Australian Championship – Race 3, NSW Championship – Race 3, Club Championship – Race 5, Lord Mayor’s Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Australian Championship, Race 3
Sunday, 26 January 2013
Sydney Harbour

With North East winds in excess of 20-knots, today’s Race 3 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship became a battle of survival as only seven teams managed to complete the course on Sydney Harbour.

Smeg, skippered by four times Interdominion 12ft Skiff champion Nick Press, and his talented crew of Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings, mastered the conditions to score a 1m7s win from Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, David Witt and Mark Kennedy).

Defending champion and series leader, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was a further 3m38s back in third place, ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin), Yandoo (John Winning) and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn).

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (5 points, net3) holds a narrow lead over Gotta Love It 7 (8 points, net 4). Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel has a total of 13 points, but her discard of 8 leaves a net 5 and a real chance for the title

Today’s winner, Smeg is also still a good chance with a net score of six points.

Smeg trailed Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) at the first windward mark but once she hit the lead downwind was never headed over the rest of the course.

Many competitors either failed to reach the start line or were forced to retire with gear failure.

Both Thurlow Fisher and Gotta Love It 7 had ‘swims’.

Brisbane’s Winning Appliances (Shane Smith) came to Sydney for the weekend and her crew showed their skills with a fifth over the line.

Press was happy with the win and said the biggest problem his team had was the spectator craft on the harbour for the Australia Day celebrations.

When as whether they had any capsizes, for’ard hand Dave Ewings quipped: “No way. It would have been too much like hard work to get up again if we did”

Race 4 of the championship will be sailed tomorrow, with the last race next Sunday.

Frank Quealey