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18ft Skiffs: tech2 sets the pace

by Frank Quealey 4 Nov 22:43 PST 8 November 2020
AeroMedia Live Broadcast video team follow tech2 down the spinnaker run last Sunday © Frank Quealey

With Races 4 and 5 of the Australian 18 Footers League's Spring Championship due to be sailed on Sydney Harbour next Sunday, the Australian 18ft Skiff champion tech2 team could wrap up the series if it can maintain the outstanding form shown in the four races sailed so far.

Skipper Jack Macartney, bowman Lewis Brake and Charlie Wyatt on the sheet, have been consistently impressive with one win, two second placings and one fourth place, but the win last Sunday was one to remember.

As 25-30 knot south-west winds battered Sydney Harbour, the tech2 team gave a brilliant exhibition of power sailing to cross the finish line 12m25s ahead of the nearest rival Yandoo team of John Winning, Mike Kennedy and Jasper Warren.

The team completed the course without one capsize, while every other competing team was unable to keep their skiffs afloat at all times in the dreadful conditions.

Incredibly, tech2's crew made the conditions look far less difficult than they were and never looked likely to capsize at any stage of the race.

Another incredible performance last Sunday was provided by the 'veteran' Yandoo team.

The 2000 JJ Giltinan champion and 18ft Skiff legend, 68-year-old John 'Woody' Winning, continues to amaze followers with his remarkable ability to compete at the highest level and in all conditions every Sunday.

Not satisfied with that achievement, 'Woody' also skippers an Historial 18 every Saturday at the Sydney Flying Squadron. Asked how he does it, 'Woody' simply claimed "I love it, and I have a very patient, understanding wife."

Going into Sunday's double-header, tech2 leads the competition on a total of nine points. Closest challenger to tech2 is Yandoo on 18 points, followed by Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) on 20, Smeg (Michael Coxon) on 22 and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett) on 32.

Finport Finance (Keagan York) and Shaw & Partners Financial Services (Jim Colley) are tied in sixth place on 36 points.

Early weather predictions for next Sunday are south-east winds at 14 knots, which should provide the 18-boat fleet with some great, close racing conditions, and give some of the exciting new teams a better opportunity to show their skills.

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 is essential. See www.18footers.com.au/18-footers-sailing/spectator-ferry

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

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