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18ft Skiff: End to end wins in both races in Spring Champs

by Sail-World.com/nz 12 Nov 2018 23:31 PST 13 November 2018

No report from Frank Quealey, understand he is in hospital, we wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.

There were two races sailed on Sunday in the Spring Championship for the Chris Webb Memorial Trophy.

Sailing in 13-16kts ENE, both races were dominated by end to end winners - Asko in Race 5 and Finport Finance in Race 6. It was a day of big rigs vs small as the breeze went through the crossover point in Race 6.

The racing was sailed under the three buoys system which is a type of handicap race. At the top of the course the race committee lays three buoys approx 100mtrs apart. Each skiff according their handicap are given a list of the buoys they have to go around.

For example, Smeg has the biggest handicap so has to go around the furthest buoys each lap. The lowest handicap skiff will go around the closest buoys each lap so the handicap unwinds as the race progresses. The first boat to finish is the winner.

In Race 5 Asko (James Dorran, Paul Montague and Harry Bethwaite) got a stunner of a start at the pin end and led all race, sailing with a big rig in the 13kt ENE breeze. Behind Asko, there was plenty of place swapping, and the occasional capsize, with Rag and Famish coming through at the finish, but was always under control by Asko who were just 5secs ahead.

Finport was third another 38 seconds back, and then it was Dal Zotto in fourth over 2 minutes astern.

In Race 6, the fleet learned Asko's lesson from the previous race, with the pin end being a very popular spot in the breeze which stayed at 13kts from ENE. Asko again got away in the lead, while Yandoo and Noakes getting in each other's way soon after the start and both capsized trying to clear the start line.

Bing Lee was a further casualty at the start being OCS and didn't return. R Marine had a close call after she ran out of runway off the start line and capsized very close to the rocks.

At the top mark for the first time, it was Finport (Keagan York, Matt Stenta and Charlie Gundy), dropping a piece of their lead with a tack right on the mark. It was close through the bottom gate for the first time as the bunched fleet tried to pick a line into the marks and handle a variety of kite drops. Finport went hard right and picked up good pressure and angle emerging with an increased lead, as the breeze increased to 16kts.

As Dal Zotto in second place found out, it was not a good day to be lugging the big rig uphill - but downwind was a different story. The places remained the same to the finish with Finport finishing 22secs ahead of Dal Zotto and The Kitchenmaker third, seven seconds back.

The racing was notable for having two female skippers - Katie Love from San Francisco, sailing Lumix and local Yvette Heritage on Quality Marine Clothing.

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