Monday, 2 March 2009

18 Foot Skiffs: Club Championship, Race 13 on Sydney Harbour

Yandoo - the winning team. Image copyright Christophe Favreau.

by Frank Quealey

After an exciting and successful JJ Giltinan Championship, it was back to club racing today on Sydney Harbour as the fleet lined up for Race 13 of the Club Championship.

With two ocean liners on the course and unpredictable winds prevailing, the starter elected to set the same 4-lap windward-return course which was used in the last race of the Giltinan Championship.

For the crew of Yandoo (John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson) it made little difference as they repeated their victory of last Sunday.

The “veteran” crew was brilliant as they totally dominated the race after grabbing the lead shortly after rounding the first windward mark.

At the finish they were 2m33s ahead of Smeg, skippered by James Levy, who was having his first race in an 18ft Skiff.

Panasonic. Image copyright Christophe Favreau.

Third place went to Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty) which finished a further 2m47s behind Smeg.

The battle for the lead up the first windward beat was extremely close with the fleet using the complete width of the harbour.

Asko Appliances (Evan Walker) and Southern Cross Constructions (Euan Mc Nicol) were prominent on the LHS of the course in the early stages of the leg.

Thurlow Fisher (Bruce Savage), Yandoo and Project Racing (Andy Budgen) were also in the leading group.

The latter trio elected to go to the right earlier than the two leaders and when both groups met Thurlow Fisher and Yandoo were the new leaders.

Thurlow Fisher held a narrow margin at the mark but Winning (Yandoo) stayed closer to the southern shore on the spinnaker run – a move which set his team up for a 1m45s lead at the bottom mark the first time.

Young Levy showed great maturity for a first up performer and, along with the experienced Daniel Phillips and Jim Beck, was quickly placing pressure on the Thurlow Fisher crew.

Yandoo was never less than 1m35s ahead of the nearest challenger and obviously never in danger of defeat, but the race for the minor placings held plenty of interest,

Thurlow Fisher was still in second place at the half way mark – 10s ahead of Smeg.

The following group was closely bunched and included Southern Cross, Project Racing, Active Air-2UE (Matthew Searle) and Panasonic.

The young Panasonic crew continue to show great improvement with another “come from behind” top placing.

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs

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