by Selwyn Black
Australian Historical 18 Foot Skiff Championship, Sydney Flying Squadron - 8 January then 13 and 15 January 2011.
Historical skiff Australia
A star studded field has come together to contest the 2011 Australian Championships for Historical 18 Foot skiffs, for the Galloping Ghost Trophy.
Skippers include Harold Cudmore, a former UK America’s Cup Helmsman, defending champion and former world modern 18 champion John Winning, modern 18 skiff champion Brian Zemanek and a team of hot young sailors from the modern 18 skiff fleet.
The first race was held out of the Sydney Flying Squadron on 8 January 2011 and the remaining heats will be held on 13 January (4pm) and 15 January 2011. The last heat starts at 2;30 pm and a spectator ferry will follow the fleet then.
The first heat was held in a light easterly and at the windward mark Australia narrowly led Harold Cudmore’s Mistake. However after Mistake’s gaff came down it withdrew, leaving Australia 1V in second place followed by Alruth, Yendys, Aberdare, Briattania, Top Weight, Scot and Tangalooma.
On the run, Australia 1V, Alruth and Britannia all set ring tails as well as spinnakers, and by the bottom mark Australia 1V had overtaken Australia.
The order remained unchanged until Yendys overtook Alruth near the second windward mark, an order maintained to the finish.
The final results were adjusted on the authenticity rating system so that for example Australia was penalized as a later design and for a non traditional spinnaker, so it finished fifth on rating even though second over the line. Brittania, which almost swum after getting a wave over the bow, moved from sixth finisher to second place because of its great authenticity.
The ratings results were:
1 Australia 1V - John Winning
2 Brittania - Ian Smith
3 Yendys - Brian Zemanek
4 Alruth - Jeremy Sharp
5 Australia - Chris Haskard
6. Aberdare - Young 18 colts