Black Jack just didn’t get the hand she needed

Black Jack just didn’t get the hand she needed
BLACK JACK - ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi

“We‘re the best light air boat and this race was anything but. We really needed a two-night race,” was how Black Jack skipper Mark Bradford summed up their race after finishing third across the line and an hour inside the old race record set by Perpetual Loyal last year.

“We’re surprised that this boat could break that record,” Bradford said.

“We are not configured to reach down the coast at 25 knots. These guys drove the boat a lot faster than it wanted to go a lot of the time. For them to get that result is just fantastic,” owner Peter Harburg agreed.

“It was a tough race. We were driving the boat as fast it would go. It was tough but it was fun.”

Bradford was full of praise for Comanche and Wild Oats XI.

“They both motored in these conditions, and it’s good to see Oats back, too. It validates a lot of the changes they’ve made to their boat.

“A lot of people have been critical for a number of years but they have proved they are quite close to Comanche. Comanche had a commanding lead and for them to reel them back in is testament to that group and their thinking.”

Of course, Bradford and Harburg desperately wanted to be on the Derwent with Wild Oats XI and Comanche when they were fighting it out in light airs, her conditions.

“We need to get into Tasman about half an hour earlier,” Bradford said. “They got across Storm Bay pretty nicely but it was really tricky for us.

“If we could have to the Iron Pot when they were halfway up the drain (the river) it may been have been a different outcome.”

Harburg said they would live to fight another day.

“Hopefully we have got another five years in it. It was a five-year program when we bought the boat, so maybe we’ll win the next four, eh.”


By Jim Gale and Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR media