Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs: Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan Race 3 - A Brilliant Spectacle Produces A Different Winner

Skiff spinnaker action on Sydney Harbour. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

Race 3 of the Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today produced a brilliant spectacle of racing action and opened up the series with the third different winner so far.

In the 18-20 knot north east wind and ‘run out’ tide against the wind, the racing produced great racing from the world’s best skiff teams and action aplenty as the skiffs raced downwind at a great speed.

Andy Budgen's Hyde Sails won race 3. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

UK’s Andy Budgen and his Hyde Sails team of Dan Wilsdon and Matt Wark, had to come from behind to take their victory by 19s from the consistent Red Claw Wines (Matthew Searle, Archie Massey and Mike McKenzie), with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) a further 20s back in third place.

Red Claw Wines. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Defending champion Seve Jarvin and Gotta Love It 7 team Sam Newton and Scott Babbage had a day they would prefer to forget. The pre championship favourites capsized twice yet still managed to finish fifth and share the championship with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 8 points.

US champion Howie Hamlin and his CST Composites team Fritz Lanzinger and Paul Allen finished fourth today and hold third place overall on 13 points.

Panasonic makes a pretty picture. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Former Giltinan champion John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson were sixth today and are placed fourth on 16 points.

Rounding out the top six overall are today’s winner and second placegetter Hyde Sails and Red Claw Wines on 17 points.

Two early casualties were David Witt’s Queenslander, who was over the line at the start and declared OCS, and SLAM (Grant Rollerson), which broke gear shortly after the start.

The race was only a few minutes old when Gotta Love It 7 capsized on her first tack.

Red Claw Wines and Yandoo were always close to the lead on the beat to the Beashel Buoy windward mark, with Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Smeg (Nick Press), Hyde Sails, CST Composites and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

Red Claw Wines led at the mark from Yandoo, Smeg, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7, which made a remarkable recovery to be back with the leading group.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

The spinnaker run to the wing mark off Shark Island then back to the bottom mark off Clarke Island produced absolutely great action as the skiffs took off at great speed.

Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings grabbed the lead before the wing mark and turned for the second windward beat with a handy lead over the group consisting Red Claw Wines, Hyde Sails, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7.

Queenslander, unaware of her OCS situation led the next group which included Pure Blonde (James Francis), CT Sailbattens (Alex Vallings NZ), Asko Appliances, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty), Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Evan Walker) and WA’s Black Swan (David Gilmour).

The leaders on the first spinnaker run. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

The leaders staged an interesting battle upwind with positions changing regularly.

Smeg turned the Beashel Buoy with a 35s lead over Hyde Sails, Gotta Love It 7, Red Claw Wines, CST Composites and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and a victory was looking likely.

Disaster struck as the Smeg team made their final gybe to the bottom mark when they capsized and all hope of a win had gone.

Hyde Sails grabbed the lead but was coming under strong pressure from Gotta Love It 7, which was displaying an amazing recovery after her earlier swim.

As the pair raced downwind to the wing mark on the final spinnaker run, Gotta Love It 7 unexpectedly capsized near Neilsen Park, leaving Hyde Sails to go on to win from Red Claw Wines.

Yandoo. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Altogether, it was a great day’s racing and spectators went home hoping for more good breeze tomorrow and wondering if we would get a fourth winner from four races.

Aussie 18 Footers League