March 24, 2013

Club Championship – Race 10, Alice Burton Memorial Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Club Championship, Race 10
Alice Burton Memorial Trophy
Sunday, 24 March 2013
Sydney Harbour

Gotta Love It 7 made a clean sweep of the 2012-2013 Season championships when she took out the final race and the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

With regular skipper Seve Jarvin taking his place as For’ard Hand today with regular crewman Peter Harris missing from the team, World Moth champion Josh McKnight, of the UK, joined the Gotta Love It 7 crew for the race.

The skiff’s regular Sheet Hand Scott Babbage, who was defeated in the World Moth Championship by McKnight, skippered Gotta Love It 7 to an all the way victory today.

Gotta Love It 7 grabbed the lead soon after the start in the 8-12-knot NE wind and took out the race by 2m57s from (John Sweeny, Paul Montague, Tom Anderson).

Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Ash Rooklyn, Geronimo Harrison) was a further 40s back in third place.

Gotta Love It 7 finished on 39 points in the championship, followed by Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) on 52.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Yandoo (John Winning) finished on 62 points each, Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) 68 and Mojo Wine (James Dorron) on 90.

Asko Appliances took out the Alice Burton Memorial Trophy handicap section and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) won the Club’s Season Point Score series.

Babbage had Gotta Love It 7 1m ahead at the first windward mark, with today’s placegetters and Asko Appliances heading the rest of the fleet.

It was a lead ‘7’ never looked likely to lose, but the race for the next six placings remained in doubt throughout.

Today’s race produced a first in the 120 years old class when three generations of one family comprised the entire crew of an 18 Footer.

Trevor Barnabas, a five times Giltinan champion, his son Trent, also a Giltinan champion, and Trent’s two sons Zac and Jake, sailed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers into 9th place.

March 10, 2013

NSW Championship – Race 5, Club Championship – Race 9

18ft Skiffs
N.S.W. Championship, Race 5
Sunday, 10 March 2013
Sydney Harbour

Gotta Love It 7 became the 2012-2013 NSW 18ft Skiff champion when Euan McNicol (replacing regular skipper Seve Jarvin), Scott Babbage and Peter Harris took out the last race of the championship on Sydney Harbour today.

After trailing Pure Blonde (Tom Clout, Rob Bell, Matt Wark) by two boatlengths at the first windward mark, Gotta Love It 7 edged away to a 30s lead downwind, then from that point were never likely to lose.

Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) stayed in touch with ‘7’ over the first two laps of the NE course but couldn’t match the Giltinan champions over the final lap to go down by 2m52s.

Pure Blonde were consistent all day after their early lead and finished a further 46s back in third place.

Jonathan Whitty’s Lumix was fourth, followed by De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Andrew Cuddihy), Yandoo (John Winning), Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Mojo Wine (James Dorron).

Final pointscores in the championship were: Gotta Love It 7 on 10 points, Smeg 11 points, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 15, Yandoo 16, Pure Blonde 17 and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel on 23.

The fleet was divided in rig choice with the NE breeze around 12-15-knots.

Results proved that the smaller #2 rig was the correct choice.

While Gotta Love It 7 had the edge over the rest of the fleet, there was plenty of close racing throughout the fleet.

There was little between Smeg, Pure Blonde and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers for most of the journey while Lumix, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs and Yandoo were always in close contention.

March 3, 2013

Ferry Patrons Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Ferry Patrons Trophy
Sponsored by Haier Appliances
Sunday, 3 March 2013
Sydney Harbour

It was a nostalgic day on Sydney Harbour today when some of the greatest names in 18ft Skiff Racing history skippered boats in the Haier Appliances Ferry Patrons Trophy race.

The legendry Iain Murray, six-times, undefeated Giltinan champion between 1977 and 1982, five times champion Trevor Barnabas and 2000 winner John Winning all skippered top contenders.

Murray was in charge of present Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7, Barnabas on Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and ‘Woody’ Winning was skippering his own Yandoo skiff.

Olympic Gold Medalists Malcolm Page and Nathan Wilmot were also on the helm of The Kitchen Maker and respectively, although Malcolm’s day was short-lived with rigging failure in the park.

A 16-20-knot ESE wind gave all teams good conditions and provided the spectator fleet with more action.

Former Australian 16 Footer champion James Dorron, Ricky Bridges and Mike McKensey were always near the lead in Mojo Wine before taking out the race by just 7s from De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Andrew Cuddihy, Simon Nearn, Keegan York).

Third over the line was Smeg (Dan Phillips, Dave Gibson, Dave Ewings), which was a further 45s back.

Right from the start Murray and Barnabas renewed old rivalry at the boat end of the line, but it was Murray in Gotta Love It 7 who dominated the first windward leg.

Mojo Wine trailed ‘7’, but took full advantage of the 3-buoys rounding to grab the lead from Team Daly (Michael Carter), Yandoo, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Smeg and Gotta Love It 7.

At the bottom mark, Mojo Wine was 15s ahead of Asko Appliances and Gotta Love It 7, but Yandoo moved through the fleet on the second beat to take the lead at the following windward mark.

Yandoo and Mojo Wine then staged a good battle over the next two laps of the course with less than 20s between them at any stage.

At the final windward mark De’Longhi-Rabbitohs had a slow spinnaker set and the Mojo Wine crew pounced to take the lead and hang on for the narrow victory.

February 10, 2013

NSW Championship – Race 4, Club Championship – Race 8, President’s Trophy

18ft Skiffs
N.S.W. Championship, Race 4
Sunday, 10 February 2013
Sydney Harbour

The Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 18ft Skiff team of Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas and David O’Connor gave a wonderful exhibition on Sydney Harbour today when they took out Race 4 of the N.S.W. Championship in an 18-25-knots South-East wind.

After trailing Gotta Love It 7 by just 3s at the first windward mark, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers grabbed the lead when Gotta Love It 7 capsized and from that point Thurlow’s crew were brilliant as they led clearly for the rest of the course.

The battle behind the winner saw many positional changes throughout the race before Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) finally came home 1m25s back in second place.

Pure Blonde (Tom Clout, Rob Bell, Matt Wark) worked her way through the fleet, after trailing early, to finish a further 5m9s in third place.

James Dorron and his Mojo Wine team showed their skill by finishing fourth after gear failure which prevented their use of a spinnaker on two of the latter runs.

John Winning’s Yandoo was fifth, to give the team the series lead on 16 points.

Overall standings has Smeg in second place on 18, followed by Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) on 29, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 31, Pure Blonde 34, Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Mojo Wine on 35.

Thurlow Fisher and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) won the start and were leading the group on the LHS of the course near Steele Point.

Gotta Love It 7 and Smeg elected to go to the right and sailed to the western side of Shark Island.

The two groups converged only 50 metres from the Rose Bay windward mark and there was little difference between them as Gotta Love It 7 led Thurlow Fisher Lawyers by the mere 3s.

Shortly after rounding the mark, Gotta Love It 7 capsized and the resulting damage has caused serious damage to the hull, which could have a drastic affect on the team’s chances of defending their Giltinan title next week.

The conditions were took a heavy toll on the race as six teams failed to complete the course, while four others did not make it to the start.

Six photos and today’s result sheet are attached.

More photos will be published later on and A video coverage of the race can be seen on

Don’t forget ‘Pick the Podium’ with prizes to be won by just making some selections on which teams you think will fill the placings in each race. For full details go to

Next week we have the biggest 18ft Skiff event on the world calendar when the Australian 18 Footers League will conduct the Winning Group J.J. Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship for 2013.

There will be NO ferry following the Invitation Race next Friday, however there will be a spectator ferry following each of the seven races of the championship (including two ferries for Race 7 on Sunday 24 February).

Dates for the championship races are February 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24. All races (except those on February 16 and 23) will start at 3pm. Races on February 16 and 23 will start at 4pm.

The spectator ferry will depart Double Bay Public Wharf 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of each race.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League

February 3, 2013

Australian Championship – Race 5, Club Championship – Race 7

18ft Skiffs
Australian Championship, Race 5
Sunday, 3 February 2013
Sydney Harbour

Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel took out Race 5 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today, but the runner up Gotta Love It 7 became the 2012-2013 National champion in the series.

The Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel crew of Jack Macartney, David Witt and Mark Kennedy were superb with their #2 rig in the 20-knot SW-SSW winds to take out the race by 1m14s.

After an early race incident which cost the team many positions, Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris recovered strongly to bring Gotta Love It 7 home in second place behind Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel.

Last week’s winner Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) finished a further 1m15s back in third place today for an overall second in the championship.

For the defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, and series leader going into today’s race, it was a disaster as the skiff finished 11th for an overall third place.

Gotta Love It 7’s final total was 8 points, followed by Smeg on 10, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 11, Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel 22, Yandoo (John Winning) 29 and The Kitchen Maker (Malcolm Page) 32. (Micah Lane) finished fourth today and would have been fourth overall but withdrew from today’s race because of a pre-race incident, which was going to be the subject of protest.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was always near or in the lead over the first lap of the three-lap windward-leeward course.

Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel was never far from Thurlow Fisher and the pair had a great battle over that first lap.

Coxon and his Thurlow Fisher team, along with Gotta Love It 7, elected to sail the Northern side of the course on the second windward beat and lost out to the Coopers-Rag team which were in mid harbour and better breeze.

This allowed Coopers-Rag & Famish to open up a clean break back at the Clarke Island windward mark and from that point the team were never headed.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was still in a good position to retain the title, but a capsize at the bottom mark on the second lap forced the team out of contention on the day and in the championship.

The Kitchen Maker, skippered by Olympic 470 Gold Medalist Malcolm Page, and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) both had strong performances to finish fifth and six respectively.

Pure Blonde (Tom Clout) and Mojo Wine (James Dorron) were two other skiffs which performed well on the day and they fought out a close battle right to the finish for seventh and eighth

Eight photos and today’s result sheet are attached.

More photos will be published later on and A video coverage of the race can be seen on

Spectator Ferry photos will also be published on and during the coming week.

Don’t forget ‘Pick the Podium’ 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

The club’s regular spectator ferry will follow next Sunday’s Race 5 of the Australian Championship, leaving Double Bay Wharf at 2.15pm.

Frank Quealey

January 26, 2013

Australian Championship – Race 3, NSW Championship – Race 3, Club Championship – Race 5, Lord Mayor’s Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Australian Championship, Race 3
Sunday, 26 January 2013
Sydney Harbour

With North East winds in excess of 20-knots, today’s Race 3 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship became a battle of survival as only seven teams managed to complete the course on Sydney Harbour.

Smeg, skippered by four times Interdominion 12ft Skiff champion Nick Press, and his talented crew of Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings, mastered the conditions to score a 1m7s win from Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, David Witt and Mark Kennedy).

Defending champion and series leader, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was a further 3m38s back in third place, ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin), Yandoo (John Winning) and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn).

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (5 points, net3) holds a narrow lead over Gotta Love It 7 (8 points, net 4). Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel has a total of 13 points, but her discard of 8 leaves a net 5 and a real chance for the title

Today’s winner, Smeg is also still a good chance with a net score of six points.

Smeg trailed Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) at the first windward mark but once she hit the lead downwind was never headed over the rest of the course.

Many competitors either failed to reach the start line or were forced to retire with gear failure.

Both Thurlow Fisher and Gotta Love It 7 had ‘swims’.

Brisbane’s Winning Appliances (Shane Smith) came to Sydney for the weekend and her crew showed their skills with a fifth over the line.

Press was happy with the win and said the biggest problem his team had was the spectator craft on the harbour for the Australia Day celebrations.

When as whether they had any capsizes, for’ard hand Dave Ewings quipped: “No way. It would have been too much like hard work to get up again if we did”

Race 4 of the championship will be sailed tomorrow, with the last race next Sunday.

Frank Quealey

January 20, 2013

Australian Championship – Race 2, Club Championship – Race 4, Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy

18ft Skiffs
Australian Championship, Race 2
Sunday, 20 January 2013
Sydney Harbour

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers took another step towards defending her Australian 18ft Skiff Championship with her second all-the-way win in Race 2 of the Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

The Thurlow Fisher team of Michael Coxon, David O’Connor and Trent Barnabas were superb again as they powered their way to a brilliant 3m12s win in a light SE wind.

Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage, Peter Harris) were second again today, but it took some great work by the crew on the final leg to gain this placing, just 12s ahead of Pure Blonde (Tom Clout, Jared Smith, Matt Wark).

Fourth place went to Marcus Ashley-Jones’ Asko Appliances, followed by Smeg (Nick Press) and Rabbitohs-Kenwood (Brett Van Munster).

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, with her two wins, leads the series on two points, followed by Gotta Love It 7 on 4, Pure Blonde 10 and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on 11.

Gotta Love It 7 won the start at the pin end of the line and quickly set a cracking pace to the windward mark in Rose Bay.

Thurlow Fisher gained a lift approaching the mark and narrowly led ‘7’ as spinnakers were set for the long run from Rose Bay, in the south, to Robertson Point on the northern shore.

Asko Appliances, Lumix (Jonathan Whitty), Pure Blonde and Smeg were in the group just behind the two leaders.

Thurlow Fisher opened up a 30s lead, while Gotta Love It 7 failed to show her usual downwind speed and fell back behind Asko Appliances at the bottom mark.

Lumix was fourth, followed by Smeg and Pure Blonde.

The next windward beat saw Thurlow Fisher’s lead go out to one minute at the Clarke Island mark, while Asko continued to hold out ‘7’ by just a few seconds.

7’s downwind speed was again way below par as she lost another placing to Pure Blonde at Chowder Bay, but once more she trailed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers by just a few secs. at Rose Bay.

The Thurlow Fisher crew were then superb on the ‘loop’ from Rose Bay to Taylor Bay, then back to Rose Bay, and their lead had blown out to 1m30s and from that point there was never any doubt about the victory.

Most attention then swung towards the race for the minor placings and this was sensational as five team were in the battle over the last two legs of the course.

With only 200 metres left to sail on the final windward leg to the finish line off Clarke Island, Gotta Love It 7 was still in fifth place behind Pure Blonde, Asko Appliances and Smeg.

The skill and never-say-die attitude of Jarvin and his team came to the fore as they brought Gotta Love It 7 home in second place to keep Thurlow Fisher’s points lead back to two points.

January 13, 2013

Australian Championship – Race 1, Club Championship – Race 3

18ft Skiffs
Australian Championship, Race 1
Sunday, 13 January 2013
Sydney Harbour

Defending champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, skippered by Michael Coxon, led all the way in a variable South East breeze to take out Race 1 of the 2012-2013 Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Coxon with his team of Dave O’Connor and Trent Barnabas took the lead soon after the start and were never headed over the long SE course to defeat arch rival Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage, Peter Harris) by 19s.

Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, David Witt, Mark Kennedy), challenged the leaders throughout the entire course before finishing a further 50s back in third place.

Former Australian champion Micah Lane was fourth on, followed by Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) with the revolutionary wing mast and Yandoo, skippered by John Winning.

On a day which provided all teams with plenty of headaches, the Thurlow Fisher Lawyers crew were in control from the outset and led by 50s at the first windward mark.

Despite variations in wind direction and strength, the Thurlow Fisher Lawyers lead was never less than 30s and the final margin was more a reflection of Coxon’s conservative covering tactics.

After the race Coxon was very happy with the performance under the trying conditions:

“We got a good start and I was particularly pleased with our boat speed”.

“Added to that, our crew work was excellent under some difficult conditions and it was a great way to start the championship”.

“Heavy ferry traffic and the changing wind conditions made life difficult, but once we were in the lead we were more concerned with covering our challengers”.

Lumix was second behind Thurlow Fisher at the first mark, with Southern Engineering Services (Adam Barnes), De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Yandoo in a group just behind Lumix.

A fast spinnaker run by Smeg (Trevor Barnabas), Team Daly (Nick Daly) and Gotta Love It 7 saw that trio feature in the top six at the bottom mark.

The windward leg back to the Clark Island mark saw a massive wind shift with many placings changing dramatically.

Thurlow Fisher’s lead was back to 35s as Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel moved up into second place ahead of Smeg and Gotta Love It 7.

Lumix was caught on the “wrong side” of the course and lost several places.

The spinnaker run to Chowder Bay took a toll on the fleet as Smeg and Mojo Wine (Matt Searle) capsized and only quick crew work by Malcolm Page and his team on The Kitchen Maker saved a capsize when they received bad air from a passing ferry.

Over the latter stages of the race, the weather closed in and spectators were treated to the unusual site of watching the two leaders come to the finish in misty conditions.

Congratulations to Adam Barnes and his crew on showing their best form since joining the 18s when they took out the handicap section of the race in Southern Engineering Services.

December 16, 2012

NSW Championship – Race 2, Club Championship – Race 2, Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy

18ft Skiffs
NSW Championship, Race 2
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Sydney Harbour

Today’s 18ft Skiff race on Sydney Harbour was both Race 2 of the NSW Championship as well as the concluding race (brought about by last week’s postponed race) of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge series.

Provisional results at this time have Lumix (Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack, Aron Everett) as winner of Race 2 in the NSW title, Fisher & Paykel (Gary Phillips, Ewan Duckworth and Tim Baraclough), winner of Race 8 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge and Pure Blonde (Tom Clout, Rob Bell and Matt Wark) the overall winner of the 3-Buoys Challenge.

Aside from the provisional results, the rest of the day was something to rember as we were treated to the most unusual finish anyone could remember.

While the day in Sydney started out with brilliant sunshine and a nice Nor’Easter, things deteriorated to a point where the race was delayed due to a lack of wind.

The fleet finally got away in a light Nor’Easter but a variety of wind pressures and directions kept all teams on their toes over the first two laps of the course.

Just when things looked normal and reigning Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris) held a 1m50s at the final windward mark, nobody could have foreseen what was still to come.

As the champion Gotta Love It 7 team raced under spinnaker to the wind mark off Shark Island, the wind dropped while the rest of the fleet came down to join ‘7’, which was ‘parked’ near the buoy.

With just the final short spinnaker run to the finish off Double Bay, there were 10 boats all in a single line.

Lumix, featuring a radical new wing mast, and Mojo Wine (James Dorron, Ricky Bridges and Mike McKensey) were the first to pick up the new breeze and resulted in Lumix taking the honours by 18s.

Third place went to Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay and Jim Beck), which finished a further 11s back.

These placing are provisional as the team have lodged a protest against the winner over an incident at the critical final wing mark.

Early in the race, Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), (Micah Lane), Mojo Wine and Gotta Love It 7 staged a tough battle to the first windward mark.

AOL and ‘7’ went around together, closely followed (5s) by The Rag, with Mojo another 10s back in fourth place.

The breeze had a lot of north in direction and all teams were forced to gybe a number of times to reach the wing mark.

Gotta Love It 7 had edged slightly away from AOL and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel, while Australian champion Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) had time to be in fouth position.

A slightly fresher breeze settled in over the next lap and Gotta Love It 7 increased her lead from AOL and Yandoo.