Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2019 - Leaderboard

18ft Skiff Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour - Race 4

by Frank Quealey 3 Nov 2019 01:39 PST 3 November 2019

The Smeg team of Micah Lane, Ricky Bridge and Peter Mackie survived an incredible day of survival racing to take out Race 4 of the Australian 18 Footer League's Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

In one of the most dramatic days for many years, Smeg won the race by just 23s from (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris), withThe Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar, Charlie Gundy) a further 27sback in third place.

Finport Finance (Keagan York) came home only 5s behind "The Oak' in fourth place with the backmarker, Noakesailing (Sean Langman), another 20s back in fifth place.

Only three more boats, Yandoo (John Winning), Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) and The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis) completed the race from the 16 starters.

After today's racing, leads the pointscore in the seven-race championship, with a total of 16 points, followed by Noakesailing on 20, Finport Finance on 26, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines on 28, Yandoo on 29 and Smeg on 34.

With No. 1 rigs (the big ones) set for a moderate North East wind, the fleet set out from the rigging area in Double Bay, to the start line off Clark Island, but were hit by the first of the day's dramatic conditions even before the starter signalled a start.

The wind settled as the fleet made its way to the first set of windward marks and the battle for the lead developed between Finport Finance, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines and Winning Group, with Noakesailing, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone and Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) leading the next group.

As the fleet approached the 3-buoys windward marks, the wind roarer up to around 25-knots and none of the skiffs could do a bear-away and the fleet was forced in towards Watsons Bay as the fleet 'disappeared' from view as the weather closed in.

No team survived the battering. Every team capsized and a number of skiffs came away with damaged gear, before the visibility improved and Yandoo's red and blue spinnaker appeared from the gloom.

John Winning, Mike Kennedy and Nick Daly, the Yandoo team, are all experienced skiff sailors and set off for the wing mark at the south end of Shark Island but even with their experience couldn't overcome the strong wind and nose-dived as they tried to sail into the Rose Bay mark.

Smeg and Rag & Famish Hotel then became the two leaders before they also capsized as they attempted to gybe at the wing mark.

Finport Finance had now recovered from her earlier capsize and joined Smeg (now recovered from her capsize) in the lead as the pair completed the first lap of the three-lap course with only a few boat-lengths separating the two teams.

Noakesailing, Yandoo and had also recovered from capsizes and were in a battle for the placings behind the two leaders.

The weather settled down a little over the second lap of the course and the race for the lead was a thriller as Finport Finance and Smeg raced downwind to the bottom mark with only 10s separating them.

Series leader, was outstanding on the run and moved into third place just ahead of Noakesailing, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines and Dal Zotto (Jack Sprague).

Conditions became extreme once again when a NW storm hit the fleet on the final windward beat then left the leading five boats with almost no wind afterwards as they each tried to reach their final rounding buoys.

As the five boats finally set their spinnakers for the run home, conditions suddenly became 'normal' and the race to the finish line was a tribute to the skills of each crew as the five boats completed the long course with only 1m15s separating them after a truly unbelievable day on Sydney Harbour.

Race 4 Results:

PosBoat NameFinishElasped
1Smeg (Micah Lane)16:17:2100:32:21 (Brett Van Munster)16:17:4400:32:44
3The Oak Double Bay / 4 Pines (Aron Everett)16:18:1100:33:11
4Finport Finance / Breene & Breene Solicitors (Keagan York)16:18:1600:33:16
5Noakesailing (Sean Langman)16:18:3600:33:36
6Yandoo (John Winning Snr)16:26:5300:41:53
7Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards)16:32:2900:47:29 (Jordan Girdis)16:33:2500:48:25
DNCTech2 (Jack Macartney)  
DNCTom Clout (Tom Clout)  
DNFShaw & Partners Financial Services (Harry Bethwaite )  
DNFBirkenhead Point Marina (Tom Anderson)  
DNFDal Zotto (Jack Sprague)  
DNFIlve (Pedro Vozone)  
DNFMarcus Ashley Jones (Marcus Ashley Jones)  
DNFNoakes Blue (Yvette Heritage)  
DNFVintec (Kirk Mitchell)  
DNFWinning Group (John Winning Jnr)  

The Australian 18 Footers League's 2019-2020 Season continues next Sunday when the club will stage Races 5 and 6 of the Spring Championship.

Spectators can see all the teams in the rigging, then follow the racing on board the spectator ferry, which leaves Double Bay Wharf, alongside the rigging area, each race day at 2pm.

Book online through the club's website

The livestream video team is also out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action for those who can't make it onto the water. Livestreaming is available by going to and clicking on the '18 Footers TV' link.

As well as watching the livestreaming coverage, you can also follow all the club;s racing throughout the entire 2019-2020 Racing Season:

  • Club Website -
  • Twitter - @18skiff
  • Instagram - @18skiff
  • Facebook - International 18Ft Skiff

Related Articles

18ft Skiff Australian Championship day 4
Two spectacular wins by Tech2 on Sydney Harbour Two spectacular wins by Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Trent Barnabas on Tech2 in Races 6 and 7 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour has given the team a nine points lead in the series with just two more races to be contested. Posted on 16 Feb
18ft Skiff Australian Championship day 3
Race 5 abandoned Winds in excess of 35 knots, which battered Sydney waters all day, forced the Australian 18 Footers League to abandon Race 5 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship, which was scheduled to be contested on Sydney Harbour today. Posted on 9 Feb
Historic 18 Footer Australian Championship overall
Nine skiffs contest the Galloping Ghost Trophy The 2020 Historic 18 Footer Australian Championship for the Galloping Ghost Trophy was conducted by the Sydney Flying Squadron in conjunction with the Australian Historical Sailing Skiff Association (AHSSA), on Sydney Harbour over 3 races Posted on 8 Feb
18ft Skiff Australian Championship day 2
Smeg team record a double victory on Sydney Harbour The Smeg team of Micah Lane, Ricky Bridge and Peter Harris recorded a double victory on Sydney Harbour today when they scored two come-from-behind wins in Races 3 and 4 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship. Posted on 2 Feb
18ft Skiff Australian Championship day 1
Finport Finance team totally dominate the racing The Finport Finance team of Keagan York, Matt Stenta and David Ewings totally dominated the racing in a 8-12 knots SSE wind to lead the fleet after the two-race opening day. Posted on 19 Jan
18ft Skiff NSW Championship overall
Tech2 showed that the Winning Group may have a tougher battle ahead The Winning Group team of John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton didn't start in today's final race of the NSW Championship as the team had already won the title but today's winner Tech2 showed that the Winning Group may have a tougher battle ahead. Posted on 12 Jan
18ft Skiffs: 'The Ocean Challenge'
One of the most spectacular 18ft Skiff races in the sport's more than 125-year history When the Australian 18 Footers League's 2019-2020 Season resumes racing on Sunday, January 12, it will be 35 years since the club celebrated its 50th Anniversary in January 1985 by staging a unique event. Posted on 8 Jan
18ft Skiff NSW Championship Race 4
Smeg sailed beautifully in 12-16 knot NE wind to take the win The Smeg crew of Micah Lane, Ricky Bridge and Peter Mackie sailed beautifully in the 12-16 knot NE wind to take out Race 4 of the NSW Championship, but it was the second-placed Winning Group which has wrapped up the championship Posted on 15 Dec 2019
18ft Skiff Supercup on Sydney Harbour
Eight former JJ Giltinan champions and other top 'guest' skippers race The Australian 18 Footers League conducted the second 'Supercup' on Sydney harbour this evening when they invited eight former JJ Giltinan (world) champions as well as several other top names from the world of 18ft Skiff Racing to become guest skippers. Posted on 13 Dec 2019
Vaikobi and the 18 footers
Vaikobi have just launched new 18 foot skiff Vaikobi have just launched our new 18 foot skiff in partnership with our friends from Shaw and Partners Financial Services. The skiff has an awesome team of James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite and Tim Westwood, who are the current Champions. Posted on 11 Dec 2019
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 3Marine Resources 2019 - FooterNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer