Jack comes up trumps
A YACHT named in honour of motor racing legend Sir Jack Brabham has overtaken the record-breaking supermaxi Wild Oats in the final 500m of a major ocean race to claim Queensland's first line honours victory in the annual Sydney to Gold Coast race in 30 years.
With owner Peter Harburg aboard and skipper Mark Bradford at the helm, the 100-footer Black Jack beat defending race champion Wild Oats for the first time in a major ocean race.
The thrilling finish ended what had been a close game of cat-and-mouse between the two yachts and Sydney to Hobart line honours winner Comanche which lead the race for more than 24 hours.
"I've never been in such a close race, we only overtook them around 500m from the finish,'' Bradford said.
"But we just had to wait out turn. The four supermaxis in this race all have their sweet spot in terms of conditions and ours came right at the end.
"It's going to be an amazing race in this years Hobart with these boats there and Scallywag coming down.''
The last Queensland yacht to claim the fastest time honours was Arthur Bloore's Hammer of Queensland back in 1988.
"The Blues got lucky in the league this year. We like our State of Origin so we're taking one back for Queensland,'' Bradford said.
Black Jack completed the 389 nautical mile race in 1 day 17 hours and 36 minutes. Wild Oats finished less than three minutes later with Comanche around 26 minutes behind Black Jack.
Owner Harburg said he was thrilled with the win and the close racing.
"At one stage Wild Oats was quite literally just a boat length away from us,'' he said.