18ft Skiffs Club Championship Race 14 to Gotta Love It 7

first spinnaker run - Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship Race 14

Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship race 14 on Sydney Harbour may have been won by Gotta Love It 7, but it was the Yandoo team (Scott Babbage, John Harris and Peter Harris) who had an unbeatable lead in the overall championship. Their third place in today’s race saw them take the title by 18 points from Gotta Love It 7.

Going into today’s final race of the championship, the Yandoo team had an unbeatable lead.

Gotta Love It 7, skippered today by the regular sheet hand Scott Babbage, took line honours by 2m44s from Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty) with Yandoo a further 43s back in third place.

Final placings overall were: Yandoo 47 points, Gotta Love It 7 65, Red Claw Wines (Matt Searle, today Archie Massey) 76, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) 79, Smeg (Nick Press) 94 and Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) 119.

Yandoo, club champion - Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship

It was big rigs all around today as a light southerly wind greeted the fleet.

Smeg held a 7s lead at the windward mark, off Clarke Island, from Yandoo, Red Claw Wines, De’Longhi (Simon Nearn), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, TF Collect (Mark Kennedy), Gotta Love It 7, and Appliancesonline.com.au (Jeremy Wilmot).

The two leaders gybed soon after rounding while the next group stayed on a port gybe and went to the right hand side of the course.

The latter move proved the winning way as De’Longhi took the lead when the two groups crossed.

It was light and patchy as the fleet spread across the harbour on the spinnaker run to Oberlisk with those staying more to the south doing better each time they crossed.

The experience of the ‘7’ team (last season’s Rag & Famish Hotel team) saw them grab a 1m lead at Obelisk from Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Evan Walker) and Appliancesonline.com.au.

From that point it was never a contest for the lead, even though Gotta Love It 7 had a ‘quick swim’ on the second spinnaker run from Shark Island back to the bottom mark.

mark rounding under spinnaker - Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship Race 14

While ‘7s’ lead was unchallenged the battle behind was gripping as several teams were in contention throughout the rest of the course.

Kenwood-Rabbitohs held onto second place for almost one lap of the course but Yandoo moved ahead at Obelisk on the second lap.

Working back into Rose Bay, Jonathan Whitty’ Panasonic made ground along the southern shore and narrowly crossed Yandoo off Nielsen Park.

Despite a challenge by Yandoo over the concluding leg, Panasonic held on to take second place.

Today’s race was the final race of the season and we would like to thank all those who have given us so much support throughout the season.

Our 2011-2012 Season will commence on Sunday 9 October.

low flying traffic on harbour - Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship Race 14

Smiles all around for the winning crew - Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship Race 14

www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com.
Video coverage of today’s action can be seen on www.18footers.com.au – ‘video’.