The 18 foot skiff revival in Brisbane continues with Sailtech winning the 2011 Queensland Championship. There are now six skiffs being chartered from the Australian 18 Footers League, with a mix of older skiffies such as David Witt and Darryl Dignam, mixing it with sons of former skiffies and newcomers to the class.
The first two heats were held on 9 April, with five skiffs in the fleet (Sailtech Sails, Dash Co Building, Bulimba Firetruck, Pure Blonde Qld, and Queenslander). Heat One was held over a triangle course on Waterloo Bay, with Sailtech (Adam Yoing) in a freshening 15-20 kt SE breeze. Dash Co (Darryl Dignam), Bulimba Firetruck (Matt Ponting) and Pure Blonde Qld (Laurie Williamson) failed to finish after difficulties on the course, while Queenslander (Chris Garrett) had rounded a wrong mark so retired from the race.
Heat two was a disaster for all but Queenslander. Sailtech and Pure Blonde sailed well but believed they had finished after just two of the three laps, and were scored DNF. Dash Co did sail three laps, but failed to properly negotiate the gate during one and was also scored DNF. Meanwhile, the top mark had been providing carnage for Queenslander and Bulimba Firetruck, however more time on the water for Queenslander proved the key and as skipper Chris says 'we pulled a Bradbury!' They were the only boat to sail the course and sailed home victorious.
A week later and the conditions were considerably different!
Under cloudy skies and a light to moderate southerly, four skiffs met the starter for Heat three, Sailtech, Pure Blonde Qld, Queenslander and Bulimba Firetruck.
Pure Blonde sailed an impressive first beat to take an early lead over Sailtech, however by the bottom mark of the windward-leeward course on Waterloo Bay, Sailtech had closed considerably. Our on the water spies missed exactly what happened, but Pure Blonde seemed to be trying a 'crazy Ivan' move on Sailtech by spinning before the mark forcing some fast moves by Sailtech to keep clear. Whatever happened, Sailtech came out best to lead around mark two, and from there was never headed. Queenslander performed well, but fell back with a capsize to finish well behind in third. Bulimba Firetruck's new crew were still finding their feet on the skiff and failed to finish heat three, they returned ashore prior to heat four’s start.
With time marching on and the breeze again fading, heat four was shortened to a one lap dash. Sailtech favoured a mid line port hand start with Pure Blonde and Queenslander electing a more conservative starboard hand start from the committee boat. With port tack well and truly favoured, victory was secured for Sailtech then and there, and they sailed a faultless race to win easily, and to collect the championship ribbons. Pure Blonde finished second with Queenslander third. Overall Placings
1st - Sailtech Sails (Adam Young) 1-DNF-1-1 (11.7)
2nd - Queenslander (Chris Garrett) DNF-1-3-3 (23.1)
3rd - Pure Blonde Qld (Laurie Williamson) DNF-DNF-2-2 (29.4)
4th - Bulimba Firetruck (Matt Ponting) DNF-DNF-DNF-DNS (43.4)
5th - Dash Co Building (Darryl Dignam) DNF-DNF-DNC-DNC (49.4)
Sailtech crew (l-r) Toby Poulsen, Adam Young and Nathan Schmitman - 2011 Queensland 18ft Skiff Championships - Mark Graveson Click Here to view large photo