Australian 18ft Skiff Championship 2013 third race was held on Sydney Harbour today, 26th January. With North East winds in excess of 20-knots it became a battle of survival as only seven teams managed to complete the course.
Smeg, skippered by four times Interdominion 12ft Skiff champion Nick Press, and his talented crew of Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings, mastered the conditions to score a one minute seven seconds win from Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, David Witt and Mark Kennedy).
Defending champion and series leader, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was a further three 38 seconds back in third place, ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin), Yandoo (John Winning) and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn).
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (five points, net three) holds a narrow lead over Gotta Love It 7 (eight points, net four). Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel has a total of 13 points, but her discard of eight leaves a net five and a real chance for the title
Today’s winner, Smeg is also still a good chance with a net score of six points.
Smeg trailed Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) at the first windward mark but once she hit the lead downwind was never headed over the rest of the course.
Many competitors either failed to reach the start line or were forced to retire with gear failure.
Both Thurlow Fisher and Gotta Love It 7 had ‘swims’.
Brisbane’s Winning Appliances (Shane Smith) came to Sydney for the weekend and her crew showed their skills with a fifth over the line.
Press was happy with the win and said the biggest problem his team had was the spectator craft on the harbour for the Australia Day celebrations.
When as whether they had any capsizes, for’ard hand Dave Ewings quipped: 'No way. It would have been too much like hard work to get up again if we did'
Race four of the championship will be sailed tomorrow, with the last race next Sunday.
Smeg crew relax after today’s tough 18ft skiff win - 18ft Skiffs: Australian Championship 2013 - Frank Quealey
_©_-Australian 18 Footers League
Australian 18 Footers League website
by Frank Quealey
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1:48 PM Sat 26 Jan 2013GMT
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