November 19, 2017

Spring Championship Race 7

The Triple M team won today’s race on Sydney Harbour, but it was the Panasonic Lumix team who took out the inaugural Australian 18 Footers League Spring Championship.

Triple M (James Ward, Adam Gillson, Huon Oliver) won today’s race by 42s to become the only 2-race winner in the 7-race championship after another good performance by the crew.

Victory overall came to Panasonic Lumix (Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle, Nathan Edwards) only on the final lap of today’s course when the team finished strongly to take third place and an overall victory by just one point.

It was bad luck on both the race and the overall result for Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Adam Minter, Greg Dixon) which finished second today and second overall in the championship

The final overall pointscore showed Panasonic Lumix on 23 points, followed by Finport Trade Finance on 24, The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage) on 32, Triple M 36, Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) 36 and Smeg (Lee Knapton on 39.

The championship proved an outstanding success with six different winners coming from the seven races.

Once agin, the fleet today faced a 10-12knot Easterly breeze which also turned ESE throughout the race.

Last week’s winner Noakes Youth again grabbed the lead at the first set of windward marks in Rose Bay then narrowly led Triple M and Finport Trade Finance to the wing mark off Clark Island.

At the bottom mark the young team held a 20s lead over Finport and Triple M, followed by a group of chasers led by Panasonic Lumix and Asko Appliances (James Dorron).

Noakes Youth crew were brilliant up the second windward leg to Rose Bay and extended the lead to 1m30s as they headed back downwind to the bottom mark at Kurraba Point.

Most of the spectators were confident the young team would win their second race in two weeks when a bad gybe saw the skiff capsize and a big lead surrendered to Triple M.

Finport’s team weren’t done and came back to challenge Triple M but the task was going to be tough as Finport had to go to the furthest mark in Rose Bay before the run to the finish.

There have been a number of close finishes in the series and today was another.

Triple M’s team had to drive their skiff hard to hold off the determined challenge by the luckless Finport Trade Finance team.

Race 1 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 26 November.
The Australian 18 Footers League Spectator Ferry will follow all the racing action. The ferry leaves Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm.

November 12, 2017

Spring Championship Race 6

It was a day for the young 18ft Skiff teams on Sydney Harbour today when Noakes Youth defeated Panasonic Lumix by just 2s in a heart-stopping finish to Race 6 of the Australian 18 Footers League’s Spring Championship.

The Noakes Youth team of Kirk Mitchell, Daniel Barnett and Tim Westwood grabbed the race lead for the first time at the final set of windward buoys in Rose Bay and held off the fast finishing Panasonic Lumix team (Lachlan Doyle, Rick Plain, Michael Vincent) in a spinnaker dash to the finish line off Clark Island.

Another young team on Rag & Famish (Bryce Edwards, Rory Cox, Jacob Broom) took the lead at the first windward marks in Rose Bay and led for the entire race before being caught on the wrong side of a wind shift up the final windward leg of the course. The team still managed to finish a strong third,just 29s behind Panasonic Lumix.

In a race which provided spectators and crews with plenty of dramas, Noakesailing (Sean Langman) finished fourth, ahead of The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage) and Asko Appliances (James Dorron).

The series has now produced six different winners from the six races sailed so far (Panasonic Lumix, Triple M, Quality Marine Clothing, De’Longhi, ILVE and now Noakes Youth) and the final result next Sunday will depend heavily on that race’s result.

The present points table, after each team discards their worst performance, has Panasonic Lumix leading on 20 points, followed by Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) on 22, Rag & Famish Hotel on 24, The Kitchen Maker on 28, Yandoo (John Winning) on 29 and Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster), also on 29 points.

The Appliancespnline points could change if the team is successful with a protest requesting redress, following a port-and-starboard incident in today’s race.

Another Easterly wind prevailed for the race but the wind strength was more than the fleet have experienced for most of the championship.

AOL, Yandoo and Vintec (Ash Rooklyn) were leading the fleet up the first windward leg before Rag & Famish Hotel gained her advantage at the red marker.

Once in the lead, the Rag & Famish Hotel team sailed superbly downwind and extended their lead over the two spinnaker legs back to the bottom mark off Kurraba Point.

The Kitchen Maker was in second place and Panasonic Lumix third at that point but a change came over the race due to the incident between Yandoo and Appliancesonline.

On the second lap of the course the three leading positions remained unchanged and Rag & Famish Hotel went even further ahead at Kurraba Point the second time.

The two Noakes skiffs (Noakes Youth and Noakesailing) were the only other teams in a real position to challenge the leaders after a large ship sailed completely through the fleet and destroyed whatever chance the rest of the fleet had to make a challenge.

Rag & Famish Hotel held the lead from The Kitchen Maker on the final windward leg but a directional shift in the breeze played into the hands of both Noakes Youth and Panasonic Lumix.

While there were plenty of hard luck stories to be told, the race proved a bonus for spectators with the final result coming only a few metres from the finish line.

The last race of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday (19 November).
Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferry will follow all the action, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf, alongside the clubhouse, at 2.15pm.

November 5, 2017

Spring Championship Race 5

Race 5 of the Australian 18 Footers League’s Spring Championship produced the fifth different winner when Ollie Hartas, Pedro Vozone and Rob Polec brought ILVE home a 23s winner on Sydney Harbour today.

The ILVE team had to come from behind to grab the lead at the final set of windward marks then hold off the former world champion SMEG team of Lee Knapton, Moke McKensey and Ricky Bridge.

Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall and Nick Hord) was a further 58s back in third place, just ahead of Jordan Girdis’ Panasonic Lumix, Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) and Noakesailing (Sean Langman).

With just two more races to be sailed in the championship (after each team drops its worst performance so far), Finport Trade Finance leads the points table on 15 points, followed by Panasonic Lumix on 18, Appliancesonline.com.au also on 18, Yandoo (John Winning) on 20, Smeg on 20 and Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) on 21.

For the third time in the championship, the race began in a light Easterly breeze under a dark, cloudy sky.

Smeg dominated the start with a brilliant pin end move which saw the team quickly open up a lead over Quality Marine Clothing (Aron Everett), Finport Trade Finance, ILVE, Triple M (James Ward) and Appliancesonline.com.au.

The set of 3-buoys windward marks in Rose Bay came into play when Quality Marine Clothing grabbed the lead from Smeg as spinnakers were set for the run to the wing mark off Clark Island and the bottom mark at Kurraba Point.

Finport was next, followed by Triple M, ILVE, Noakesailing, Appliancesonline, Panasonic Lumix and The Kitchen Maker (Stephen Quigley).

Quality Marine Clothing extended her lead to 1m at the wing mark and retained the lead at the bottom mark before a 15-knot squall hit the fleet as the latter boats in the fleet approaced the mark.

The more experienced Smeg crew put pressure on the Quality Marine Clothing team and only five boatlengths separated the pair when they tacked off Double Bay.

In the meantime the breeze went left and now Finport was the new leader ahead of Triple M, Quality Marine Clothing and Smeg were relegated back into third and fourth places respectively.

The breeze was soft again as the leaders approached Rose Bay and a new leader emerged when Noakesailing gained the red buoy advantage to lead from Triple M, Smeg and ILVE.

On the long spinnaker run from Rose Bay to Kurraba Point, Triple M held the lead from ILVE while Appliancesonline was third ahead of Smeg.

AOL and Smeg were higher than the two leaders, so when the breeze shifted again it heavily favoured them over Triple M and ILVE.

The four teams went around the bottom mark with only 5s separating the four skiffs.

Smeg took the lead for the final windward leg back to Rose Bay but was going to have to go to the furthest (white) mark while ILVE, which was pacing it with the champ.

If ILVE could maintain her position to the Rose Bay 3-buoys it was likely to favour her more than Smeg and set up a close race to the finish.

Both teams went around their respecting marks at the same time which effectively gave ILVE a lead of about 25s and a great chance for victory.

The less experienced ILVE team sailed faultlessly on the spinnaker run to the finish line off Clark Island and gave the series its five different winner and a great finish over the next two weeks.

Race 6 of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 12 November. Race 7 (last race of championship) will be sailed on Sunday, 19 November.

The Australian 18 Footers League Spectator Ferry will follow all the action, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf on both days at 2.15pm.

There will be Live Streaming of the races via www.18footers.com

October 29, 2017

Spring Championship Race 4

After three weeks of light, flukey conditions, the 18ft Skiff fleet was blessed with a perfect 15-knot Nor’Easter wind for Race 4 of the Australian 18 Footers League Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

The breeze brought with it some great racing and resulted in victory for the experienced De’Longhi crew of Simon Nearn, Grant Rollerson and Brandon Buyink.

De’Longhi’s team grabbed the race lead on the second windward leg of the three lap race and withstood a strong challenge from Triple M (James Ward, Adam Gillson, Huon Oliver) to take victory by 18s.

The Kitchen Maker (Stephen Quigley, Tom Quigley, Sam Ellis) was always in or near the lead throughout the race and finished a further 34s back in third place.

Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) was fourth, followed by Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster), Yandoo (John Winning), Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) and backmarker Smeg (Lee Knapton).

After four races in the seven-race Spring Championship, the points lead is shared by three teams Triple M, Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel and Yandoo on 22 points.

Finport Trade Finance is fourth on 24 points, followed by Quality Marine Clothing (Aron Everett) on 26 and Appliancesonline.com.au on 27 points.

The Kitchen Maker won the start at the windward end of the line and staged a battle with Finport, Triple M and De’Longhi on the first windward leg to the Beashel Buoy marks.

These three skiffs were prominent down the spinnaker legs past Shark Island to the bottom mark off Clark Island.

Triple M grabbed the lead (despite a near miss with a Finn class boat) but Finport with her bigger #1 rig had moved up into second place ahead of The Kitchen Maker and De’Longhi.

De’Longhi was making inroads into the lead and took over as the fleet completed the second windward leg of the course.

The Kitchen Maker was in second place, followed by Triple M, Appliancesonline, Yandoo and Panasonic Lumix (Jordan Girdis).

Once again, racing was close right through the fleet and the championship outcome will go right down to the wire.

Race 5 of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday.

The Australian 18 Footers League’s spectator ferry will follow all the action. The ferry leaves Double Bay Public Wharf (alongside the clubhouse) at 2.15pm.

Live streaming is also available through www.18footers.com.

Commentators include former 18 footer champions to explain everything that’s happening in detail.

October 22, 2017

Spring Championship Race 3

Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar and Charlie Gundy gave a faultless performance in Quality Marine Clothing to take out Race 3 of the Australian 18 Footers League Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Skippering an 18ft Skiff for only the third time, Everett and his team led at every round mark before cruising to a 40s victory over Noakesailing (Sean Langman, Peter Langman, Rhys Mara).

Third placing went to The Kitchen Maker (Stephen Quigley, Tom Quigley, Sam Elis), which finished a further 39s behind Noakesailing.

Only 15s separated the next five boats.

Triple M (James Ward) finished fourth, followed by Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster), Peroni (Nick Daly), Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) and Smeg (Euan McNicopl)..

Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel heads the pointscores at the halfway point of the championship with a total of 15 points.

Today’s winner Quality Marine Clothing is next on 16, Yandoo (John Winning) on 16, Triple M on 20, Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) 20 and Panasonic Lumix (Jordan Girdis) on 21.

For the third consecutive week, the fleet had to battle less than favourable wind conditions which makes life difficult for the crews.

The 5-8 knot easterly wind produced a great windward contest on the long leg from the start off Robertson Point to the three-buoys windward mark in Rose Bay.

Asko Appliances (James Dorron), Triple M and Panasonic Lumix led the fleet for most of the journey but Everett’s Quality Marine Clothing grabbed the top spot just ahead of Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel and Panasonic Lumix.

When the chasers sailed too close to the shoreline, Quality Marine Clothing opened up a clead lead to the wing mark off Clark Island and back to the bottom mark at Kurraba Point.

Conditions on the two spinnaker runs were totally unpredictable and placing changed dramatically throughout the entire fleet.

As the fleet began the second of the three windward legs to Rose Bay, Quality Marine Clothing held a 1m30s lead over Sean Landman’s Noakesailing, The Kitchen Maker, Peroni, Yandoo and Asko Appliances.

Despite the inexperience of Aron Everett as a 18ft Skiff skipper, he led the team to perfection under the increasing pressure of the more experienced Langman.

Noakesailing reduced the lead back to 20s at Rose Bay, but the Quality Marine Clothing skiff was producing great downwind speed to get the margin back to1m30s at the end of the second lap.

Race 4 of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 29 October. The Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferry will follow all the action, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm.

October 15, 2017

Spring Championship Race 2

The Triple M 18ft Skiff team of James Ward, Adam Gillson and Huon Oliver totally dominated Race 2 of the Australian 18 Footers League Spring Championship, which was sailed in a light Easterly breeze on Sydney Harbour today.

Ward and his team were prominent from the start and took the lead at the first set of windward marks after a battle for supremecy with Smeg (Lee Knapton) and The Kitchen Maker (Stephen Quigley) shortly after the start.

Triple M soon raced away to a clear lead on the first spinnaker run and only John Winning, Cameron McDonald and Michael Kennedy on Yandoo looked likely to be able to put pressure on the runaway leader.

At the end of the first lap of the course, Triple M led Yandoo by 1m30s and had the same lead at the conclusion of the following lap.

The team on the leader were faultless omn the final lap and went on to score a 2m2s victory over Yandoo.

While the two leaders were rarely challenged for their positions throughout the entire race, the battle for the minor placings was quite the opposite.

Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York, Scott Babbage, Kurt Warner) fought back strongly after being placed 9th at the end of the first lap and finish third, 2m36s behind Yandoo, and narrowly ahead of Aron Everett’s Quality Marine Clothing, Panasonic Lumix (Jordan Girdis) and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards).

James Ward and his team were disappointed last week when they were forced out of the race with a torn mainsail while in a battle with Smeg for third place.

Before today’s race Ward was quietly confident about the team’s chances and his confidence was well founded.

Several of the new and young teams impressed again and last week’s winning Panasonic Lumix, on 6 points, holds a one point lead over Yandoo and Finport Trade Finance in the seven-race championship.

Another young team on Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel is next on 8 points, followed by Smeg on 13, Quality Marine Clothing on 15, and ILVE (Oliver Hartas) on 16.

Today’s light conditions on Sydney Harbour test the fitness of all teams as they come to grips with the tricky winds at the Rose Bay end of the course.

Race 3 of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 22 October. The Australian 18 Footers League’s Spectator Ferry will follow all the action, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm.

September 14, 2017

2017/18 Season Preview

With less than a month to go till the start of the Australian 18 Footers sailing season, the excitement is building for another big summer of racing. The 2017/18 racing season will see changes to the racing formats, some new teams and sponsors and in March the Australian/New Zealand rivalry will be hot.

Racing kicks off on Sunday October 8 with the first race of the Spring Championship. A seven race series of three buoys racing. Then it is straight into the NSW Championship. This five race series will run from November through to January with three weeks off for Christmas.

The Australian Championship starts on January 21, 2018 and will see the fleet completing two races a day. Smeg bowman Mike McKensey is looking forward to the introduction of more racing. “It is a great chance to get some more racing practice in before the JJ Giltinan starts in March,” he said.

The JJ Giltinan Championship runs from March 2 to 11 and will see a fleet of international teams try to steal the trophy from the Australians. The New Zealand team of Yamaha will be leading the charge with some unfinished business from the last two JJ Giltinan Championships. Some unfortunate circumstances has seen Dave McDiarmid’s team finish second for the last two years.

This year’s 18 Footers racing season will be filled with great action and plenty of spectacular capsizes. You can follow all the action online with our live stream, Facebook and Twitter pages. Or head out on the spectator ferry to get right in the middle of the action.

The 18 Footers Spectator Ferry leaves Double Bay Wharf at 2:15pm on race days. Tickets can be bought from reception and children under 14 are free. The spectator ferry is the best way to catch the racing and see Sydney Harbour.