This year Peter Harburg purchased the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours winner, Alfa Romeo, which was next raced as Esimit Europa. Following modifications, was re-launched as Black Jack just in time for the light-air Sydney Gold Coast race and gave Wild Oats XI a run for her money, finishing just 3mins 31secs behind – the closest finish in 15 years. It was on again in the 180nm Cabbage Tree Island Race which Black Jack led out of the Heads in light breeze and took line honours – both Wild Oats’ retired. Took line honours in December’s Bird Island Race This 100 footer claimed 145 plus line honours wins in Australia, the US and Europe, inclusive of breaking the 2009 Transpac Race record when owned by Neville Crichton, one of the most successful yachts in the sport. Led by skipper, Mark ‘Squark’ Bradford, she will be a formidable opponent should conditions suit.
This will be one of the most watched super maxi battles for years. All four have taken line honours and two broke the race record. Interestingly, crew Bruce Clark was aboard the yacht in 2005 and 2009, while Bradford was aboard in 2005, with Tom Addis and Anthony 'Nocka' Nossiter aboard in 2009. With his VOR70 of the same name, Peter Harburg was fourth on line and 11th overall last year, after leading sistership and eventual overall winner, Giacomo, for two thirds of the race. Took its fourth consecutive line honours in the 2017 Brisbane Gladstone Race for second overall. Before 2013, Harburg enjoyed considerable success with his RP 66 now sailing as ‘Alive’.
Black Jack marks 50th entry for Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - 26 September 2017
|Skipper||Mark Bradford (11)|
|Navigator||Tom Addis (12)|
|Crew||A Nolan (11), B Clark (16), J Flannery (12), S Beavis (14), L Woulfe (3), S Dunne, A Nossiter (15), C Anderson, D Phipps, S Daubney (4), B Hillier, D Hutchison, V Prentice (9), M Chew, B Butterworth|