December 4, 2011

N.S.W. Championship, Race 3

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team of Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas won a sensational Race 3 of the N.S.W. 18ft Skiff Championship, after they were the only team to complete the course without capsizing in the strong southerly wind which prevailed on Sydney Harbour today.

They took full advantage of a spectacular capsize by Smeg (Trevor Barnabas, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) on the final spinnaker run to defeat Smeg by 30s , with Race 1 winner Lumix (Jonathan Whitty, Greg Dixin and James Hozack) a further 6m28s back in third place.

The win by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers also gives the team a one point lead in the championship (3 points) from Lumix (4 points).

It was another day to forget for the defending champions Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage on Gotta Love It 7, which had two capsizes before coming home in fourth place for a championship total of 13 points.

The race was delayed for 30 minutes due to the strong winds and when the fleet finally lined up for the start the action came thick and fast.

Smeg, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7 won the start while at least three skiffs were capsized on the start line.

Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson) were recalled but the day got worse later for this top team when they capsized near the Shark Island mark and ‘Woody’ Winning was knocked unconscious.

He was later taken to hospital for precaution.

Gotta Love It 7 and Smeg led the fleet to the first windward mark where 7 held a 2s break over Smeg, with Asko Appliances in third place and Thurlow Fisher close behind.

As the two leaders raced across the harbor under spinnakers, the race took a new turn when Smeg managed to cross a passing Many Ferry and raced away while 7 was forced to flag the spinnaker to get past the ferry.

The incident was costly as it allowed Smeg to open up a 30s break at the following mark.

Smeg retained a similar margin after the next windward beat but Gotta Love It 7 capsized on the bear-away as the crew went for the spinnaker set, which allowed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers to grab second place.

Smeg continued to lead around the next three legs of the course with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers a clear second ahead of Gotta Love It 7.

On the final spinnaker run Smeg looked to be in control but a loss of wind momentarily threw skipper Trevor Barnabas overboard and the crew had to watch as Thurlow Fisher Lawyers went past under spinnaker.

Eight images from today’s race are attached, along with the official result sheet.

More images will appear on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com.

Full video coverage of the race can also be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com.

Supporters are also reminded about the PICK THE PODIUM contest.

It’s free to enter and there are prizes which go off in every race at the Australian 18 Footers League.

To enter, simply log onto www.18footerstv.com and make your selections from the next race.

Race 4 of the N.S.W. Championship will be sailed next Sunday 11 December with the last race of the championship on 18 December.

The usual spectator ferry will follow all races, leaving Double Bay Wharf alongside the clubhouse and rigging area, at 2.15pm.

November 27, 2011

N.S.W. Championship, Race 2

The Lumix team of Jonathan Whitty, James Hozak and Greg Dixon used good tactical sense to come from behind and win Race 2 of the N.S.W. 18FT Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

They took full advantage of a match race battle between Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7, which took those two teams well away from their mark to score a convincing 2m51s victory over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links, Trent Barnabas).

Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Tom Anderson, Dean Curtis) was a further 1m57s back in third place, ahead of Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman), Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) and Yandoo (John Winning).

Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster) was seventh, followed by Smeg (Trevor Barnabas) and Gotta Love It.

Wind conditions before the start were uncertain as the direction continually varied and the strength was more than predicted.

Finally all teams, with the exception of Fisher & Paykel, chose their smaller #2 rigs and the race began in a moderate WSW breeze over a 3-lap windward-return course between Rose Bay and Garden Island.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Fisher & Paykel, Smeg and Mojo Wine won the start at the favoured pin end of the line.

Typically with Westerly winds on Sydney Harbour, the breeze was uncertain and the fleet were quickly spread across the harbor on the first windward beat.

The Thurlow Fisher team were always near the lead throughout and led by one and a half minutes over the Panasonic-sponsored Lumix skiff as spinnakers were set for the return run back to end the first lap of the course.

Race favourite and defending champions Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage were in third place on Gotta Love It 7, followed by Mojo Wine, Appliancesonline, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) and Smeg.

Thurlow Fisher retained her lead over Gotta Love It 7 and Lumix downwind, while Smeg had made up ground to be ahead of Mojo Wine, Appliancesonline, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs.

On the next windward beat, Thurlow Fisher went to the north while Gotta Love It 7 elected the southern side of the course.

The move was a winner for the ‘7’ crew as they crossed Thurlow Fisher when the two skiffs met.

In a surprising move, Gotta Love It 7 then went further north in Athol Bay and Thurlow Fisher regained the lead at the windward mark.

With little between the two leaders at the end of the second lap, a ‘match race-style’ battle developed between the pair in the fading breeze.

Whitty and his Lumix crew realized that their best chance of victory was to stay on the southern side of the course as Thurlow Fisher and Gotta Love It 7 sailed well into Athol Bay.

The move was a winner as Lumix sailed straight to the windward mark – opening up a lead of around 2½ minutes over a closely bunched fleet.

From that point, the race was all over for the victory but the placings behind Lumix were turned upside-down in the disappearing breeze.

With Race 1 being abandoned last Sunday, the series has been reduced to four races with all to count for total points.

Under the circumstances, Gotta Love It 7’s 9th placings has made their task of defending the title even more difficult.

Eight

images from today’s race are attached, along with the official result sheet.

More images will appear on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com.

Full video coverage of the race can also be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com.

Race 3 of the N.S.W. Championship will be sailed next Sunday 4 December with the following two races on 11 December and 18 December.

The usual spectator ferry will follow every race, leaving Double Bay Wharf alongside the clubhouse and rigging area, at 2.15pm.

November 13, 2011

Beko 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 5

Current Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 became the inaugural Beko 3-Buoys Challenge champion and winner of the Yandoo Trophy after defeating Rag & Famish Hotel on countback at the Australian 18 Footers League on Sydney Harbour today.

The team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage finished only fourth today, behind winner Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas), but their performances over the five races saw them finish with an overall total of 26 points.

Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy and Peter Harris) also finished on 26 points but lost to Gotta Love It 7 after the countback went to each team’s third best placing in the series.

Second-placed today was Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay, David Gibson), which

finished 2m27s behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and also took out third place overall on 30 points.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers finished fourth overall on 31 points, ahead of Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster) which also finished on 31 points but again lost out on countback.

Sixth place overall went to appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane), which finished third today, 1m25s behind Yandoo.

The Beko 3-Buoys Challenge proved a great success as Thurlow Fisher Lawyers’ victory today produced the fifth winner from the five races sailed for the series.

Today’s race was sailed in a 10-12 knot North East breeze with all teams carrying their bigger #1 rigs.

There was a good race for the lead on the first windward beat with Gotta Love It 7 and appliancesonline.com.au exchanging the number one position ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), Rag & Famish Hotel and Yandoo.

With the advantage of the nearest (red) rounding marker, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was first to set her extra, while applinacesonline.com.au (blue marker) was second, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (red) third, Rag & Famish Hotel (red), Yandoo (blue) and Gotta Love It 7 which went to the furthest (white) marker.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers retained her lead downwind and held an 18s advantage over appliancesonline.com.au at the bottom mark.

De’Longhi-Rabbitohs was a further 22s back in third place, then there was a gap back to Yandoo, Mojo Wine and Rag & Famish.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers opened up increased the lead to 45s at the next windward mark then to one minute at the end of the second lap.

The first four placings remained unchanged over this lap of the course and most interest was centering on the likely outcome of the overall placegetters.

Seven images from today’s race are attached, along with the official Result Sheet.

More images will appear on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com.

Full video coverage of the race can also be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com.

Race 1 of the N.S.W. Championship will be sailed next Sunday.

The championship will continue each Sunday until 18 December.

The best four performances of each team will be counted to determine overall placings.

The usual spectator ferry will follow every race, leaving Double Bay Wharf alongside the club and rigging area, at 2.15pm.

November 6, 2011

Beko 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 4

Appliancesonline.com.au became the fourth winner from as many races in the Beko 3-Buoys Challenge series when she recorded a massive 3m41s win on Sydney Harbour today.

The Appliancesonline team of Micah Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson were brilliant in very difficult conditions and virtually had the race won with one lap of the course still to be sailed.

Second over the line today was last week’s winner Rag & Famish Hotel with Jack Macartney back on board as skipper and his team of Peter Harris and Mark Kennedy, while Mojo Wine (Archie Massey, Dan Wilsdon and Mike McKensey) finished a further 1m10s back in third place.

The series pointscore was turned upside down when the two leaders going into today’s race both recorded maximum points.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) had to retire before the start with gear failure, while Fisher & Paykel was forced out with gear failure after being in second place at the first set of windward marks.

Going into next week’s last race of the series, Rag & Famish Hotel leads with a total of 19 points (and collects $500), ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) on 22 points, TBA (sponsor to be announced soon) Brett Van Munster on 25, Mojo Wine on 26, Yandoo (John Winning) 28 and Appliancesonline.com.au on 29.

Today’s race began in a light-moderate North East breeze with crews split between their #1 and #2 rigs.

Gotta Love It 7 won the start and demonstrated amazing speed with her #2 on the first leg across the harbor from Double Bay to Bradleys Head.

The race for the next six placings was close with De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), TBA, Fisher & Paykel and Yandoo leading the group.

When Gotta Love It 7 had to go to the furthest (white) mark the lead changed and Appliancesonline.com.au became the leader from Fisher & Paykel and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs.

Gotta Love It 7 was shuffled back to fourth, ahead of TBA, Smeg (Nick Press), Mojo Wine and Yandoo, but showed sensational downwind speed to once more regain the lead at the bottom mark.

On the second lap, the breeze shifted and became lighter and this time Appliancesonline.com.au reveled in the new conditions to set up a lead of more than 2 minutes over Smeg and Rag & Famish.

This margin was extended to more than five-and-a-half minutes at the bottom mark and the race was virtually over at that point.

Appliancesonline was in Rose Bay approaching the wing mark south of Shark Island as the second boat (Rag & Famish Hotel) was rounding the windward mark.

While Gotta Love It 7’s finishing position was seventh today, the ‘7’ team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage must be rated as a very hot favourite for the upcoming major championships.

Six images from today’s race are attached, along with the official result sheet.

More images will appear on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com.

Full video coverage of the race can also be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com.

The last race of the Beko Challenge series, for the Yandoo Trophy, will be sailed next Sunday when the top four finishers in the series will split another $3,000.

We also thank Scott Babbage for his expertise in fixing a computer problem which enabled this report to go out to our supporters.

October 30, 2011

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.

October 23, 2011

Beko 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 2

It was a day to remember for the Fisher & Paykel crew of Andrew Chapman, Ewan Duckworth and Tim Baraclough when they came from behind to take out Race 2 of the Beko 3-Buoys Challenge series on Sydney Harbour today.

The win was Andrew’s first as a skipper in the 18s, and he did it with sails he made himself.

To add to the win was the fact that the Fisher & Paykel team now leads the series on six points and collects $1,000 for being the leader after two rounds.

TBA (sponsor yet to be named), skippered by Matt Searle, finished 32s behind Fisher & Paykel, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) a further 1m32s back in third place.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers is now in second place in the series with a score of seven points, followed by Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) on 11, TBA and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) on 12 and Race 1 winner Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) on 14.

With a light, uncertain breeze prevailing at the time, the starter sent the fleet over a three laps windward-return course.

A majority of the fleet chose the RHS of the course with Gotta Love It 7, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Fisher & Paykel heading that group, while Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane), Smeg (Nick Press) and Asko Appliances best of those more in the centre of the course.

The Gotta Love It 7 crew sailed brilliantly up the first windward beat, but the 3-Buoys handicap system took its toll when they had to sail to the furthest (white) buoy and were relegated back to seventh or eighth place as spinnakers were set for the run back to the bottom mark.

Taking advantage of the shortest (red) marker, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers grabbed the lead from TBA, The Kitchen Maker (Cameron McDonald), Fisher & Paykel and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty), and along with Fisher & Paykel, chose to go back on the northern side of the harbor.

It was a great move as that side proved far superior and the race was immediately split.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers led by 45s at the bottom mark but once again the 3-buoys system came into play as TBA gained an advantage to become the leader (15s) for the second spinnaker run.

TBA increased this to 30s at the bottom mark on the second lap, with Fisher & Paykel in third place and Pure Blonde fourth.

While those behind the top four skiffs were little chance of winning the race the action was great as the teams crossed while gybing downwind then jammed into the twin bottom marks as they raced to get the big spinnakers back into the boats.

When the breeze freshened for the final lap, Fisher & Paykel worked the northern shore and came out on top to lead by 15s as she headed for home.

A steady NE breeze allowed the Fisher & Paykel team to gradually edge away from TBA for their victory

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 3 of the five-race Beko Challenge Series, for the Yandoo Trophy, will be sailed next Sunday with the following two races each Sunday until 13 November.

October 16, 2011

Beko 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 1

The current Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage took out Race 1 of the Beko 3-Buoys Challenge Series sailed in a 10-knot South-East wind on Sydney Harbour today.

Gotta Love It 7 was near the lead throughout the race and had to overcome her backmarker status in the 3-buoys handicapping system to score a brilliant 1m40s victory.

Second placing went to new Lumix skiff with Jonathan Whitty, Greg Dixon and James Hozak on board.

Asko Appliances, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Keiran Cowan and Stewart Wells, finished a further 1m17s behind Lumix, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) fourth, Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman) fifth and Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) sixth.

Gotta Love It 7 led the fleet to the first set of windward marks but lost the lead when she had to go to the white buoy.

Suddenly Asko Appliances (red buoy) became the new leader ahead of Lumix (blue) as spinnakers were set for the long spinnaker run from Rose Bay to Robertson Point.

Collect (Dave Haseldine) was in the next group with Pure Blonde, Gotta Love It 7, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) and Fisher & Paykel.

At the end f the run Asko retained her lead over Lumix whle Pure Blonde had moved into third place ahead of Mojo Wine, Gotta Love It 7, Fisher & Paykel and Yando (John Winning).

Gotta Love It 7 grabbed the lead at the Clarke Island windward mark from a closely bunched fleet headed by Lumix, Asko, Mojo, Yandoo and Thurlow Fisher.

Once in front, the champion Gotta Love It 7 team managed to increase their lead over the remainder of the course.

Even the penalty of two more 3-boys mark roundings couldn’t stop ‘7’ as she powered away from the fleet for a convincing win.

Conditions played a big part through the fleet with many positions fluctuating for several of the top teams.

Most affected were Yandoo, Smeg (Nick Press) and Mojo Wine.

Several teams are also still waiting for new sails and masts so the racing will be eve closer in the series as the fleet becomes more settled.

Gotta Love It 7’s win will also come at a price as the skiff will receive a further 3-minutes penalty for her win today.

Seven 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 2 of the five-race Beko Challenge Series, for the Yandoo Trophy, will be sailed next Sunday with the next three races each Sunday until 13 November.

October 9, 2011

R. Watt Memorial Trophy

The opening race of the Australian 18 Footer League’s 2011-2012 Season (R. Watt Memorial Trophy) was sailed on Sydney Harbour today and resulted in a win for Appliancesonline.com.au, skippered by former Australian champion Micah Lane, who was returning to the 18s after a two seasons ‘retirement’.

Lane and his team of Paul Montague and Tom Anderson were always near the lead throughout the three lap race to score a 13s victory over Cameron McDonald, Darren McKavanagh and Will Chapman in The Kitchen Maker.

Three times world 14 Footer champion Archie Massey, Dan Wilsdon and Mike McKensey were a further 1m6s back in third place, ahead of Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster), Smeg (Nick Press) and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon).

With a WSW breeze prevailing, the starter sent the fleet over a three-lap windward-return course.

Most of the fleet chose their bigger #1 rigs while Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) went #2.

Most of the fleet went to the right hand side after the start while Smeg led those on the left.

Yandoo (John Winning) took the lead on the windward beat to the first set of 3-buoys marks, but it was The Kitchen Maker which gained the advantage of a red buoy rounding to lead as spinnakers were set for the run back to the bottom mark.

Once again the Mark Foy Championship-winning Yandoo crew took the lead but a rare capsize at the mark by the talented Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson team saw their day end while Mojo Wine, Appliancesonline.com.au, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and The Kitchen Maker were left to battle for the premier placing.

Over the second lap of the course Mojo Wine dominated the fleet and looked a likely winner as the fleet headed back for the final 3-buoys mark.

Mojo Wine, Appliancesonline.com.au and The Kitchen Maker staged an excellent battle with the lead changing several times.

Finally, The Kitchen Maker held a narrow lead over Appliancesonline.com.au as spinnakers were set for the run to the finish but the experienced Appliancesonline team won the tactical gybing battle to score a narrow win in the season opener.

Many of the teams will improve over coming weeks as their new rigs become available.

Six images from today’s race are attached, along with the official result sheet.

More images will appear on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com.

Full video coverage of the race can also be seen on http://www.18footerstv.com/

Next week is Race 1 of the 5-race 3-Buoys Challenge Series for the Yandoo Trophy.