Thursday, August 14, 2014

J/130 RAGTIME Dominates Brisbane to Keppel Race!

J/130 crew sailing Australia (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)- Long-time Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron member Chris Morgan wondered pre-race if his boat’s number one berth allocation at the final resting point, at Keppel Bay Marina, could be an omen. Last night he and wife Bernadette’s 20 year-old J/130 RAGTIME was declared the IRC overall winner of the eighth Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race.  RAGTIME’s crew take away the Pineapple Cup trophy for best scored IRC boat.

J/130 sailing AustraliaA fascinating tussle for the top IRC prize played out. Lewis Perrin’s “Italian Job” looked famous until sunset off Yeppoon on the Queensland Capricorn Coast when the sou’east breeze faded along with the light, strangling their fortunes and firming up RAGTIME’s win.

“Since they allocated us berth number one I knew we were in with a chance,” joked Morgan. Really it was the forecast that gave the owner/skipper and his seven crew the idea this could be the year, their third shot with RAGTIME. “I had a good feeling. Our first night was a bit rough, and then it all came together. The crew didn’t do a thing wrong on the final day. Our tactician Chris Anstead said ‘follow the J/130 accepting winners flagnumbers’…he drives us crazy with his figures but the motto on the boat is ‘trust the numbers’.”

The southerly delivered a punch to RAGTIME’s crew off Lady Elliott Island in the morning, 35 knots producing a top boat speed for the race of 14.6 knots.

RAGTIME’s history is somewhat colorful, if not controversial. It was owned and christened RAGTIME by Rod Johnstone, who co-founded the J/Boats business with his brother, Bob, in their garage back in the mid-1970s. A delayed order for an owner wanting to contest the 1995 Sydney Hobart yacht race start saw RAGTIME rushed from overseas as the substitute, only to be refused entry due to its carbon fiber mast! Imagine that, today you’d have to disqualify nearly 50% of the Sydney Hobart boats for having carbon anything in their rigs or hulls using that old-fashioned idea!   For more Brisbane to Keppel sailing information