Monday, 1 March 2010

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs: Club Championship – Race 13, Sydney Harbour

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers won the race. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

The 2009 Giltinan Championship winning crew of Euan McNicol, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas were the masters of the dreadful conditions which prevailed during Race 13 of the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship on Sydney Harbour Sunday.

With Euan McNicol replacing Michael Coxon for Sunday’s race, the former champion crew showed all their skills in bringing Thurlow Fisher Lawyers home a 11m26s winner over Gotta Love It 7, which was also skippered by a replacement, Jonathan Whitty.

Asko racing on Sydney Harbour. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Third place went to Project Racing (Andy Budgen), which was a further 33s back in third place.

With two more races still to be sailed in the championship, Gotta Love It 7 holds a one point lead over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

Gotta Love It 7 has 47 points, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 48, Smeg (Nick Press) 73, Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris) 98, Project Racing 99 and Yandoo (John Winning) 105.

Gotta Love It 7 holds a one point lead over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers in the series. They finished the other way around 1-2 in Race 13. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

The race was sailed over the South East course in extremely light wind conditions for most of the course.

The fleet was split early in the race when nine of the fleet went to the west of Shark Island on the first windward leg to Rose Bay.

These boats gained from a southerly shift in the breeze with Gotta Love It 7 holding a 30s lead as spinnakers were set for the long run to Robertson Point.

Kinder Caring Home Nursing during Race 13 on Sydney Harbour. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Kinder Caring Home Nursing (Brett Van Munster) and Project Racing were together behind ‘7’, with Smeg, RWD Technologies (James Birdsall), Yandoo, (Warwick Rooklyn) and Boatmate Shipwrights (Jason Waterhouse) following.

All of these boats had gone to the west while the first skiff from the east of the island was De’Longhi, which was in tenth place.

Gotta Love It 7 held a 40s lead over Thurlow Fisher Lawyers at the bottom mark and still held a 17s advantage at Clarke Island.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was superior on the spinnaker run to Chowder Bay where the two leaders went around side by side.

On the following work into Rose Bay, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers powered away to a 1.35 lead.

Red Claw racing on Sydney Harbour. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Some ‘hairy’ moments on the loop across the harbour from Rose Bay to Taylor Bay gave Gotta Love It 7 a chance but generally Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was always in control before going on to a very big win.

Rag & Famish Hotel lost all chance early in the race when she was among the boats caught in windless conditions shortly after the start.

Rag came back strongly to finish fourth.

The next race of the Club Championship will be sailed on 14 March, and the last race of the championship on 28 March.

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs

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