Please select your home edition
Edition
Festival of Sails 2020 - LEADERBOARD

18ft Skiff Australian Championship wide open going into day 3

by Frank Quealey 31 Jan 22:13 PST 3 February 2019

Sunday's Race 5 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour marks the halfway point of the series, but the extreme wind conditions which have dominated the first two days racing have left the likely outcome up in the air.

The almost total lack of wind on Day 1, then a more than 25-knot Southerly wind on Day 2, has made it almost impossible to evaluate the form of the leading contenders for the title.

With many teams carrying a poor result in one race so far, the overall result of the championship could eventually be determined by a race result a top team would normally consider to be a discard.

The wind conditions and the helter-skelter racing over the short windward-retuen courses hasn't been an ideal lead-up to the J.J. Giltinan Championship, which will be sailed on Sydney Harbour from March 2-10.

Sunday's race takes on even more importance as it is scheduled to be sailed over a full, championship-style course, and will hopefully, give a better indication of how each team is progressing with boat speed over longer windward and downwind legs.

With three of the leading teams, Winning Group, Bing Lee and Asko Appliances, working up new crew members, the clock is ticking in the race towards next month's JJs, and the challenge expected from the defending champion New Zealand team.

Although still early in the championship, if eack team's discard so far is removed, Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) has a total of four points, to lead by just one point from Bing Lee (Micah Lane) and The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis) on 5. Asko Appliances (James Dorron) is next on 6 points, followed by Smeg on 7.

Recently crowned NSW champion Asko Appliances is one team still to settle on a final crew line up for the JJs.

Skipper James Dorron isn't concerned and simply says: "we're working on it."

Dorron added: "The boat is going well, and every race is an important test as we lead into the JJs."

"Last weekend's gear failure hurt and a new crew in 25-knots wasn't ideal, but we're looking OK as we approach the pointy end of the year."

Looking at Asko's main opposition at the JJs, Dorron said: "The heavyweight Smeg is going quick and Bing Lee is the other one to watch. Winning Group is also a boat which is improving each week."

Dorron summed up: "March could bring a bag of breezes, so we just need to have the Asko primed, make good calls, and hope that things will go our way that week."

While a lot of attention has focesed on the 'Big 4' teams, the consistent The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone is certainly capable of pushing the more-fancied teams over the remaining five races of the nationals.

The race for sixth place is just as open as the battle for the overall championship, with three teams, Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster), The Oak Double Bay (Aron Everett) and Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) all level on 10 points.

The ever-improving Dal Zotto (Jack Sprague) is just four more points behind the trio, on 14 points.

With so much at stake, Sunday's Race 5 of the Australian Championship is critical to the progression of each team and should provide a wonderful spectacle as the teams go at each other in a predicted, perfect 15-knots North East breeze on Sydney Harbour.

Related Articles

18ft Skiff Spring Championship Race 1
The Noakesailing team come from behind over the final lap The Noakesailing team of Sean Langman, Ed Powys and Nathan Edwards had to come from behind over the final lap of the course to grab a narrow victory in Race 1 of the Australian 18 Footers League's Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour today. Posted on 13 Oct
Livestreaming 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour
Viewers around the world taken up close to the racing Livestreaming of 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour reached a new high during the 2018-2019 Australian Season when the talented video team produced sensational coverage of all local club events and every race of the JJ Giltinan (world) Championship. Posted on 11 Oct
18ft Skiffs: New Noakes Blue Team
Noakes Blue becomes Sean Langman's latest team in the 18s When Yvette Heritage and her Noakes Blue 18ft Skiff team line up next Sunday (October 13) for the opening race of the Australian 18 Footers League's 2019-2020 Season Posted on 7 Oct
Going really quickly in big boats
And then there were four - and they are pretty different too And then there were four. And they are pretty different too. They are a little like two pairs, if cards are your thing, but by the time the second hulls appear, you wonder Posted on 6 Oct
Australian 18 Footers League Season Preview
Spring Championship starts on 13th October The Australian 18 Footers League's 85th season of continuous 18ft Skiff Racing on Sydney Harbour will commence on Sunday, October 13 when 17 of the world's fastest racing boats will line up to contest Race 1 of the 2019 Spring Championship. Posted on 27 Sep
18ft Skiffs at Calshot
Allspars Solent Grand Prix Series & European Grand Prix Series Finale Crews have just about got over the aches and pains after this weekend's skiff racing at Calshot, Solent. Three days of racing were planned with a strengthened fleet of skiffs from travelling European boats. Posted on 26 Sep
Getting serious
As American Magic get their initial AC75 up and foiling first over the Defenders... As American Magic get their initial AC75 up and foiling first over the Defenders, a vessel known as K8 sat in the pond at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Posted on 22 Sep
Allspars 18ft Skiff Solent Grand Prix Series R4
The fleet assembled again on their now homely beach at Calshot Activity Centre The fleet assembled on their now homely beach at Calshot Activity Centre for three days of racing over the bank holiday. Usual favourites, The Time Genie couldn't make this event, so it left the field open to the other teams. Posted on 28 Aug
Allspars 18ft Skiff Solent Grand Prix Series R3
Fleet into the groove for the season with some close racing The weekend saw the third round of the Allspars Solent Grand Prix Series which has kept the UK 18ft Skiffs busy and well trained for the first half of the season. Posted on 13 May
Allspars 18ft Skiff Solent Grand Prix Series R2
Weather gods both kind and cruel to the U.K. The weather gods were both kind and cruel to the U.K. 18ft skiffs last weekend for the second round of the Allspars Solent Grand Prix Series. Posted on 27 Apr
PandB 2019 Autumn Sale - FooterNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterNaiad 660x82px_Rescue