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MGD Mad Jack withdraws from 2022 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast

MGD Mad Jack withdraws from 2022 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast

MGD Mad Jack withdraws from 2022 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast

Greg Black says he is "gutted" to withdraw his Ross 1066, MGD Mad Jack, from the 2022 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race after suffering gear failure on the delivery to Sydney and being hampered by strong wind warnings for the Queensland coast.

Black and three crew members began the delivery from Manly Harbour (Queensland) to Sydney on Thursday 14 July.

But on the first night at sea, MGD Mad Jack experienced gear troubles which led Black to turn the boat around later that day.

"We lost the headsail foil around 3am, just south of Tweed," Black recalled. "Once that blew out, we sailed on the main until daybreak.

"Then we went to charge our batteries and when we started the motor, we had no water coming through.

"We tacked and headed in shore, then we got it going eventually but we were at reduced capacity and that’s when we thought we’d keep sailing.

"We put the headsail up not knowing we’d destroyed the foil and all of a sudden it came out. Between those two things, I said let’s just head back.

"We could’ve got the headsail foil fixed in Sydney, but we were at 40-50% capacity on the water intake and I wasn’t prepared to take the risk with the delivery crew of getting all that way without having issues with the motor."

With land now on their port, MGD Mad Jack began preparations to repair the damage and plan a second delivery to Sydney.

"I put up a post on Facebook to say we were heading back home and within an hour I had a message from Rope Solutions to say they’d ordered the part," he said.

"We knew that was sorted and our mechanic was ready to go."

Both issues would be fixed by 20 July, 10 days out from the start of the race, but the weather window closed in on MGD Mad Jack.

"I thought we could turn it around in time and then head south, but the weather forecast isn’t good," Black said. "Even getting out of the seaway would be a bit scary.

"The boat is my pride and joy so I don’t want to wreck the boat and I don’t want to break people.

"We’re all in it for the fun. There is no money at the end of it, it’s just a bunch of mates having fun.

"The crew were disappointed we won’t make it but they know you have to make these decisions and put some things ahead of the yacht race. If we had more time it wouldn’t be an issue."

Black isn’t having much luck in 2022.

MGD Mad Jack had to withdraw from the Gladstone Ports Corporation Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race as she awaited a replacement rudder bearing.

Black then booked accommodation for Hamilton Island Race Week but missed the registration deadline.

"I have accommodation and no boat!" he said with good humour. "If bad things happen in threes, I think I’m done."

We look forward to seeing MGD Mad Jack in action for the 2023 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast.  

The fleet for the 2022 race now stands at 69. View the list of entrants.