Beko 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 3
Former Giltinan champion skipper Euan McNicol made a successful return to the 18ft Skiffs when he teamed with Peter Harris and Mark Kennedy to take out Race 3 of the Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series with Rag & Famish Hotel on Sydney Harbour today.
‘The Rag’ team came from behind on the last lap of the three lap course to grab a narrow 9s. win over Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, Scott Babbage), and became the third different winner of the event.
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links, Trent Barnabas) finished a further 2m12s back in third place today but holds a five points lead in the series and collects $500 for being the leader after three races
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers has a total of 10 points, followed by Race 2 winner Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman, Ewan Duckworth, Tim Baraclough) on 15, Gotta Love It 7 on 16, Rag & Famish Hotel on 17, TBA (Brett Van Munster) 20 and Yandoo (John Winning) 21.
A light NE breeze arrived just before the start and provided the 16-boat fleet with better conditions than they had expected less than an hour earlier.
After a general recall, the race began with the two leading teams after Race 2 being recalled for being over the line at the second start attempt.
Gotta Love It 7 soon set the pace up the first windward beat with Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) in second place.
The fleet was spread across the harbor with De’longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane), Smeg (Nick Press) and Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) heading the next group.
Gotta Love It 7 established such a break over the fleet than having to go to the furthest (white) marker didn’t stop the champion team from retaining the lead.
‘7’ led narrowly from Mojo Wine and Rag & Famish Hotel at the wing mark with Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) and Pure Blonde next.
The rest of the fleet was led by De’longhi-Rabbitohs from Yandoo, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), TBA, Smeg and Appliancesonline.com.au.
Gotta Love It 7 led Mojo Wine by 15s at the bottom mark with Rag & Famish Hotel a further 35s back.
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was now fourth after recovering from the recalled start.
‘7’ was sailing brilliantly and retained the lead narrowly after the second set of windward 3-buoys.
They extended this to 35s at the bottom mark the second time while Rag & Famish Hotel was one minute from the lead.
Once again the 3-buoy handicapping system came into play as ‘The Rag’ was first to turn for home with Gotta Love It 7 relegated back to second place.
To add to the drama, the wind switched to the south as the fleet headed into Rose Bay so the spinnaker run suddenly became a beat.
Once around the Rose Bay mark the teams could once again set spinnaker for the run home and the race for victory kept the spectator fleet on its toes as the two leaders raced with only a few meters between them for the final 500 metres.
The success of this style of racing has been there for everyone to see as it has produced three different winners from the three races so far and the leader on points is still to record her first victory.
With $3,000 up for grabs overall, the racing over the next two races is certain to even more competitive than usual.
Six images from today’s race are attached, along with the official result sheet.
More images will appear on www.18footers.com.au, www.flying18s.com and www.sailingimages.net.
Full video coverage of the race can also be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com.
Race 4 of the five-race Beko Challenge series, for the Yandoo Trophy, will be sailed next Sunday with the last race on Sunday 13 November.