Australian 18ft Skiffs Twilight Race
by Frank Quealey
Simon Nearn, Gerard Smith and Pedro Vozone had to come from behind in De’Longhi-Rabbitohs to take out the Australian 18 Footer League’s Twilight Race on Sydney Harbour today.
Pure Blonde (James Francis, Brad Phillips and Cameron McDonald) had led from the first windward mark but lost the lead on the final leg of the course to finish 16s behind De’Longhi-Rabbitohs.
Third place went to Andy Budgen’s Project Racing, which finished a further 45s back.
The race was sailed in a fluctuating north east breeze which lightened just before the race and left the fleet underpowered with their smaller 2 rigs.
The course was a three lap windward-return.
Pure Blonde grabbed the early lead when the team took advantage of the nearer red buoy on the 3-buoy course.
On the first spinnaker run Pure Blonde led clearly from Project Racing, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), The Kitchen Maker (Brett Van Munster), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon), Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Chapman) and SLAM (Grant Rollerson).
Pure Blonde led by 40s at the bottom mark the first time, followed by Project Racing and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs and Asko Appliances.
De’Longhi-Rabbitohs reduced the gap on the next windward leg and there was little between the two leaders as they headed for home on the final spinnaker run.
The sky was dark and the wind light but the action kept spectators thrilled as the two leaders raced to the finish line only 1-2 boat lengths apart.
Race 12 of the Club Championship will be sailed on Sunday (13 February). A spectator ferry will follow all the action, leaving Double Bay public wharf at 2pm.
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10:25 AM Fri 11 Feb 2011 GMT
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