Please select your home edition
Edition
Henr-Lloyd BLU LEADERBOARD

18ft Skiff Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour - Race 1

by Frank Quealey 11 Oct 2020 02:42 PDT 11 October 2020
Congestion near the wing mark during race 1 of the 18ft Skiff Spring Championship © Frank Quealey

The 2020-2021 18ft Skiff Racing Season began on Sydney Harbour today when the Australian 18 Footers League conducted Race 1 of the annual Spring Championship series.

A fleet of 17 teams lined up for the start in a 12-15 knot breeze over the North-East 3-buoys course, with most teams electing to use their bigger #1 rigs for the day.

It might have been a new season but it was a familiar sight as two of last season's top contenders battled it out for victory.

The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines team of Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar and Charlie Gundy showed it had lost none of the 2019-2020 Season form with a 17s win over the current Australian champion tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake.

The rookie Shaw & Partners Financial Services team of Jim Colley, Sam Phillips and Shaun Connor showed that they will be a very competitive combination after finishing in third place today, 3m50s behind tech2.

Another rookie team led by Tom Cunich finished fourth in Vintec, followed by Smeg (Dave O'Connor) and Winning Group, skippered by Seve Jarvin.

Following an even start, the long windward leg from Clark Island to the first set of three buoys off the Beashel Buoy produced some great racing with several teams challenging for the lead.

Ilve (Pedro Vozone) took advantage of going to the red buoy to grab the lead from Bird & Bear (Micah Lane) which had to round the blue marker.

The pair were followed by a large hard-charging group consisting of The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines, Smeg tech2, Shaw & Partners Financial Services and Yandoo (John Winning).

In an exciting spinnaker run to the wing mark off the southern end of Shark Island there was plenty of action and saw a lead change as The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines narrowly led tech2 and Yandoo as the trio prepared for the next run between Shark and Clark Islands to the bottom mark.

tech2 grabbed a 10s lead over The Oak at the end of the first lap with Yandoo in third place, followed by Noakesailing (Sean Langman), Bird & Bear and Shaw and Partners.

The two leaders elected to sail different courses back upwind to the Beashel Buoy and there was little between them as they approached the buoys.

This time, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines gained from a blue buoy mark rounding while tech2 had to travel further to the white mark.

It was all that the leading team needed as they maintained a good lead back down the middle of Sydney Harbour on a spinnaker run to the bottom mark.

The leader seemed to sail a more conservative, safety-first race over the final lap of the course to hold off a very strong challenge by the Australian champion tech2.

Typically, there were a few 'swims' as the teams brushed out some of the cobwebs after the winter break, but there were a few promising performances from some of the new teams as well as better performances to come from some of the more experienced teams.

Race 2 of the seven-race Spring Championship series will be conducted next Sunday, October 18.

Spectators can follow the racing on board the club's spectator ferry, however due to the COVID-19 policy, numbers are limited.

Booking online through the club's website www.18footers.com.au is essential.

For those unable to make it out onto the water, AeroMedia Live Broadcast team will be on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action and live streaming is available at www.18footers.com.au by clicking on the '18 Footers TV' link.

Related Articles

The Australian 18 Footers League Academy
An exciting new concept to encourage and educate new recruits The Australian 18 Footers League has established an exciting new concept to encourage and educate new recruits, or recently recruited, young sailors to the high-speed world of 18ft Skiff racing. Posted on 21 Oct
18ft Skiffs: Finport Finance, a 'new team'
Experienced crew to feature in the 18ft Skiff 2021-22 season Keagan York's Finport Finance will feature a brand new team when it lines up against 17 other top performers at the Australian 18 Footers League for the club's 2021-22 season on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 16 Oct
The League's new 18 footer season on the way
Moving ahead at full speed in preparation despite the pandemic situation in Sydney Despite the uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic situation in Sydney, the Australian 18 Footers League has been moving ahead at full speed in preparation for its 87th season of continuous 18ft skiff racing on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 4 Oct
18ft Skiffs: John 'Woody' Winning, Iron Man
36 seasons of 18ft Skiff racing for the 69-year-old skipper Few knowledgeable sailing individuals would question the opinion that modern or 1950s 18 footers are one of the world's most demanding boats to race. So how does a 69-year-old manage to skipper one of the modern 18s each Sunday for 36 seasons? Posted on 30 Sep
Changing style of Sydney 18 footers in the '60s
The infuence of champion skipper Len Heffernan on the class Len Heffernan was a champion 18ft Skiff skipper, designer and boat builder of the 1950s and 60s, who changed the style of the Sydney 18 footers in the early 1960s, but never gets the recognition that he deserves. Posted on 20 Sep
The Australian 18 Footers League - the Beginning
Conducting 18ft Skiff racing continuously for 87 years on Sydney Harbour The Australian 18 Footers League (formerly known as NSW 18 Footers League) has been conducting 18ft Skiff racing continuously for 87 years on Sydney Harbour since its first year of competition in the 1935-1936. Posted on 16 Sep
The British 18 Footer Challenge
The British challenge to conquer the world of 18 footers began in 1973 The British challenge to conquer the world of 18 footers began in 1973 when Alf Reynolds built the first 18 in England, but even the pioneering Alf possibly wouldn't have believed then how successful those following him would be. Posted on 5 Sep
2021 UK 18ft Skiff National Championship
The fleet was keen to show who was the top dog Last weekend was the much anticipated 2021 UK 18ft Skiff National Championships. After a year away from racing, the UK fleet were keen to show who was the top dog and so the racing was always going to be tight. Posted on 30 Aug
18ft Skiff racing at Calshot
A weekend of being comfortable with the rig you've put in This weekend's skiff racing was a case of being comfortable with the rig you've put in and accepting that at some points, it might have felt like the wrong call! Posted on 6 Aug
Harris Brothers, World 18ft Skiff Champions
Two brothers, both winners but on different boats Two brothers winning JJ Giltinan world 18ft Skiff Championships is not too rare. There have been at least ten 'brothers' winning boats in the 71 championships held so far Posted on 5 Jul
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 6 jpg BottomNorth Sails 2021 FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER