December 2, 2012

3-Buoys Challenge – Race 7

18ft Skiffs
AEG 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 7
Sunday, 2 December 2012
Sydney Harbour

Jonathan Whitty’s Panasonic-sponsored Lumix became the seventh winner from as many races in the series when she won Race 7 of the 18ft Skiffs AEG 3-Buoys Challenge on Sydney Harbour today.

After a moderate start, Whitty and his Lumix team of James Hozack and Archie Massey moved through the fleet to take the lead on the second lap of the four-lap windward-leeward course.

Lumix crossed the finish line 39s ahead of second placed Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Ash Rooklyn and Geronimo Harrison), with De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn, Keegan York and James Smithers) just 7s back in third place.

With the last race of the Challenge to be sailed next Sunday, Pure Blonde (Tom Clout, Rob Bell and Matt Wark) leads the points on 28, followed by Asko Appliances on 33, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) on 34, Mojo Wine (James Dorron) 37, Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman) 40 and Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) 43.

Today’s race was sailed in a moderate SE breeze with the fleet split between the choice of #1 and #2 rigs.

The start played a critical part in the race as three teams were disqualified for OCSs, while three others returned “just in case”

Biggest loser from the incident was Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) which sailed on in the race oblivious of being disqualified.

The Rag actually led the race for the first two laps before crossing the finish line in seemingly second place.

There was little hard work on the windward legs and the entire race took just 46m58s to complete.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers took an early lead from Gotta Love It 7, which recovered brilliantly after going back at the start.

Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel took advantage of the red buoy rounding to lead Haier Appliances (Pedro Vozone), Lomax Financial Group (Alexandra South) and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers as spinnakers were set for the run back to the bottom mark.

The Rag continued to lead the fleet over the second lap of the course although Lumix had reduced the margin to just 15s.

Third place was held by The Kitchen Maker, being sailed today by Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Wilmot, who was replacing another Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page.

Asko Appliances, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, Haier Appliances, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Smeg (Nick Press) and Pure Blonde were in a group which produced some exciting downwind racing.

While Lumix’s win was clear cut, the race behind her saw seven boats finish within the next minute

The series has achieved the desired result of producing close racing and seven winners from seven races is proof of its success.

An interesting sidelight to the race today was the performance of Brisbane boat Winning Appliances (Shane Smith) which took line honours although only competing by invitation.

November 25, 2012

3-Buoys Challenge – Race 6

18ft Skiffs
AEG 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 6
Sunday, 25 November 2012
Sydney Harbour

The Asko Appliances team of Marcus Ashley-Jones, Ash Rooklyn and Geronimo Harrison handled the light ENE breeze to perfection to score an easy all-the-way win in Race 6 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge on Sydney Harbour today.

Always near the lead from the start, Asko Appliances established a big lead at the first windward mark and totally dominated throughout the four-lap course to win by 3m8s.

In an extremely tight finish for second place, James Dorron’s Mojo Wine defeated Simon Nearn’s De’Longhi-Rabbitohs by just 9s.

Series Leader Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) was fourth, followed by Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman) and Yandoo (John Winning).

With just two races left in the Challenge series, and most boats already carrying a maximum points discard, Pure Blonde heads the points table on 23 points.

Mojo Wine’s consistency has the team in second place overall on 25 with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Fisher & Paykel equal third on 27.

Today’s winner, Asko Appliances is fifth on 31 and backmarker Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) sixth on 35.

After the strong winds which battered the fleet last Sunday, today’s race was sailed in a breeze which was constantly light from the ENE.

With Asko Appliances dominating the race, most interest centred on the battle behind with positions changing from the three buoys handicapping.

Former Australian champion James Dorron continues to improve each week in Mojo Wine and was always in the bunch chasing the leader.

The Kitchen Maker (James Francis), De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, Pure Blonde, Rabbitohs-Kenwood (Brett Van Munster), Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers were also prominent at various stages.

It was also encouraging for the rookie ‘Skiff Chicks’ team on Lomax Financial Group, which finished 13th after carrying their smaller #2 rig in the light conditions.

Alexandra South, Saskia Tidey and Lizzi Rountree had the distinction of beating the Gotta Love It 7 team home.

November 18, 2012

3-Buoys Challenge – Race 5

18ft Skiffs
AEG 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 5
Sunday, 11 November 2012
Sydney Harbour

A gusty 25-knot North East wind pounded the 18ft Skiff crews as they contested Race 5 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge series on Sydney Harbour today.

Conditions were so demanding on both boats and crews that only five of the 19 entries were able to complete the four-lap course and none, including the winner, avoided at least one capsize.

After nearly 1½ hours, former Australian champion Micah Lane, along with his crew of Paul Montague and Tom Anderson, crossed the finish line as winner in their Appliancesonline.com.au skiff.

It was 6m33s later until second placed The Kitchen Maker, skippered by Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page, and crewed by Cameron McDonald and Darren McKavanagh, finished.

Nick Press and his crew of Dave Ewings and Andrew Stevenson were third in Smeg, 31s behind The Kitchen Maker.

The only other skiffs to complete the course were Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).

Right from the outset, it was obvious that the conditions were going to take a heavy toll on the fleet.

Australian champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) was forced out after only a few minutes sailing then shortly after Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) was gone with a broken mast.

Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel led at the first windward mark from Smeg but carnage struck behind them as both De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) nose dived on the bearaway.

Appliancesonline took advantage of the two capsized boats to move into third place, ahead of Pure Blonde, The Kitchen Maker and Rabbitohs-Kenwood (Brett Van Munster).

The spinnaker run proved too much for most boats as Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel, Smeg, Rabbitohs-Kenwood and Yandoo (John Winning) all capsized before the bottom mark.

Over the second lap of the course Pure Blonde and The Kitchen Maker were well ahead of the other skiffs still on the course.

When Pure Blonde capsized on the gybe to the bottom mark The Kitchen Maker was left with a good lead, although Smeg had recovered and began to put in a strong challenge by the third windward marker.

A spinnaker set problem on The Kitchen Maker allowed Smeg to draw level on the following run back to Clarke Island and spectators were treated to a magnificent ‘match race’ between the two talented teams.

Only 5s separated the pair as they began the final lap of the course.

When The Kitchen Maker had her first swim of the day, Smeg was left as the likely winner – but this was not a day for taking things for granted.

With less than 100 metres to sail and only the final gybe to be made, Smeg capsized in the mouth of Double Bay, leaving Appliancesonline.com.au to complete the course as the winner.

October 28, 2012

3-Buoys Challenge – Race 3, Chris Webb Memorial Trophy

18ft Skiffs
AEG 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 3
Sunday, 28 October 2012
Sydney Harbour
(sponsored by AEG)

Former Australian 16 Footer champion James Dorron scored his first 18ft Skiff victory when he steered Mojo Wine home an easy 3m15s winner of Race 3 in the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge on Sydney Harbour today.

Dorron, Mike McKensey and Matt Searle were always well in contention over the four-lap course, sailed in a light North East breeze, and were never in danger of defeat once they took the lead on the third lap.

Pedro Vozone, Sam Ellis and James Slee continued to show improvement in Haier Appliances to finish in second place, just 2s ahead of the early race leader Pure Blonde (Tom Clout, Rob Bell and Stewart Wells).

Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman) finished fourth ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Rag & Famish Hotel, skippered by David Witt, who replaced The Rag’s regular skipper Jack Macartney.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers fifth place today was enough to give the Australian champion skipper Michael Coxon and his team the overall points lead in the series.

Thurlow Fisher has a total of 15 points, three ahead of equal second placed Fisher & Paykel and today’s winner Mojo Wine.

Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster) is next on 19, followed By Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) on 20 and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) on 21.

Tom Clout and his crew had Pure Blonde in the lead over the first lap of the course and began the second windward leg with a 20s lead over Mojo Wine.

Rag & Famish Hotel was third in a tightly bunched group which included Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane), Asko Appliances and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

The southern/right hand was the favoured side of the course with almost every team electing to tack off Steel Point.

Mojo took a temporary lead under the three buoys system but lost out downwind when the crew elected to sail down the north shore.

Rag & Famish took over from Pure Blonde on the south side and led at the bottom mark with Asko Appliances third and Mojo relecated back to fourth.

The racing amongst the leading group was close and unpredictable as positions changed throughout.

Mojo was back in front at the third windward mark (this time permanently) by a mere 3s from Pure Blonde as both went to the blue marker buoy.

Rag & Famish lost her place in a light patch of breeze going to the white buoy and Haier Appliances gained as a red marker.

The Mojo crew gambled on the third spinnaker run when they again went to the northern shore while their challengers all went to the south.

This time their move won the day as they opened up their race winning lead as the fleet set out on the final lap of the course.

More photos will be published later on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com. A video coverage of the race can be seen on www.18footerstv.com

Spectator Ferry photos will also be published on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com during the coming week.

‘Pick the Podium’ is back again this season with prizes to be won by just making some selections on which teams you think will fill the placings in Sunday’s race. For full details go to http://www.18footerstv.com/18-promo

Race 4 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge will be sailed next Sunday with the Spectator Ferry leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League

October 21, 2012

3-Buoys Challenge – Race 2, Major A. Frizelle Trophy

AEG 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 3
Sunday, 21 October 2012
Sydney Harbour
(sponsored by AEG)

Kenwood-Rabbitohs crew gave a great exhibition to take out an incredible Round 2 of the AEG 3-Buoys 18ft Skiff Challenge on Sydney Harbour today.

Despite conditions which constantly fluctuated in strength and directions throughout the race, Brett Van Munster, Kieryn Cowan and Joel Castle were always somewhere near the lead before their 54s victory.

Lumix (Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack, Aron Everett) also sailed consistently to finish in second place, with Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman, Tim Baraclough, Ewan Duckworth) a further 17s back in third place.

Backmarker Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) was fourth, followed by Mojo Wine (James Dorron) and the rookie Team Southern Cross (Oliver Hartas) in sixth place.

Kenwood-Rabbitohs win also gives the team the outright lead in the series on three points, following their second placing in last week’s first round.

Lumix is second overall on nine points, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Gotta Love It 7 equal third on 10 points.

Rounding out the top six placings are Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) on 13 and Fisher & Paykel on 14.

After a delay of one hour due to a lack of wind, the fleet was finally sent away in a westerly breeze.

The fleet quickly split into two groups with Asko, Kenwood-Rabbitohs, Fisher & Paykel, Smeg (Nick Press) and Gotta Love It 7 immediately tacking to the northern side of the course.

Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), Lumix and last week’s winner Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) elected to stay on the same tack on the southern side.

Lumix held a narrow lead over Kenwood-Rabbiohs at the windward mark as the wind strengthened to give the fleet a wild spinnaker ride back to the bottom mark the first time.

The conditions fully tested even the most experienced crews as De’Longhi-Rabbitohs capsized and Rag & Famish Hotel became tangled in a spectacular incident.

Second of the four laps was a lottery.

Some teams had wind, others didn’t, and boats were going in different directions with spinnakers.

It would be impossible to describe what was happening over the next lap of the course as Asko Appliances held a narrow lead from Team Daly (Nick Daly).

As the breeze finally strengthened again on the third spinnaker run, Kenwood-Rabbitohs edged away from Lumix to score an impressive win.

Eight photos, as well as the Race Report are attached.

More photos will be published later on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com. A video coverage of the race can be seen on www.18footerstv.com

Spectator Ferry photos will also be published on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com during the coming week.

‘Pick the Podium’ is back again this season with prizes to be won by just making some selections on which teams you think will fill the placings in Sunday’s race. For full details go to http://www.18footerstv.com/18-promo

Race 3 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge will be sailed next Sunday with the Spectator Ferry leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League

October 14, 2012

3-Buoys Challenge – Race 1, R. Watt Memorial Trophy

3-Buoys Challenge, Race 1
Sunday, 14 October 2012
Sydney Harbour

The 2012-2013 Australian 18ft Skiff Season began on Sydney Harbour today when the Australian 18 Footers League conducted Race 1 of the 8-race 3-Buoys Challenge series over a four lap windward-return course.

Tom Clout, Matthew Wark and Rob Bell (Pure Blonde) excelled in the 10-knot SE breeze to score a convincing 1m28s win after taking the lead on the second lap of the course.

Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster, Kieryn Cowan and Joel Castle) finished second after leading for the first lap, while Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, David O’Connor and Nathan Ellis) finished a further 3m5s back in third place.

De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (John Sweeny) came home in fourth place, ahead of Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin).

Gotta Love It 7 (pin end), Appliancesonline.com.au (Mark Kennedy), Kenwood-Rabbitohs and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (middle) and Pure Blonde (boat end) were best placed at the start and led the fleet on the first windward leg into Rose Bay.

Kenwood-Rabbitohs trailed Gotta Love It 7 into Rose Bay but gained an advantage from her Red Buoy rounding mark and was first to set a spinnaker for the run back to the bottom mark.

Kenwood-Rabbitohs was under pressure from the chasing pack but managed to hold off Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Gotta Love It 7, Pure Blonde and The Kitchen Maker (Lee Knapton).

Sporting brand new #1 working sails, Pure Blonde grabbed the lead on the following windward leg while Kenwood-Rabbitohs still held off Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7.

These four teams opened up a break over the rest of the fleet on the run back to the bottom mark but the positions remained unchanged.

Smeg (Nick Press) was fifth, ahead of De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, Asko Appliances, Appliancesonline.com.au, Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) and The Kitchen Maker.

The three leaders held their places over the second half of the course, but Gotta Love It 7 suffered from her 3-buoys handicap penalty and dropped back to finish sixth.

Today’s race was a good hit out for the teams as there were many new crews out for the first time together.

Five photos, as well as the Race Report are attached.

More photos will be published on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com and video coverage of the race can be seen on www.18footers.tv.

Spectator Ferry photos will also be published on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com during the coming week.

Race 2 of the series will be sailed next Sunday with the Spectator Ferry leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm.