March 18, 2018

Queen of the Harbour

Twenty one year old Isabelle Quigley became the 18ft Skiffs Queen of the Harbour for 2018 when she teamed with Steve Quigley, Sam Ellis and Scott Babbage in The Kitchen Maker on Sydney Harbout today.

The Kitchen Maker and Finport Trade Finance were in or near the lead over the three laps of the course before The Kitchen Maker took the line honours by just two seconds in a dramatic finish.

Finport Trade Finance (Tara Blanc Ramos, Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams) was four seconds ahead of third placed Yandoo (Nicole Douglass, John Winning, Cam McDonald, Michael Kennedy).

Ilve (Claire Kowaltzke, Ollie Hartas) finished fourth, ahead of De’Longhi (Natasha Childs, Simon Nearn), and Quality Marine Clothing (Ashleigh Hoffman, Aron Everett).

The race was sailed a a 15-20-knots North West wind which tested the crews and their teams over the three laps windward-return course.

Conditions provided the queens with an exciting sailing experience as the skiffs raced around the tight course in strong wind conditions.

Isabelle Quigley, who usually sails a 13 Footer at St. George Sailing Club was having her first race in the annual Queen of the Harbour and said the experience was awesome.

Note, today’s race is the final 18ft Skiff race for the 2017-2018 Season

February 26, 2018

Australian Championship Races 9 & 10

Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge were superb in the strong Southerly winds on Sydney Harbour today when they steered Smeg to become the Australian 18ft Skiff champion team for 2017-2018 Season.

The champion team scored six wins in the 10-race championship to finish with an overall score of 16 points, and now head into next week’s JJ Giltinan (woerld) Championship as one of the top two chances.

Yandoo (John Winning, Mike Kennedy, Cam McDonald) proved consistent in all conditions and finished second overall with a total of 35, followed in third place by Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Angus Williams) in third place on 44 points.

Today’s racing was a final hit out for the major championship, starting on Sydney Harbour next Saturday, and crews revelled in the strong 25-knot Southerly which battered the harbour.

Misty conditions made viewing difficult for spectators but the action as the fleet raced downwind in the strong breeze made up for the visibility.

Smeg, The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage) and Asko Appliances (James Dorron) led the fleet to the top mark in Race 9 before The Kitchen Maker capsized at the mark, lkeaving the other two teams to lead the downwind charge.

With little between Smeg and Asko as they approached the bottom mark, Asko was the next to go in a spectacular capsize, leaving Smeg with a sizeable lead, which the champion team held to the finish.

Yandoo finished in second place, 2m7s behind Smeg, with Triple m (James Ward) a further 42s back in third place.

The young Vintec crew (Kirk Mitchell, Daniel Barnett, Tim Westwood) showed they were getting to know their new skiff and led from the start in a brilliant display to win Race 10 by just 5s from Smeg.

NSW champion, The Kitchen Maker finished a further 21s back in third place.

Next week’s JJ Giltinan (world) Championship has a fleet of 25 set to face the starter, with entries from New Zealand, USA, UK, Germany and Hungary ready to take on the locals.

DON’T FORGET:
THE JJ GILTINAN CHAMPIONSHIP STARTS NEXT SATURDAY 3 MARCH
OTHER RACE DATES ARE: SUNDAY 4 MARCH, TUESDAY 6 MARCH, WEDNESDAY 7 MARCH, THURSDAY 8 MARCH, SATURDAY 10 MARCH, SUNDAY 11 MARCH
THE AUSTRALIAN 18 FOOTERS LEAGUE SPECTATOR FERRY WILL FOLLOW ALL SEVEN RACES OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP
THERE IS NO SPECTATOR FOR THE INVITATION RACE (FRIDAY 2 MARCH)

February 18, 2018

Australian Championship Races 7 & 8

The Smeg team of Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey scored a double victory in the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today, and go into next Sunday’s final day with a 14 points lead over their nearest rival.

Smeg’s crew was faultless as the skiff powered around the North-East course in the 20-25 knot wind.

.Race 7 was an all-the-way 1m15s win over James Ward, Adam Gillson, Ben Bradley in Triple M, followed by a 30s victory over The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage, Tom Quigley, Sam Ellis) in Race 8

Ilve, skippered today by the reigning JJ Giltinan champion Michael Coxon, with his crew Pedro Vozone and Charlie Gundy, finished third in both races.

The day took a very heavy toll on the fleet with only eight skiffs able to finish in Race 8.

Problems began when Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster) was forced to stay ashore after gear breakage during the rigging prevented the team from competing.

Smeg quickly took the lead from Asko Appliances (James Dorron) in Race 7 but Asko’s challenge soon ended on the first spinnaker run when the skiff suffered a broken forestay.

Conditions saw a number of skiffs capsize early in the race, leaving Smeg to lead from Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) at the bottom mark.

The Kitchen Maker was.in third place but capsized as the team approached the bottom mark.

With all major challengers out of contention, Smeg had little difficulty over the final lap of the course.

Race 8 was a far tougher contest for the flying red machine as The Kitchen Maker pushed Smeg to the limits over the first lap of the course.

The young NSW champions on The Kitchen Maker lead at the windward mark and held on down wind as Smeg challenged strongly.

Smeg proved too strong and recorded a well-deserved double, while the Ilve team also deserves great praise for two consistent performances in the testing conditions.

Races 9 & 10 Final two races of the Australian Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 25 February
The Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferry will follow the races.

DON’T FORGET:
THE JJ GILTINAN INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE SAILED FROM 3-11 MARCH
25 TEAMS FROM SIX COUNTRIES WILL CONTEST THE CHAMPIONSHIP

February 11, 2018

Australian Championship Race 5 & 6

A 22-knot SSE wind provided fantastic conditions for the flying 18ft Skiffs today when the Australian 18 Footers League conducted Races 5 and 6 of the Auustralian Championship on Sydney Harbour.

Once again, the two races produced two different winners and the overall scores suggest that we are in for a great finish in the final four races.

Race 5 produced a wonderful win for the Smeg team of Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge, as they powered away from the opposition over the final lap of the course.

Ilve (Ollie Hartas, Pedro Vozone, Charlie Gundy) were strong challengers over the first two legs of the course but could.t match the pace of the Smeg team in the closing stages.

Smeg’s final margin was 1m13s from Ilve, with Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Dan Phillips) a further 1m7s back in third place.

Appliancesonline (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Nick Hord) finished fourth, followed by Yandoo (John Winning, Bameron McDonald, Mike Kennedy) and Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague, Harry Bethwaite).

The conditions tested the entire fleet and there were a number of capsizes as the skiffs raced around the course.

It was a great spectacle for the crowds on the ferries.

The wind eased just a little for Race 6 and this time it was the Appliancesonline team which sailed brilliantly to quickly establish a big early lead.

As was the case in Race 5, the Ilve team was the main challenger over the first lap of the course, with Finport Trade Finance in third place.

Finport’s consistency managed to get the team into second place over the final stages of the race, and Finport came hom 32s behind the winner Appliancesonline.

Race 5 winner Smeg, after a poor first lap (by that team’s standards) finished strongly to grab third place ahead of Ilve, Yandoo and NSW champion The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage, Tom Quigley, Sam Ellis).

Racing continues with the final four races being held over the next two weeks.

The present points in the championship are: Smeg 18 points, Finport Trade Finance 21 points, Appliancesonline 22 points, Yandoo 23 points, with Asko Appliances and Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards,, Rory Cox, Jacob Broom) equal on 39 points.

Races 7 & 8 of the Australian Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 18 February
The Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferry will follow the races.

February 4, 2018

Australian Championship Race 3 & 4

The Australian 18ft Skiff Championship is wide open after another which produced two different winners in Races 3 and 4 on Sydney Harbour today.

Smeg’s team of Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge dominated Race 3 in the 10-knot East-South-East breeze when they led at every mark before going on to a brilliant 1m29s win.

Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Ed Chapman) recovered fro 9th place at the first windward mark to finish in second place, just 2s ahead of The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage, Sam Ellis, Kurt Warner).

Smeg was in the lead shortly after the start and quickly opened up a big lead over the fleet.

A lead of 40s over Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) when spinnakers were set for the run back to the bottom mark almost guaranteed Smeg would not be beaten over the windward return course.

Smeg’s lead was out to 1min at the bottom mark and interest centred on the battle going on behind the winner.

Race 4 followed soon after,and it looked as though wew would have another Smeg victory when the champion team led the fleet over the first lap of the course.

Typical ‘fluky’ Easterly conditions, however, began to play a part on the final windward leg of the course and Smeg’s lead soon disappeared.

The experienced Yandoo team of John Winning, Cam McDonald, Mike Kennedy picked the best course and had a narrow lead over Appliancesonline (Brett Van Munset, Phil Marshall, Nick Hord) at the windward mark.

With just a few secs between the two teams the race to the finish in Race 4 by finishing 4s further back in third place. held the spectators interest as the breeze freshened.

Yandoo’s crew were superb and went to a 40s victory over Appliancesonline, while Finport Trade Finance completed a consistently good day.

The championship has produced three different winners in the four races and the overall point reflect the closeness of the racing.

Yandoo’s win has given the team a total of 13 points from the four races and a one point lead over Smeg (the only two times winner), which has a total of 14 points.

Finport Trade Finance and Appliancesonline share the next placing on 14 points, followed by Asko Appliances (James Dorron) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) on 20 points

Races 5 & 6 of the Australian Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 11 February
The Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferry will follow the races.

Follow all the Club’s Racing:
Website: www.18footers.com
Twitter: @18skiff
Instagram: @18skiff
Facebook: International 18ft Skiff
Youtube: 18footerstv

January 28, 2018

Australian Championship races 1 & 2

The first day’s racing in the 2017-2018 Australian 18ft Skiff Championship was sailed on Sydney Harbour today in a 15-knots East-North-East wind and produced some close racing and a variety of placings in the 17-boat fleet.

In Race 1, Smeg (Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey) cruised to a comfortable 18s win over Yandoo (John Winning Jr., Cam McDonald, Mike Kennedy) with Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague, Trent Barnabas) just 2s further back in third place.

A capsize by Smeg during the lead up period to the start of Race 2 was disasterous to the first race winner when Smeg missed the start by several minutes.

After a strong finish in Race 1, the Asko Appliances team were quick to grab the lead in Race 2 and gave no other team a chance of victory as they powered to a massive 58s win over the short ENE course.

Yandoo backed up her first race runner-up placing with a similar result in Race 2 and shares the lead with Asko Appliances on four points after the first day’s racing.

Smeg recovered from her horror start in Race 2 to finish that race in seventh place to be tied overall with Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Nick Hord) on eight points.

The young Rag & Famish Hotel team of Bryce Edwards, Jacob Broome, Rory Cox elected to sail with their smaller #2 rig and sailed brilliantly to grab third place in Race 2 for an overall total of 10 points, and fifth place on the leader board.

Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Cory Hamilton) are sixth overall on 11 points.

In Race 1 Appliancesonline won the start but Smeg’s great windward leg saw the team take an 8s lead from Appliancesonline, The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage), Yandoo, Asko Appliances, Finport, Rag & Famish Hotel, Noakes Youth (Kirk Mitchell) and Triple M (James Ward).

Smeg extended her lead over the next two legs and headed for home with a 30s lead from Yandoo before going on to the 18s victory.

Asko Appliances came home very strongly in Race 1, and with Smeg out of contention, quickly established her supremecy to lead by 15s at the windward mark.

A faultless exhibition and great downwind boat speed saw Asko race further away from the fleet before going on to her 58s win over the consistent Yandoo.

Races 3 & 4 of the Australian Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 4 February
The Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferry will follow the race.
Follow all the Club’s Racing:
Website: www.18footers.com
Twitter: @18skiff
Instagram: @18skiff
Facebook: International 18ft Skiff
Youtube: 18footerstv

January 21, 2018

NSW Championship Race 4 & 5

After last Sunday’s race was postponed due to the very strong winds which battered Sydney Harbour, two windward-return races were held today to determine the NSW 18ft Skiff Champio for 2017-2018 Season.

In total contrast to last Sunday, a perfect 17-knot North East wind provided competitors and spectators with some of the most exciting racing we’ve seen, and the new 2-race format was an instant success.

A day of thrills and spills ended with a fairy tale victory for the brand new The Kitchen Maker team of Scott Babbage, Tom Quigley and Sam Ellis becomming the 2017-2018 NSW champions.

The Kitchen Maker finished with a net total of 10 points, defeating the experienced Smeg team of Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge and Mile McKensey by just one point.

Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague and Harry Bethwaite rwecovered from a disasterous start in Race 5 to finish with a brilliant win in the final race to take third place on 13 points.

The veteran Yandoo team (John Winning) was fourth on 18 points, followed by another young team, Noakes Youth, skippered by Kirk Mitchell on 19 and Triple M (James Ward) on 21.

In the first of today’s two races, Yandoo took the early lead and led for most of the course before being run down by the super quick The Kitchen Maker on the run to the finiah.

The breeze seemed to freshen for the latter race and the Smeg team were determined to make up for a capsize in Race 4 when they grabbed an early lead.

There was little between the two red boats , Smeg and Asko Appliances, and this may have been a fore-runner for what we can expect in the upcoming Australian and JJ Giltinan Championship.

The two teams were side by side around the final mark but quicker spinnaker work on Asko enabled her to win by 12s.

December 17, 2017

NSW Championship Race 3

The Asko Appliances team of James Dorron, Paul Montague and John Walton produced an outstanding performance to win Race 3 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

A perfect summer day, a 15knots North-East breeze provided the setting for a sensational race which ‘had it all’.

Extremely close racing and a few incidents gave the spectator fleet plenty to cheer about before Asko Appliances finally crossed the finish line a 20s winner from Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Lochy Gilmore, Greg Dixon) after the pair had fought for the lead throughout the entire race.

Triple M (James Ward, Adam Gillson, Huon Oliver) was a further 1m30s back in third place after another solid performance.

Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) finsihed fourth, followed by Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster) and Noakes Youth (Kirk Mitchell).

Series leader and defending champion, Smeg (Lee Knapton) had a disappointing day with an incident requiring a penalty turn, then a later capsize, sending the skiff back into seventh place.

Despite the disappointing day, Smeg still leads the championship on 9 points, followed by today’s winner Asko Appliances on 16 points, Noakes Youth on 16 points, Triple M on 17, Rag & Famish Hotel on 17 and The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage) on 19.

Right from the start, the race developed into a battle between Finport Trade Finance, Asko Appliances and Smeg, with a group including Yandoo (John Winning), The Kitchen Maker, Rag & Famish Hotel, Appliancesonline and De’Longhi (Simon Nearn) close behind.

A collision between Smeg and The Kitchen Maker midway up the windward leg ruined the chances of both teams and allowed Finport and Asko Appliances to extend their lead over the challengers at the Beashel Buoy.

Both skiffs went around the mark together and produced a thrilling race downwind to the wing mark off Shark Island while Yandoo, Appliancesonline and Triple M were also charging and reduced the margin between them and the two leaders.

The spinnaker run between Shark and Clark Islands was a thriller and only 15s separated the leader, Asko Appliances, from Finport and Appliancesonline.

Yandoo, Triple M, De’Longhi and Smeg (which had made a good recovery) wer closely bunched before a capsize sent Smeg out of contention.

Asko team’s performance on the second windward leg back to the Beashel Buoy was again brilliant as the team increased their leading margin from 15s to 35s over Finport.

Yandoo had also sailed a great leg and was third, ahead of Triple M and Appliancesonline, but a broken halyard on the following spinnaker run all but ended Yandoo’s hopes of finishing in the top group.

Over the final lap of the course, Finport clawed back some of Asko’s lead and only 15s separated the pair again when spinnakers were set at the Beashel Buoy.

The two skiffs were side by side as they raced to the south end of Shark Island wing mark and now only 10s was between them as they began the race between the islands to the finish.

Asko’s crew held their nerve and Asko Appliances actually increased the margin to complete a wonderful race.

The Australian 18 Footers League’s 2017-2018 Season will now go into recess for the Christmas/New Year period.

Race 4 of the NSW Championship will be sailed on Sunday 14 January. The Spectator Ferry follow the remainder of the NSW Championship, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf, alongside the clubhouse at 2pm.

Live streaming is also available through www.18footers.com and features commentators who are former 18footer champions to explain everything that’s happening, in detail.

The League is also now streaming all the races on Facebook. To watch the races live on Facebook go to www.facebook.com/18footers/

The season’s highlight, the JJ GILTINAN CHAMPIONSHIP will be sailed from 3-11 March 2018.

December 3, 2017

NSW Championship Race 2

The defending champion Smeg team of Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge strengthened their grip on the 2017-2018 NSW 18ft Skiff Championship with their second win of the championship in Race 2 on Sydney Harbour today.

A winning margin of 48s makes the win look decisive but the victory was a long hard battle mixed with some good fortune when two early race leaders faltered at the bottom mark on the first two laps of the course.

Smeg took full advantage to cross the line ahead of Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Angus Williams, Adam Minter) with The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage, Sam Ellis, Phil Marshall) a further 1m38s back in thirs place.

The young Noakes Youth team, led by Kirk Mitchell, were again impressive in their first 18ft Skiff season and finished fourth, ahead of Asko Appliances (James Dorron) and Yandoo (John Winning)

Smeg leads the championship on 2 points, followed by The Kitchen Maker on six points, Yandoo and Noakes Youth, both on 10, Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) on 13 and Triple M (James Ward) on 14.

De’Longhi (Simon Nearn) and Triple M won the start but an early tack by the Asko Appliances team saw the skiff grab the lead when their move proved decisive as the breeze shifted a little to the east of north east.

The breeze was fresh on the first windward leg and on the spinnaker run from the top mark (Beashel Buoy) to the wing mark off Shark Island in Rose Bay.

Asko Appliances held a 7s lead over Finport Trade Finance at the Beashel Buoy and the pair staged a wonderful battle as they raced alongside each other pats Nielsen Park and into Rose Bay.

Quality Marine Clothing (Aron Everett) had some gear problems in the aprk before the race and were forced to use the smaller #2 rigs while the rest of the fleet had the big #1 rigs.

With a ‘kick’ in the breeze, Quality Marine Clothing was in thirs place, ahead of De’Longhi, The Kitchen Maker, Noakes Youth, Triple M and Smeg.

Asko Appliances held off the challengers down the run back to the bottom mark off Clark Island but a capsize as the team rounded the mark sent the team’s day down the drain and gave the lead to Finport.

Keagan York and his team were as fast as any team on the track and they had little difficulty holding the challenges of Smeg, De’Longhi and The Kitchen Maker at bay.

These four teams had broken away a little from the rest of the fleet which was led by Noakes Youth, Yandoo and Triple M.

There must have been some type of curse at play at the bottom mark as Finport almost capsized in the same spot as the first lap leader (Asko) had done.

Smeg took full advantage of the incident and grabbed the lead from Finport, and from that point the win was never in doubt over the final lap of the course.

At the final windward mark Smeg led from Finport, De’Longhi, Noakes Youth and The Kitchen Maker,

De’Longhi capsized off the wing mark and had to be assisted to keep off the rocks and was declared a non finisher. A sad end to a really good performance by the De’Longhi team.

The Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferry will follow all the action of the remaining races in the NSW Championship.

Race 3 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday (10 December). The ferry following that race leaves Double Bay Public Wharf, alongside the clubhouse< at 2pm. Live streaming is also available through www.18footers.com and features commentators who are former 18footer champions to explain everything that's happening, in detail. The League is also now streaming all the races on Facebook. To watch the races live on Facebook go to www.facebook.com/18footers/

November 26, 2017

Championship Race 1

A perfect 15-20 knot North East wind gave the fleet a brilliant start to the 2017-2018 NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today and thrilled the spectator fleet with some spectacular racing action.

Current JJ Giltinan champion came out of ‘retirement’ to replace Lee Knapton and combined with Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge on Smeg to score an all the way win in Race 1 of the 5-race championship.

Smeg was the leader from shortly after the start and the Smeg team sailed brilliantly to lead throughout the entire race before crossing the finish line 2m12s ahead oft heir nearest rival, Noakesailing.

The Noakesailing team (Sean Langman, his son Peter Langman and Rhys Mara) were also sailed a great race to be among the top 4-5 teams over the entire course.

The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage, Sam Ellis, Murray Jones) finished strongly to grab third place 2m35s behind Noakesailing.

Yandoo (John Winning) finished fourth, followed by Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) and Noakes Youth (Jack Macartney).

U.S. champion Howie Hamlin sailed his skiff Harken by invitation and trailed Smeg in second place for most of the course and actually crossed the line in third place just 1s ahead of The Kitchen Maker.

There was little between Smeg and Harken to the first windward mark at the Beashel Buoy and the pair staged a spectacular race to the wing mark off Shark Island.

The pressure placed on Smeg caused a ‘moment’ when the skiff almost capsized on the gybe to stay ahead of Harken.

Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) was close behind the leaders but capsized in Rose Bay and was forced to retire.

At the bottom mark off Clark Island, Smeg had established a clear lead over Ash Rooklyn’s Vintec with Noakesailing close behind, followed by Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster), Rag & Famish Hotel, The Kitchen Maker and Noakes Youth.

Shortly after rounding the bottom mark, Appliancesonline.com.au was rammed by a power boat and the damage to the skiff’s hull forced another retirement from the race.

While Smeg was untroubled over the last half of the course, the race behind her was close.

It’s still very early days in the championship season so there will be a lot of changes coming over the months ahead before the JJ Giltinan Championship in March.

Teams such as Asko Appliances (James Dorron), Finport Trade Finance and Appliancesonline.com.au are certain to be big improvers.

Each of the three teams has had a checkered start to the season and its only a matter of time before the talent is rewarded with some consistently good results.

The Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferry will follow all the action of the NSW Championship. The ferry leaves Double Bay Public Wharf, alongside the clubhouse at 2.15pm.

Live streaming is also available through www.18footers.com and features commentators who are former 18footer champions to explain everything that’s happening, in detail.

The League is also now streaming all the races on Facebook. To watch the races live on Facebook go to www.facebook.com/18footers