January 25, 2015

NSW Championship Race 3 & Club Championship Race 7

18ft Skiffs
NSW Championship, Race 3
Sunday, 25 January 2015
Sydney Harbour

The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team became the third different winner from the three races sailed so far in the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour.

Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor and Trent Barnabas handled the light, variable north-east to perfection as they raced away from the rest of the fleet for a 3m29s victory

Last week’s winner Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Peter Harris, Mark Kennedy) finished second, with a much-improved Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, James Dorron, Jeronimo Harrison) a further 49s back in third place.

Mojo Wine (Lee Knapton) was fourth, followed by Smeg (David Witt) and De’Longhi (Simon Nearn).

The trio of race winners (Mojo Wine, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers) has them all level with a total of eight points each.

Defending champion and pre-series favourite Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) is having an unfortunate series to date but is hopeful a favourable protest hearing decision following today’s race will bring the team back into contention.

The light wind, which varied several times in direction and strength, provided spectators with an interesting spectacle as all teams had their own theories about the best course to sail – both on and off the breeze.

Last week’s winner, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel again showed good windward speed to take a 10s lead over De’Longhi at the Beashel Buoy, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Asko Appliances, Mojo Wine and Yandoo (John Winning).

On the spinnaker run back from the Beashel Buoy to the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island, the leading six teams had vastly different ideas as they selected a variety of angles into the Rose Bay.

‘The Rag’ held her lead at the wing mark but Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was looking in good touch as she edged ahead of De’Longhi.

At the bottom mark, the wind was extremely light as the fleet bunched and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers grabbed a 15s lead over Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel.

The following seven boats were close behind headed by De’Longhi, Asko Appliances, Mojo Wine and Yandoo.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers dramatically increased her lead on the next windward beat then raced right away to establish a 1m55s break at the bottom mark on the second lap.

While the race for the lead was basically all over the battle for the next six placings was certainly up for grabs as positions changed regularly.

Following an incident at the start of the race, Gotta Love It 7’s crew entered a protest requesting average points as the skiff was forced to retire with a broken outer wing tube which supports the pole wires.

Race 4 of the championship is due to be sailed tomorrow (Monday, 26 January) so the fate of Team Seven won’t be known until just before the last race of the series next Sunday.

Today’s Result Sheet and 9 photos are attached.

Race 5 (the last race) of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday. The club’s regular ferry will follow the race, leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.

DON’T FORGET:
THE J.J. GILTINAN 18ft SKIFF CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE SAILED FROM 14-22 FEBRUARY 2015.

For all the latest news, live stream TV action, race results and reports and more go to www.18footers.com

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League
www.18footers.com

January 18, 2015

NSW Championship Race 2 & Club Championship Race 6

18ft Skiffs
NSW Championship, Race 2
Sunday, 18 January 2015
Sydney Harbour

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel’s crew sailed a brilliant tactical race to score a stunning win in Race 2 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Jack Macartney, Peter Harris and Mark Kennedy were superb and their decision on the second windward leg from Robertson Point to Clarke Island sealed the victory.

From that point The Rag increased her lead before scoring a 4m29s win from a fast finishing Lumix (Jonathan Whitty, Aron Everett, Daniel Nixon)

Lumix dashed home just 10s ahead of series leader Mojo Wine (Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge), which was placed third.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) was fourth, followed by Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin).

After the two races of the championship sailed to date, Mojo Wine leads on 4 points, from Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel on 6, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 7, Gotta Love It 7 on 8 and Lumix 9.

Yandoo (John Winning) and Asko Appliances are sixth on 14 points.

The race was sailed in a light South-East breeze which tested all teams as being in the right place at the right time was critical at several times over the course.

The Rag team were aggressive from the start by sailing west of Shark Island while most of the fleet sailed the traditional course east of the island.

It was a move which paid off when Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel led by 15s from Lumix at the windward mark in Rose Bay.

The long spinnaker run from Rose Bay to Robertson Point saw several positional changes with the leading group spread wide across the harbour.

Gotta Love It 7 grabbed the lead from The Rag midway down the run and looked set to lead at the bottom mark.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish fought back and led by 30s then took complete control when Macartney and his team elected to sail to Garden Island while the chasers tacked early into the middle of the course.

By the time the fleet reached the next windward mark the race was as good as over when The Rag’s lead had extended to 1m45s from Mojo Wine and Lumix.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish extended her lead to 2m30s over the following two legs of the course then pushed it out to 3m from Mojo Wine at Rose Bay the last time.

Most spectator interest focused on the battle behind The Rag as positions continually changed amongst the next five placings.

Mojo Wine appeared to have second placing safely in her keeping but Lumix picked a better breeze over the concluding stages to narrowly get the points.

Race 3 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday. The club’s regular ferry will follow the race, leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.
Race 4 will be sailed the following day (Australia Day) however a spectator ferry is not available.

DON’T FORGET:
THE J.J. GILTINAN 18ft SKIFF CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE SAILED FROM 14-22 FEBRUARY 2015.

There is an excellent video of action from earlier this season, which was put together by Oliver Hartas. It’s well worth a look:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UqXaTHG0_M)

Follow all the racing action on the Australian 18 Footers League’s www.18footers.com website.
Video coverage and live stream is on www.18footerstv.com

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League
www.18footers.com

January 11, 2015

NSW Championship Race 1 – Club Championship Race 5

Following a three-week layoff over Christmas-New Year, the Australian 18 Footers League’s 18ft Skiff fleet returned to Sydney Harbour today to contest Race 1 of the NSW Championship.

Conditions were far from perfect for the 15 teams with a variable south wind the order of the day.

Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton won his second consecutive scratch race in the 18s when he teamed with Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey to bring Mojo Wine home just 4s ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, John Winning Jr.).

Third place went to Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Charles Dorron), which finished a further 1m9s behind Gotta Love It 7.

John Winning’s Yandoo was fourth, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Pure Blonde (Nick Daly) and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty).

Mojo Wine grabbed the lead at the first windward leg from Gotta Love It 7, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Yandoo.

The brand new Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson), which was having her first start, was in fifth place.

On the long spinnaker run from Clarke Island to Obelisk Bay, the Mojo Wine crew sailed faultlessly to increase the lead over Team Seven to 25s.

The pair had edged away from the rest of the fleet, with Yandoo in third place 1m behind the leader.

Mojo Wine elected to sail the northern shore on the work back into Rose Bay while Gotta Love It 7 sailed a middle of the harbour course.

When the pair met at the mouth of Rose Bay Gotta Love It 7 had recovered brilliantly to cross Mojo.

At the Rose Bay mark 7s lead was 35s and the all familiar look of a Gotta Love It 7 victory was on the cards.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel had their own personal ‘fight’ for most of the course as they battled behing the third placed Yandoo.

Gotta Love It 7’s lead got out to as much as 1m10s at Obelisk Bay on the second lap and there appeared nothing was going to stop a Gotta Love It 7 win.

That was until the final spinnaker run when the ‘ímpossible’ happened and 7s spinnaker went overboard off Bradley’s Head.

Seizing the opportunity, the Mojo Wine team challenged hard and trailed narrowly as the two teams headed for home.

As the skiffs set for the windward beat back from Athol Bay to the finish line off Clarke Island, Mojo Wine picked up a slight wind shift was enough to see it grab victory only 20 metres from the finish line.

Today’s Result Sheet and 10 photos are attached.

Race 2 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday. The club’s regular ferry will follow the race, leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.

DON’T FORGET:
THE J.J. GILTINAN 18ft SKIFF CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE SAILED FROM 14-22 FEBRUARY 2015.

December 17, 2014

Club Championship – Race 4 Yandoo Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Club Championship, Race 4
Yandoo Trophy
Sunday, 7 December 2014
Sydney Harbour

Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton won his first 18ft Skiff race when he teamed with Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey in Mojo Wine to win a remarkable Race 4 of the Australian 18 Footers Club Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Records will show that Mojo Wine defeated Coopers 62-Rag & Famish (Hugh Stodart, Peter Harris, Mark Kennedy) by 19s with Smeg (David Witt, Tom Clout, Matt Wark) a further 1m6s back in third place.

What the official result and margins won’t show is that it was one of the most bizarre races for many years.

Following a full week of afternoon storms in Sydney, another set of storms was predicted for this afternoon and the start was delayed about ½ hour when the first storm hit just before the fleet left the rigging area.

The wind direction was uncertain before the starter elected to send the fleet over four laps of the windward-return course.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) won the start, with Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, Mojo Wine, The Kitchen Maker (John Sweeny) and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) close behind.

The breeze soon dropped and the journey to the first windward mark took nearly 30 mins. To complete.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was first to set her spinnaker for the run back to the bottom mark.

Asko Appliances, Smeg, Lumix (Jonathan Whitty), Mojo Wine and Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) were in the group following the leader.

Conditions deteriorated as the fleet approached the bottom mark in heavy rain with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers holding a clear lead.

The THurlow team continued to lead over the next lap of the course despite gear problems which the crew battled to remedy.

Strong winds finally proved too much for the Thurlow boys as they approached the bottom mark on lap two and they executed a spectacular capsize trying to fix the problem.

Now Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel looked a likely winner as she opened up a lead on the third windward leg, but in wild winds nothing was certain as skiffs capsized all over the harbour.

For a time after Coopers-Rag capsized under spinnaker on the third run, there was not one competitor afloat.

By the end of that lap theer was a new leader, the heavy wind specialist Smeg crew held a narrow lead over Mojo Wine, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel and Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane).

Some excellent work by the Mojo crew after a near capsize at the mark saw Mojo stay within striking distance of Smeg and the two teams produced a great match race back to the final windward mark.

Knapton and his team were able to get the upper hand as the two skiffs approached the mark then sailed a perfect course back to the finish.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel came back strongly after their earlier misfortune to grab second place ahead of Smeg.

Appliancesonline came home a very good fourth, followed by The Kitchen Maker (also won the handicap) and series leader Gotta Love It 7.

Team Seven lead the championship with a total of nine points, ahead (on countback) of Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel also on nine points.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers is on 24, Smeg 27, with Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) and Mojo Wine equal on 29 points.

Next Sunday is a 3-Buoys race for the Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy. The club’s usual spectator ferry will follow the race, leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.

The race is the final event before the Christmas-New Break.

18ft Skiff Racing will re-commence on Sunday 11 January 2015 with Race 1 of the NSW Championship.

December 14, 2014

3-Buoys Challenge 2014 – Race 6 Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Syd. Barnett Memorial Trophy
Sunday 14 December 2014
Sydney Harbour

Ash Rooklyn replaced Jonathan Whitty on Lumix and scored his first 18ft Skiff win as a skipper when he teamed with Aron Everett and Daniel Nixon to win the Syd. Barnett Memorial Trophy race on Sydney Harbourtoday.

Lumix grabbed the lead after rounding the first set of windward marks and was never in any real danger of defeat as the team sailed faultlessly around the North-East course.

Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Tom Anderson, Paul Montague) was 33s behind the winner, in second place, with Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York, Greg Dixon, Matt Stenta) a further 1m25s back in thid place.

From the scratch start, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) led narrowly over a group of challengers including Smeg (David Witt), De’Longhi (Simon Nearn), Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Appliancesonline.com.au.

Mojo Wine, skippered by Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton, was also well placed at the start but a gear problem forced last week’s winner back to the tail of the fleet.

Smeg was the first skiff to its windward mark (blue) but Lumix took advantage of a red buoy mark rounding to grab a narrow lead as spinnakers were set for the run to the wing mark off Shark Island.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers had to travel further to the white buoy, which allowed Appliancesonline.com.au and Compassmarkets.com to slip inside.

Rooklyn and his young team showed their class as they sailed a perfect course to open up a clear break over De’Longhi, Appliancesonline, Compassmarkets, Smeg, Fisher & Paykel (Rob Flanagan) and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

These placings remained unchanged at the bottom mark (end of first lap) where Lumix held a 45s margin over De’Longhi.

At the second set of windward marks, Lumix lead had blown out to 1m10s over Appliancesonline and Compassmarkets which were only secs. Apart.

Smeg was fourth and clearly ahead of a large group on the second spinnaker run.

Over the final lap of the course, the top four positions remained unchanged.

The Kitchen Maker (John Sweeny) finished in fifth place, ahead of Fisher & Paykel, De’Longhi and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones).

Gotta Love It 7 didn’t start in today’s race as Seve Jarvin and his crew were involved in the final of the Extreme Sailing Series off the Opera House.

Seve’s day didn’t work out too well on PINDAR.

Today’s result sheet and nine images are attached.

This was the final race before the Christmas-New Year break. Racing will resume on 11 January with Race 1 of the NSW Championship.

THE J.J. GILTINAN 18ft SKIFF CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE SAILED FROM 14-22 FEBRUARY 2015.

November 23, 2014

Club Championship – Race 3 Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Club Championship, Race 3
Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy
Sunday, 23 November 2014
Sydney Harbour

The champion Gotta Love It 7 skiff continued her domination of the Australian 18 Footer League’s 2014-2015 Season with another brilliant victory in Race 3 of the Club Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Usual skipper Seve Jarvin and for’ard hand Sam Newton were joined in the team by James Wierzbowski for today’s race and led from shortly after the to defeat defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Dave Ewings) by 38s.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Harris) was a further 21s back in third place.

Gotta Love It 7 leads the progress pointscore on three points, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel on 7, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 17, Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) 18, Yandoo (John Winning) and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) each on 21 points.

The rig selection prior to the race created much interest as Gotta Love It 7, Mojo Wine (Brett Van Munster) and Pure Blonde (Nick Daly) elected to go with smaller #2 rigs while the rest of the top liners went big in the 12-15k North East wind.

At the start, Team 7 (pin end) seemed to be buried beneath a group of bigger rigged skiffs but when the fleet tacked off Bradleys Head the flying red machine was already in the lead.

Shortly after, the breeze freshened and from that point Gotta Love It 7 was always in the lead, although Thurlow Fisher Lawyers made a desperate last leg attempt to bridge the gap when the breeze changed direction and strength three times within a few minutes.

By the first windward mark, 7 led Thurlow Fisher Lawyers by 25s, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel and Smeg (David Witt).

The three leading positions remained unchanged on the spinnaker run back to Clarke Island where Pure Blonde had shown the advantage of her #2 rig to move up into fourth place.

On the following windward leg, Gotta Love It 7 and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers elected to sail vastly different courses as ‘7’ went to the RHS of the course while Thurlow went to the north side.

It made little difference as the placings remained unchanged, then Gotta Love It 7 had an amazing spinnaker run back to the bottom mark where her lead had been extended to 1m20s.

Mojo Wine (Brett Van Munster) narrowly grabbed third place from ‘The Rag’ at the Clarke Island mark but a near capsize shortly after allowed the black Rag skiff back in to third as the pair headed back up the third windward leg to the Beashel Buoy.

When 7’s lead was still 50s as the fleet headed for home it was going to be an easy victory but the wind changes over the final few minutes of the race gave spectators an exciting finish to the race.

Next Sunday is a 3-Buoys race for the W.C. ‘Trappy’ Duncan Memorial Trophy with the club’s usual spectator ferry leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.

Race 4 of the Club Championship will be sailed on Sunday 7 December.

November 9, 2014

Club Championship – Race 2 Eric Bowen Memorial Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Club Championship, Race 2
Eric Bowen Memorial Trophy
Sunday,9 November 2014
Sydney Harbour

The champion Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage again showed the class which has seen the team sweep all before them in recent seasons of 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour when they won Race 2 of the Australian 18 Footer League’s Club Championship today.

Team Seven took the lead on the third leg of the South course and from that point were never headed before taking the victory by 48s from the early leader Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Harris).

After a long battle with Coopers-Rag, Smeg (David Witt, Tom Clout, Matt Wark) finished a further 19s back in third place.

There was little between the pair as they approached the finishing line before Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel took the honours when Smeg had to do a penalty turn for a port and starboard breach.

Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane) finished fourth, followed by Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon).

The 12-15-knot South wind produced a great race with several spectacular runs and close, competitive racing throughout the fleet.

Coopers-Rag won the start at the pin end of the line and held a 10s lead over Mojo Wine (Brett Van Munster) at the first windward mark.

Unfortunately for the Mojo Wine team the starter had declared the skiff was OCS at the start and so was disqualified when the crew didn’t return for a re-start.

With Mojo Wine out, De’Longhi (Simon Nearn) was second behind The Rag, followed by ‘7’ which had quickly recovered from a moderate start, then Appliancesonline and Smeg.

The spinnaker run from Clarke Island to Obelisk Bay produced spectacular action as the fleet raced past the spectator craft along the course.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish still held a 20s margin over the rest of the fleet, but Gotta Love It 7 was now the main challenger to The Rag.

The Rag took a windward course on the next leg back into Rose Bay while ‘7’ and Smeg went more to the RHS of the course.

Although Mojo Wine was officially out of the race the team continued to sail the course and led narrowly from Gotta Love It 7 at the mark.

The Rag ans Smeg took entirely different courses with the two skiffs sailing different sides of Shark Island.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers wasn’t showing her usual boat speed but the teamwork saw the skiff back up into fourth place, just ahead of Appliancesonline, Yandoo (John Winning), Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Compassmarkets.

Smeg was showing good speed upwind and got back into second place at Clarke Island but the superior downwind speed of Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel saw these placings reversed on the next run to Obelisk.

Leading point scores in the series so far are: Gotta Love It 7 (2 points), Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (4), Smeg (6), Compassmarkets.com (10) and Yandoo (14).

Defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Asko Appliances are tied on 15 points.

Today’s result sheet and nine photos are attached.

Next Sunday is a 3-Buoys race for the Chris Webb Memorial Trophy with the club’s usual spectator ferry leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.

Follow all the racing action on the Australian 18 Footers League’s www.18footerstv.com website.

Video coverage and live stream is on www.18footerstv.com

Frank Quealey

November 2, 2014

3-Buoys Challenge 2014 – Race 3 Mick Scully Memorial Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Mick Scully Memorial Trophy
Sunday, 2 November 2014
Sydney Harbour

After a wild storm with winds gusting to 106 klms per hour hit Sydney Harbour yesterday, conditions on the harbour returned to a brilliant 12-15 knot South-East wind for today’s Mick Scully Memorial Trophy race.

Rig choice was split between the bigger #1 rigs and the smaller #2s, with the veteran John “Woody” Winning electing to go small on Yandoo.

With team members Andrew Hay and Jim Beck, Woody gave a brilliant all round performance to lead for almost the entire course before going on to a 1m57s win.

Second-placed Mojo Wine (Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) and third-placed Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, James Dorron, Jeronimo Harrison) were in the lead briefly and never far from Yandoo over the long course.

Asko finished 1m30s behind Mojo Wine.

Yandoo, Asko Appliances and Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) won the start with Yandoo and Compassmarkets electing to go east of Shark Island while Asko went to the west.

When the trio met at the 3-buoys windward mark in Rose Bay Yandoo and Compassmarkets were together at the ‘red’ buoy while Asko trailed narrowly at the ‘blue’ mark.

The more experienced Yandoo and Asko Appliances teams edged away a little under spinnaker while Mojo Wine, under the helm of Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton, moved into third place ahead of Compassmarkets.

At the windward mark off Clarke Island there was nothing between the three leading teams with Mojo Wine just ahead of Yandoo and Asko.

Mojo’s team were quick to set an extra, but this proved to be the wrong move and allowed their opponents to create a handy break.

There was as much good racing action behind the three leaders with positions of the next seven skiffs changing continually.

Yandoo extended her lead to more than 1m at Rose Bay as the fleet set out over the loop from Rose Bay to Taylor Bay and back to Rose Bay.

Once again Mojo Wine and Asko Appliances applied the pressure to Yandoo and took a narrow lead over Yandoo, but the experience of ‘Woody’ and his team saw the famous red and blue oval of Yandoo back in front once more as spinnakers were set for the run back down the harbour.

While the battle was hot for the nine placings behind Yandoo there was little doubt about the winner as she powered home a clear winner.

Compassmarkets.com finished fourth, followed by Fisher & Paykel (Rob Flanagan), Lumix (Josh McKnight), The Kitchen Maker (John Sweeny), Coopers 62-Rag &Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Smeg (David Witt).

Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) was one of the pre-race favourites with “Dave the Bookie” but a broken boom sent the Team Seven boys back to shore even before the race began.

October 26, 2014

Club Championship – Race 1 Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Club Championship – Race 1
Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy
Sunday, 26 October 2014
Sydney Harbour

The brilliant conditions which have prevailed for the opening races of the 2014-2015 Australian 18 Footers League season continued today for Race 1 of the Club Championship on Sydney Harbour.

After all teams registered their new equipment, they took to the harbour in a South-East breeze, which gusted to more than 20-knots

Two of the top skiffs had major skipper changes. James Francis replaced Seve Jarvin on Gotta Love It 7 and Hugh Stodart replaced Michael Coxon on Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

The change on the ‘7’red machine made little difference as Gotta Love It 7 (James Francis, Sam Newton, Scott Babbage) scored another brilliant victory – by 2m58s.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Charles Dorron), sporting a brand new #2 rig, finished in second place, with Smeg (David Witt, Tom Clout, Reece Goldsmith) a further 1m30s back in third place.

Yandoo (John Winning) was fourth, followed by Compassmarkets.com (Keegan York) and Mojo Wine (Lee Knapton).

Knapton and his Mojo Wine team led to the windward mark in Rose Bay where they headed a closely bunched fleet headed by Coopers-Rag & Famish, Smeg and Gotta Love It 7.

Team Seven grabbed a narrow lead from Mojo after the long spinnaker run from Rose Bay to Robertson Point and maintained a 15s margin on the following windward beat back to Clarke Island.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish and Smeg were next followed by Yandoo, Compassmarkets.com and Asko Appliances (James Dorron).

Mojo Wine challenged ‘7’ strongly on the run to Chowder Bay but couldn’t bridge the gap, then ‘7’ powered away on the next work into Rose Bay.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel was making up time and moved ahead of Mojo Wine, whose chances disappeared in a wild capsize on the bear-away.

Little changed over the final four legs of the course with Gotta Love 7’s crew sailing superbly to record their convincing victory.

The Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy for the handicap section of the race went to John Winning’s Yandoo.

A wonderful result when the trophy honouring one of the greatest 18 Footer men of the past (Alf Beashel) is won by one of the present great 18 Footer men.