Please select your home edition

18ft Skiff Australian Championship on Sydney Harbour - Race 8

by Frank Quealey 23 Feb 2020 00:29 PST 9 February 2020

The defending champion Shaw & Partners Financial Services team of James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite and Steve Thomas (replacing Tim Westwood on the day) led all the way against a strong fleet to score a clear victory in Race 8 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on an incredibly busy Sydney Harbour today.

Shaw & Partners easily won the start and kept her chances alive to retain the title when the team scored a 1m13s win over a determined Finport Finance team (Keagan York, Angus Williams and Dan Phillips) which challenged for the entire length of the course.

Smeg (Micah Lane, Ricky Bridge, Peter Harris) was a further 3m44s further back in third place, followed by championship leader Tech2 (Jack Macartney), Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) and (Brett Van Munster).

With two short-course races scheduled for next Sunday's final day of the Australian Championship, Tech2 (after each team discards her worst performance to date) leads the points table on 15 points, followed by Finport Finance and Shaw & Partners on 23, Smeg and on 28 and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines on 31.

After a short delay while a large cruise ship moored in the middle of Sydney Harbour, Shaw & Partners easily won the start from the pin end of the line and quickly opened up a break over the rest of the fleet, which was headed by Birkenhead Point Marina (Tom Anderson) and Noakes Blue (Yvette Heritage).

While most of the fleet elected to sail a course towards the middle of the harbour on the long windward leg to the Beashel Buoy, the Shaw & Partners team stuck closely to the northern shore in the 5-10 knot NE breeze.

When the fleet reached the Beashel Buoy, Shaw & Partners held a 27s lead over Finport Finance with Rag & Famish Hotel another 13s back in third place.

Smeg and Birkenhead Point Marina were also in touch with the leading group but there was a break over most of the fleet headed by Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) and Noakes Blue.

The two leaders chose different tactics at the wing mark where Finport Finance gybed inside Shaw & Partners and gained slightly on the run between the islands to the bottom mark off Clark Island. The lead at that point was down to 15s.

The first four positions had remained unchanged on the run from the windward mark, but The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines improved her position as she moved up from 8th to be in a handy fifth place.

On the following windward leg back to the Beashel Buoy, an outgoing tanker played havoc with the fleet and allowed the two leaders to get away from the challengers.

Worst affected was Smeg which was unable to cross ahead of the tanker and lost valuable time, as well as any chance of reducing the lead.

It was now a two boat race over the remaining legs of the course. Shaw & Partners continued to hold the 15s advantage over Finport at the second windward mark then consolidated the lead with an outstanding spinnaker run down the middle of the harbour to Clark Island.

With a 45s break over Finport Finance and only one lap of the course to sail, the Shaw & Partners team were never troubled as the crew sailed faultlessly for their 1m13s victory.

Over the final lap of the course, spectators on the League's spectator ferry were treated to a close up look at the GP50 boats as they practiced for next week's event on Sydney Harbour.

The final two races of the Australian Championship will be sailed next Sunday.

Spectators can see all the teams while they are rigging, then follow the racing on board the club's spectator ferry, which leaves Double Bay Wharf, alongside the rigging area, at 2pm.

Book online through the club's website

AeroMedia Live Broadcast team will be out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action. For those who can't make it onto the water, live streaming is available at and clicking on the '18 Footers TV' link.

Race 8 Results:

PosBoat NameFinishElaspedHandicapCorrectedCorrected Pos
1Shaw & Partners Financial Services (James Dorron)16:37:5901:42:59001:42:591
2Finport Finance / Breene & Breene Solicitors (Keagan York)16:39:1201:44:12001:44:122
3Smeg (Micah Lane)16:42:5601:47:56001:47:568
4Tech2 (Jack Macartney)16:43:2701:48:27001:48:279
5Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards)16:44:2301:49:23201:47:236 (Brett Van Munster)16:44:3501:49:35201:47:357
7Vintec (Kirk Mitchell)16:45:1401:50:14601:44:143
8The Oak Double Bay / 4 Pines (Aron Everett)16:45:4101:50:41201:48:4110 (Jordan Girdis)16:45:4801:50:48401:46:485
10Yandoo (John Winning Snr)16:47:4301:52:43601:46:434
11Birkenhead Point Marina (Tom Anderson)16:47:5701:52:57401:48:5712
12Bird and Bear (Tom Clout)16:48:4501:53:45201:51:4515
13Dal Zotto (Jack Sprague)16:50:4101:55:41601:49:4113
14Noakes Blue (Yvette Heritage)16:51:3401:56:34601:50:3414
15Ilve (Pedro Vozone)16:51:5401:56:54801:48:5411
DNCNoakesailing (Sean Langman)     
DNCWinning Group (John Winning Jnr)     
DNFQueensland Team 1 (Dave Hayter)     
DNFRMarine Pittwater (Marcus Ashley Jones)     

Related Articles

Record Breaking Boat, Record Breaking Team
Michael Walsh, Phil Barnett and Neil Paton: an intriguing story of boat and skipper When Michael Walsh, Phil Barnett and Neil Paton teamed in the 18ft Skiff Prudential and won the 1989 JJ Giltinan on Sydney Harbour, they equalled the 1981 record set by the legendary Color 7 team of Iain Murray, Andrew Buckland and Don Buckley. Posted on 6 May
Smeg: 25 Years of Champion Sponsorship
2021 JJ Giltinan win a fitting reward to another long-term sponsor Whether it's a high-performance sport or a small, local sporting club, to be successful, the organisation needs the support of commercial sponsorship or, at least, one major benefactor. Posted on 2 May
Live the dream - Sail an 18 Footer
Now more than ever is the time to get involved in sailing an 18' skiff The boats, crews, and sponsors for next season are already mostly in place. Planning and organising pre-season is no trivial task, but interest is high and we are in a great position to make next season the best yet. Posted on 1 May
18ft Skiffs: Julian Bethwaite, Did It All
An incredible record of achievement as a designer, builder and competitor Julian Bethwaite has an incredible record of achievement in 18ft Skiff Racing as a designer, builder and competitor in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Posted on 21 Apr
Bob Holmes, a truly great champion
Five times JJ Giltinan world champion and five times Australian champion The recent death of Robert Joseph (Bob) Holmes was the passing of one of the truly great Australian 18ft Skiff champions. Bob was five times JJ Giltinan world champion and five times Australian champion over a ten year career in the class. Posted on 8 Apr
Ian Humphries views on 18ft Skiff
Still the most spectacular fleet on the Harbour I loved John Curnow's article on the 18s last week with the spotlight on Michael Coxon. I agree the 18s are still the most spectacular fleet on the Harbour too. Posted on 2 Apr
Whispering Jack
Unabashedly, this title does refer to the Aussie singing icon, John Farnham Unabashedly, this title does wholeheartedly refer to the Aussie singing icon, John Farnham. Not that our subject does in any way whatsoever warble in the same category. Posted on 22 Mar
18ft Skiff Queen of the Harbour
Tatiana Cardoso crowned in the annual event on Sydney Harbour In a thrilling finish, Tatiana Cardoso became the 18ft Skiff Queen of the Harbour when The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone team of Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle and Cameron McDonald came back strongly over the final lap of the course. Posted on 21 Mar
18ft Skiff Queen of the Harbour preview
One of the most important events for the Australian 18 Footers League The annual Queen of the Harbour (originally known as the 'Queen of the Waves') is one of the most important events to the Australian 18 Footers League and has a history almost as long as the League itself. Posted on 17 Mar
2021 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship overall
More than enough interest to entertain the spectators on the final day The Smeg team of Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge and Trent Barnabas was unbeatable for the title of 2021 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff champion after yesterday's Race 8 of the championship Posted on 14 Mar
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERCoast Guard Foundation FOOTER 1Selden 2020 - FOOTER