Brisbane to Gladstone crews keep an eye on the weather

BRISBANE to Gladstone ocean racing crews will continue to monitor Cyclone Ita as they count down to the 2014 QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone race starting at 11 am on Good Friday.

Organisers say there is plenty of grunt around Brisbane and its surrounds at the moment, which is unsettling the plans of some delivery crews.

But the latest forecast suggests that by the time the start comes around on Friday morning, the breeze will be anything but fresh.

The forecast will not detract from the contest to decide the 66th overall winner of the prestigious The Courier Mail Cup, awarded to the crew which completes the physically demanding and mentally tormenting 308 nautical mile blue water classic with the fastest corrected course time.

Black Jack, owned by Brisbane businessman Peter Harburg and sailed by a highly experienced crew headed by principal helmsman Mark Bradford, remain line honours favourites.

Considering the uncertain forecast, the crew has the proven speed potential to challenge smaller rivals on handicap.

But the super-fast ex-Telefonica round the world boat will need to produce a tactically clever race to outpace her high rating and win the race outright over a strong group of challengers.

These include Tim McCall's Arcadia, two match racing Farr 30 class yachts, Immigrant and Italian Job, Tony Love's Patriot and the Kerr 50 Kerumba.

More information on the race is available at