November 15, 2015

NSW Championship Race 3

Defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team of Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor and Trent Barnabas sailed a near faultless race in a 20-knot Southerly wind to win a dramatic Race 3 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

With just one more race to be sailed in the championship (next Sunday), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers heads the net points table on two points, followed by Gotta Love It 7 on 3, Smeg on 5, Appliancesonline.com.au and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel on 8.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was always in the top two throughout the race but raced away for a comfortable 1m32s win after race leader Appliancesonline.com.au broke a bobstay fitting and lost her spinnaker pole.

Smeg (Brett Van Munster, Mike McKensey, Paul Montague) also sailed strongly in the testing conditions to finish in second position with Gotta Love It 7 a further 1m20s back in third place.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) was fourth, followed by Yandoo (John Winning) and the very unlucky Appliancesonline.com.au (Dave Witt) a gallant sixth, without a spinnaker pole.

Today’s race began dramatically when pre-race favourite Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, John Winning Jr., Nick Catley) was recalled for breaking the start and lost all real hope of victory.

Yandoo won the race to the windward mark off Clarke Island from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Smeg and Appliancesonline.com.au and the race was on at full speed as the fleet raced towards the Obelisk mark near Sydney Heads.

It was total spectacle as Appliancesonline.com.au grabbed the lead fro Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and the chargers following close behind which included Smeg, Yandoo, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish and Gotta Love It 7 which had moved up to be mid fleet.

The work back from Obelisk to Rose Bay was an entirely different race for the spectators as it developed into a traditional match race between Appliancesonline and Thurlow.

Only 15secs separated the two teams as they set off for the bottom mark in Athol Bay but each team elected to use a different tactic to the other.

Appliancesonline set a spinnaker while Thurlow Fisher preferred a two-sail reach to clear the Bradleys Head headland.

Despite the different ideas, the margin remained similar at the Athol Bay mark and a great race was looming as the pair battled back to Clarke Island.

With just 5secs now separating Appliancesonline and Thurlow Fisher the two team again began the long spinnaker run to Obelisk but just as the crowd were settling down to a great two-boat race, Appliancesonline’s day was ruined when a bobstay fitting broke and the team lost their spinnaker pole and any hope of victory.

From that point Thurlow was untroubled to maintain the lead and was never in any serious danger of defeat.

With just two legs of the course left, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers held a 1m25s advantage over Smeg while Gotta Love It 7 had moved up to be in third position, 3m10s behind the leader.

Next Sunday’s last race of the NSW Championship should be a thriller as it will probably come down to the race winner also becoming the championship winner.

The Australian 18 Footers League will have a Spectator Ferry, leaving Double Bay Wharf, alongside the clubhouse, at 2.00pm, to follow all the action.

Don’t miss it.

November 8, 2015

NSW Championship Race 2 & Club Championship Race 2

A totally new crew on the 2015-2016 Gotta Love It 7 but the result was all too familiar in Race 2 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

John Winning Jr., Nick Catley and Josh Porebski replaced the all-conquering 2014-2015 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage but the new crew showed the class required to reproduce the brilliant performances of the former team.

Gotta Love It 7 grabbed the lead midway through the race to defeat Appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt, Tom Clout, Tom Anderson) by 1m8s and has taken the overall lead in the championship, on three points, with two more races still to be sailed.

Smeg (Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) finished third a further 39s behind Appliancesonline.com.au and shares second place on the points table with defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) on six points.

Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) finished sixth today for a total of 10 points while Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) was fourth for a total of 11 points.

After an even start in the 20-knot Southerly wind in Athol Bay, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel led by 5s from The Kitchen Maker (Andrew Chapman) at the windward mark off Double Bay, with Compassmarkets and Gotta Love It close behind.

The flying machines treated spectators to a brilliant spectacle on the long spinnaker run to the bottom mark at Obelisk Bay, towards the Sydney Heads.

David Witt and his team handled the conditions superbly and grabbed a narrow lead from Gotta Love It 7 with The Rag relegated back to third position ahead of The Kitchen Maker and Smeg.

The two leaders continued to race almost side by side on the work back into the Rose Bay rounding mark with only 10-15s separating the pair.

Never one to die wondering, Witty and his team were quick to set their spinnaker while the Gotta Love It 7 team decided to wait and make sure they were clear of Bradleys Head.

Again, the spinnaker run produced some brilliant rides for the teams and exciting vision for spectators.

Michael Coxon and his Thurlow Fisher Lawyers crew almost collided with the spectator ferry as the skiff raced towards the Bradley headland then moments later almost capsized when the wind momentarily left them.

It was total speed when the crews showed their highly skilled ability as they threw everything into some great sailing.

A windshift on the following windward leg back fro Athol Bay to Clarke Island saw a major change come over the race.

Gotta Love It 7 gained one minute on the fleet and was 45s ahead of Appliancesonline.com.au as spinnakers were set for the start of the final lap.

There was still plenty of action and some great sailing by many crews but the result was never really in doubt from that point as the ���7�۪ crew were faultless in the testing conditions.

Race 3 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday and the Australian 18 Footers League will have a Spectator Ferry, leaving Double Bay Wharf, alongside the clubhouse, at 2.00pm, following all the action.

November 1, 2015

NSW Championship Race 1

Defending champions Michael Coxon, Dave O�۪Connor and Trent Barnabas brought Thurlow Fisher Lawyers home a convincing winner of Race 1 of the 2015-2016 NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

The team gave a faultless exhibition in the fresh North Easterly wind which took a toll on a number of the highly skilled competitors.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers finished 2m48s ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (John Winning Jr.), with Smeg (Lee Knapton) just 5s further back in third place.

Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) finished fourth, followed by Yandoo (John Winning) and Pure Blonde (Nick Daly)

Pure Blonde�۪s performance earned the team The Mick Scully Memorial Trophy for victory In the handicap section of the race.

Noakes Youth (Ash Rooklyn), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Smeg, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) were prominent at the start.

The new Smeg skiff was having her first race start and showed some brilliant boat speed to grab the lead as the fleet headed into Taylor Bay.

After establishing a clear lead off Chowder Bay, Smeg�۪s crew made an uncharacteristic mistake and capsized on the tack.

The talented rookie team on Noakes Youth showed their class in the testing conditions to take the lead from their more experienced rivals.

At the Beashel Buoy windward mark, Noakes Youth was 2s ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, with a group including Asko Appliances, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, Triple M (John Sweeny) and Compassmarkets.com.

Noakes Youth fell foul of the tough conditions and capsized leaving Thurlow Fisher Lawyers to lead the charge downwind to the wing mark in Rose Bay.

Asko Appliances was in second position but, unbelievably after her earlier capsize, Smeg was a close third and closing in fast.

As the fleet completed the first lap of the course off Clarke Island, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers led by 20s with the hard charging Smeg now up into second position ahead of Asko Appliances, Yandoo, Gotta Love It 7 and Compassmarkets.com.

Just as the spectator fleet was settling in for a great battle between Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Smeg, the Smeg team had another on the wind capsize and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was left with a commanding lead.

The experienced Thurlow team took full advantage of the opportunity and were faultless as they extended their lead over each of the following legs of the course.

While the winner was clear cut, the races for the positions behind Thurlow Fisher were brilliant.

Gotta Love It 7 took second place by just 5s from Smeg, which made another fabulous recovery, and Compassmarkets.com finished fourth only 1s ahead of Yandoo.

With several new crew combinations competing this season the racing will only get better as the new teams get more experience under their belts.

Race 2 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday and the Australian 18 Footers League will have a Spectator Ferry, leaving Double Bay Wharf, alongside the clubhouse, at 2.00pm, following all the action.

October 25, 2015

Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy

It was a ���family finish�۪ in today�۪s Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy 18ft Skiff race on Sydney Harbour when John Winning Jr. skippered Gotta Love It 7 to a 35s victory over Yandoo, skippered by his father John Winning.

Gotta Love It 7 trailed the early leader Lumix for most of the course but once the team grabbed the lead approaching the final windward mark the result was not in doubt.

Lumix finished third, a further 31s behind Yandoo, followed home by Asko Appliances, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Euan McNicol), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Micah Lane) and Noakes Youth (Ash Rooklyn).

The Lumix team of Brett Van Munster, Aron Everett and Greg Dixon clearly won the start at the pin end of the line and sailed beautifully up the first to hold the lead at the Beahel Buoy windward mark.

7�۪s John Winning Jr., Scott Babbage and Nick Catley were in a three way battle with Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Fang Warren and Harry Bethwaite) and Yandoo (John Winning, Jim Beck and Cameron McDonald) for second place.

The skiffs were ���jumping�۪ down the first spinnaker run to Shark Island with the leading positions unchanged from the mark rounding.

An early casualty was the brand new Smeg, which was launched for the first time only minutes before the start.

The crew were concerned that a problem with the mast was too risky to continue in the 18knot North East wind.

Gotta Love It 7 began to pressure Lumix on the second windward leg but Van Munster and his team were up for the challenge and maintained a 20s advantage over Gotta Love It 7 at the Beashel Buoy.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel had sailed extremely well on that leg and shared third place with Asko Appliances, just ahead of Yandoo as spinnakers were set for the run down the centre of the harbour.

Again, Lumix was able to maintain the lead and had actually increased the margin by 5s at the bottom mark.

With positions changing regularly behind the first two teams, it was one of the closer North Easter races in several seasons.

Yandoo was in third place at Clarke Island, ahead of Asko Appliances and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel.

The conditions took a toll on several teams with De�۪Longhi (Simon Nearn), Mojo Wine (James Ward), Pure Blonde (Nick Daly) and Alcatel One Touch (Stephen Quigley) forced to retire.

Spectators were treated to some great action as all the teams drove their charges all the way around the course.

The spinnaker runs were a thrill a minute with centreboards the feature of the day.

There will be more exciting action next Sunday when a full fleet of 19 teams will line up for the first race of the NSW Championship.

The club�۪s regular Spectator Ferry will follow the races leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2pm.

October 18, 2015

Major A Frizelle Memorial Trophy

Keagan York, Matt Stenta and Angus Williams took out the Major A. Frizelle Trophy 18ft Skiff race in a dramatic finish in Compassmarkets.com on Sydney Harbour today.

The Compassmarkets.com team grabbed the lead from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas and Dave O�۪Connor) only 20 metres from the finish to score a 6s victory in a very light South East breeze.

Yandoo (Nick Press, Jim Beck and Cameron McDonald) was a further 1m1s back in third place.

Ilve (Ollie Hartas) finished only 2s back in fourth place, followed by Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Mojo Wine (James Ward).

The breeze for the windward-return course was extremely light and flukey, SE between 0-5 knots, and the course had to be shortened .

Compassmarkets led by 5s. from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers at the windward mark with Ilve another 40s back in third place.

Former JJ Giltinan champion Stephen Quigley was fourth, followed by Yandoo, Noakes Youth (Ash Rooklyn), Gotta Love It 7 (John Winning Jr.) and Asko Appliances.

The light breeze saw the teams take a variety of downwind courses.

At the bottom mark, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was a narrow leader from Asko, Compass and Team Quigley.

The experienced Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team was dominant on the next windward leg and opened up a 30s break over Asko Appliances, Team Quigley and Compassmarkets.com.

With the race seemingly under control, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers missed the better breeze and was soon grabbed by Compassmarkets.

As the pair raced to the finish line only secs, separated the pair and the Compassmarkets team did slightly better in a dramatic light wind finish.

The Australian 18 Footers League staged a second short course windward-return race and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers reversed the result with a 3m52s win over Compassmarkets.com.

De�۪Longhi (Simon Nearn) finished 16s further back in third place.

The League will stage another two-race program next Sunday and the usual Spectator Ferry will follow the racing, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm.

October 11, 2015

R. Watt Memorial Trophy

The Australian 18 Footers League’s 2015-2016 Season started on Sydney Harbour today when a fleet of 14 teams faced the starter in the R. Watt Memorial Trophy race.

A crew change and a new skipper but a great first up win as Gotta Love It 7 scored a 1m19s victory over Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers another 12s back in third place.

Six-time JJ Giltinan winning skipper Seve Jarvin moved into the bow of Gotta Love It 7, John Winning Jr. became the new skipper and Scott Babbage on the sheet, but the crew work was faultless in the light, variable North East conditions.

There was little between the first three teams over the early stages of the race with Gotta Love It 7 only 4s ahead at the first windward mark.

Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Charles Dorron, Euan McNicol and Joel Castle) grabbed the lead off ���7�۪ just after rounding but lost the lead soon after when ���7�۪ and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O�۪Connor and Trent Barnabas) gybed.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers became the third leader in less than a minute as the fleet set off under spinnaker on the run to Rose Bay.

An early gybe by the Thurlow crew after passing the Totem Pole mark proved costly as the team became caught in a wind shadow off Shark Island and surrendered the lead back to Gotta Love It 7.

The breeze was extremely light and the fleet bunched between Shark and Clarke Island before Gotta Love It 7 turned for the second windward leg with a narrow, 20s lead over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

There were some impressive performers behind the three leaders as the Noakes Youth team, led by Ash Rooklyn, sailed an excellent first race together.

Rooklyn, Josh McKnight and Daniel Nixon are all top sailors and showed they are going to be a real force as the season progresses.

Sean Langman, the man behind the Noakes Group involvement in the 18s and skipper of Noakesailing, was also well placed for most of the race before dropping back to finish ninth as the breeze dropped further.

The handicap section went to Alcatel One Touch, skippered by 1996 JJ Giltinan champion Stephen Quigley, with his son Thomas Quigley and Sam Ellis in the crew.

Next Sunday, the Australian 18 Footers League will stage the first of its multi-race events.

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

* There were some technical difficulties with the live stream and the race video is unavailable. We hope to have these issues sorted out for the next race.