Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

15ft Skiff Nationals 2013 - Competition tight going into final day

by Colin Gillespie on 12 Jan 2013
15’ Skiff 2012/13 68th Australian Championship, South Lake Macquarie VS 15ft Skiff Sailing
The Australian 15ft Skiff Championship series enters its final stage with handicap and scratch honours still up for grabs going into the last two races of the competition.

Race seven and eight were sailed in a freshest breeze of the series a steady 20 plus knots NE on the longer open course south side of Wangi . The current champ, Firestorm tightened her grip on the scratch title with a third and first place after an uncustomary swim in the early race while under pressure from Range. Range went on to a well sailed win in race seven as Firestorm recover to run down Troy Botting Shipwright on the finish line who just managed second place in an almost dead race on the line.


Range has sailed a very consistent series with two bullets and a string of seconds to be three points behind Firestorm going into the final races. As these two class heavy weights line up for the last day of the series hoping for another strong sea breeze, the lighter crewed series third place skiff Troy Botting Shipwright with an earlier race win is keeping the front runner honest. Troy Botting Shipwright has a small four point advantage over another race winner Controlled Insanity also a strong performer in the fresher breeze and the very quick, SFC Computers sailed by VS stalwart Tim Dodds making a late series run, with his race tactic course of go left uphill and never go soft downhill...!

The handicap series very close with four points separating four skiffs, Raptor leading, sailed by very experience Taree river sailor Rob Baker and young crew, one point ahead of Battleship then SFC, Controlled Insanity and Plan B sailed by past champ, Michael Northam. There has been six different handicap race winners in breeze ranging from eight knot easterlies to the 25 knot NE'ers. with Stowe Australia and Under Pressure 2 sailed by Hawkesbury River stalwart, Brian Gleeson still in mix with a chance of a podium place.


Race six: Is Tim really Rocky Balboa? In this race SFC just kept coming back and punching at the big guys. How about laying down?

The same NE breeze sailed in race five prevailed so the next start was soon after the previous race finished. Everyone still had the adrenalin coursing through their veins, no-one more so than TBS who jumped clear at the start, unfortunately ahead of the gun!

Again the red boats looked to have opened up a lead up the first work, with Firestorm just ahead of Controlled Insanity when Tim, Jason and Hugh in SFC popped up from the left to round a close second. Down the run Tim stuck to his mantra - no more soft finishes. When the heavyweights gybe they’ll go 50m more to ensure coming in hard! A great theory, when they keep it on the course…


Around the leeward marks, Firestorm held a small lead from SFC, Controlled Insanity and Range. SFC again blasted off to the left, looking to fall behind. The other three tacked often up the work looking to make gains. At the top mark Firestorm again lead but only by a boat length from SFC, who once again used the left to advantage. The run was again similar, with Firestorm pressed to make the marks. By now SFC was somewhere down near Dora Creek so making the most of the run were Controlled Insanity and Range. Range hit their straps up the next work and looked likely to hit the lead; Firestorm just holding on to round the top mark and hold the lead to the finish.

The left didn’t play too good for SFC up the final work, with Controlled Insanity leading the run to the finish. But once again SFC bounced back, their surge at the line enough to claim third by one second from Controlled Insanity. (Did you notice this was the reverse of the previous race?)


TBS recovered from their start to get fifth from Plan B in sixth. Finishing seventh was Peter, Steve and Ian in Battleship, beating Bob, Hayden and Ben in Raptor by one second. (Again did you notice this was the reverse of the previous race?) I keep saying the results are close…

The handicap results were equally close. The one-second scratch margin between Battleship and Raptor was significant. Battleship won on handicap by one second from Raptor! A ‘huge’ three seconds further back was Firestorm, stealing precious handicap points from the real contenders.


Race five: Finally a sea breeze. Not a typical building NE’er, but at least out of the E and with enough grunt to get crews swinging up and down wind. A good, even start saw the fleet line astern around the top mark, with the red boats Firestorm and Controlled Insanity leading the way. Troy Botting Shipwright and SFC Computers were close behind. Range made a good start but bogged down on the first work to round in eighth, but don’t right Steve, Mick and Mark off just yet. After a nice downwind run the fleet was once again compressed at the leeward marks. A lot of ducking and weaving and yelling ensued.


Range picked the correct leeward mark, passed a few boats and set off to chase down Firestorm. They didn’t quite succeed, the latter getting the victory from the blue boat. Then it got really close. TBS managed to make their way through to third by a relatively comfortable margin of 10 seconds. Next was Controlled Insanity, with John’s ‘shot’ at the line enough to get them home by millimetres from SFC Computers, who in turn held off Plan B by a similar margin, who also held off Under Pressure 2 by just a little more. But that is not the end of it. In the race for ninth Raptor managed to hold off Battleship by just seconds. Note who beat who here – the next race had some interesting results!

With a good finish just a little behind the winners Gordon, Ryan and Tom on Stowe Australia scored an easy handicap victory. Well done. Next was SFC, just 3 seconds ahead of Under Pressure 2 in third. A little further back Firestorm managed to get fourth by just 1 second from Raptor, who themselves had a margin of four seconds to sixth placed Battleship. Again not far behind in seventh was Controlled Insanity, who beat Plan B by two seconds.



I mention all of these because it really demonstrated how close the fleet are. 30 seconds faster (one good gust downwind) and Plan B would have been fourth rather than eighth. All of the results could be significant overall.

VS 15ft Skiff website

Insun - AC ProgramAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

World Masters Games - Bilger's success in the wind
As a wind predictor, Jon Bilger thinks he’s got an advantage when it comes to the World Masters Games As a wind predictor, Jon Bilger thinks he’s got an advantage when it comes to the World Masters Games but the only issue is his predictions are available for all of his rivals. He still hasn’t been tempted to put out any rogue information, though.
Posted today at 12:19 pm
The world of sailing comes to Antigua Sailing Week
A staggering number of sailors from worldwide are descending on the Caribbean Antigua island to celebrate 50th edition. About 1,500 competitors from 32 countries will enjoy five days of world class racing, preceded by the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race and the Peters and May Round Antigua Race.
Posted today at 10:09 am
Ida Lewis Distance Race - Popular sailboat race set for August
The 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race is scheduled to start on Friday, August 18, 2017 The 13th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race is scheduled to start on Friday, August 18, 2017, promising once again to deliver an exciting late-season topper to a busy summer of competitive racing on Narragansett Bay. Classes for IRC, PHRF, One Design, Multihull and Double-Handed insure that everyone (with a qualifying boat of 28 feet or longer) has a place to fit in.
Posted today at 7:21 am
New conditions and new faces at front in Hyeres
On the second day at the World Cup Series in Hyeres, France there were new conditions and some new faces at the front. On the second day at the World Cup Series in Hyeres, France there were new conditions and some new faces at the front. Race wins went to Brazil’s Jorge Zarif and Ed Wright from Great Britain, but Ben Cornish continues to lead, on equal points with Nicholas Heiner from the Netherlands. Turkey’s Alican Kaynar has moved up to third.
Posted today at 5:08 am
Sperry Charleston Race Week 2017 in review
The underlying goal for every race organizer – even those staging benefit regattas – is to provide safe, fair sailing The underlying goal for every race organizer – even those staging benefit regattas – is to provide safe, fair, competitive sailing. When you have your hands on the helm of a mega regatta such as Sperry Charleston Race Week, that doesn’t change. But it does become more complicated.
Posted today at 2:19 am
Zhik 29er Worlds 2018 - making it easier
RHKYC announces L’hotel Island South as the Official Hotel Partner for the Zhik Hong Kong 29er World Championships 2018. Race Chairman of the Zhik Hong Kong 29er World Championships 2018, Peter Backe commenting on the announcement said, “Having an official hotel will make things so much easier for the competitors. Participants will have all their information and travel needs covered for the event. With transportation included to the race venue daily, and news that the committee will post a second notice board
Posted today at 1:28 am
Masters Games - Volvo and Olympic father and son race two-hander
Report from Day 3 of the World Masters Games being sailed at Torbay Sailing Club in the Weta and Laser classes Former Flying Dutchman crew Murray Rae was keen to tackle the 2017 World Masters Games at Torbay, Auckland, with his Rome Olympics teammate. But when Ron Watson wasn’t available he was able to call on a veteran of seven America’s Cups and five round the world yacht races. The alternative also happened to be his son.
Posted on 26 Apr
New faces in town with RC44 Sotogrande Cup set to begin
This event follows from last season's RC44 World Championship also held off this magnificent development Of the eight teams competing off Sotogrande, favourite is Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. Not only is the cockpit on the Slovenian RC44 adorned with the overall championship leader's 'golden wheels', but Lah's team also won the World Championship here in 2016.
Posted on 26 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyères –Day 2– Zegers and van Veen show how its done
Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen were unstoppable on day two, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.
Posted on 26 Apr
Women’s Sailing Conference slated for June 3 Marblehead, MA
The event, which features hands-on land and water-based workshops and seminars, offers women a fantastic opportunity The event, which features hands-on land and water-based workshops and seminars, offers women a fantastic opportunity to learn or hone sailing skills, network with other women sailors from all over the United States and gain the confidence necessary to become a valuable crew member or knowledgeable skipper
Posted on 26 Apr