Monday, 26 October 2009
Delonghi - the winner. Image copyright Frank Quealey.
by Frank Quealey
With six of the fleet still missing due to their delayed return from the San Francisco regatta, the Australian 18 Footers League decided to reverse the scheduled events for this Sunday and next Sunday.
As a result of that decision, the Mick Scully Trophy 3-buoys race was sailed on Sydney Harbour in an almost total lack of worthwhile breeze.
John Winning, standing in as replacement skipper for Simon Nearn, teamed with Craig Ferris and Chris Cleary to master the conditions and record an all the way victory in Delonghi.
The experienced trio crossed the finishing line just 18 minutes inside the allowed three hours time limit for the race to win by 9m8s from Andy Budgen’s Project Racing.
Sponsor Wanted (Euan Mc Nicol) was another 8m8s in third place followed by Smeg (Nick Press), Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Cuddihy) and Asko Appliances (Archie Massey).
The race start was delayed to allow all teams to reach the line in time as they battled in the windless conditions.
Then a continuation of these conditions saw an extremely slow work to the windward buoys where Delonghi held the lead from Project Racing, Smeg and Fisher & Paykel.
Project Racing and Asko. Image copyright Frank Quealey.
It took almost one hour for the fleet to reach the wing mark before any breeze began to appear.
By the end of the first lap, Delonghi was two minutes ahead of Fisher & Paykel with Project Racing third, Smeg fourth and Asko fifth.
The breeze was now coming from the opposite direction and teams set spinnakers for the run back to what would have been the second windward buoys.
Delonghi defied all challengers on this run and from that point was never in danger of defeat in the ever changing ‘breeze’
Most interest centred on the battle for the minor placings which involved five or six boats constantly changing positions.
Two of the new teams showed some potential in a testing afternoon.
Boatmate, skippered by Jason Waterhouse, came from well back in the fleet to be placed seventh at the end of the second lap.
Coldwell Banker New Homes. Image copyright Frank Quealey.
Coldwell Banker New Homes (Mark Kennedy) also showed good form although the team had a mark rounding problem at one stage.
Race 1 of the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship will now be sailed next Sunday when a full fleet of 23 skiffs will, hopefully, line up for the first time this season.
Australian 18 Footers League