Peter Harburg purchased this Volvo 70, previously raced as Telefonica in last year’s Volvo Ocean race, earlier this year. She won the first three legs of the Volvo race and finished fourth overall. Harburg had the boat shipped to Australia where it has undergone some modifications to bring her in line with Australian standards.
“The boat was purchased with the idea of racing closer to the top end of the fleet and shortening the gap to the super maxis,” Mark Bradford, sailing master, said. “We think the boat will rate well under IRC but we’re also thinking of line honours too.
“One of the main reasons for purchasing the boat was that it was manageable and Peter (Harburg) could run the program he wanted to for the size of boat that we have – doing it properly with the right people and the right equipment.
“We’ve brought a couple of Volvo specialists into the crew for this race including Ryan Godfrey (ex-Puma) but it’s essentially our core crew from the 66 footer,” Bradford added.
The 66 foot Black Jack is a near-sistership to the highly successful Wild Oats X, and the two have crossed swords on many occasions with almost even results. Bradford and Harburg have produced solid results, including line and overall honours in the 2008 and 2009 Brisbane-Keppel races, in which they broke their own 2008 race record in 2009, in the new time of 29 hours 24 minutes 11 seconds.
Named for Harburg’s friend, Jack Brabham, the previous Black Jack finished sixth across the line in the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart and went on to win back to back line honours in the Brisbane to Gladstone race (2009 and 2010). In August last year, Bradford skippered the canting keeler to second over the line and recorded the second fastest time ever in the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, breaking Brindabella’s (a conventionally ballasted yacht) 13 year-old record. Black Jack also claims the second fastest time for the Open record after finishing in 26hrs 24mins 2 secs. She was also the first Queensland boat home. In last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, the 66 footer was fourth on line, third overall and won the ORCi division overall.
|Sailing Master||Mark Bradford|
|Crew||B Hilliar, B Clarke, D Hutchison, G Van Lunteren, P Dowdney, P Harburg, R Godfrey, S Jackson, V Prentice, P Elkington, A Smith, A Nolan, J Flannery|