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Sponsors' two-boat Challenge in the 18 footers

by Frank Quealey 3 Nov 2021 01:59 PDT

Lazarus Capital Partners entered into its first 18ft Skiff sponsorship last year when the company supported a young team having its first season in the class at the Australian 18 Footers League on Sydney Harbour.

The company actively encouraged the team with regular attendance on the club's spectator ferry and were obviously encouraged by the venture, as Lazarus Capital Partners decided to increase the sponsorship potential and now has two skiffs in the 20-boat fleet which carry the 'Lazarus' logo.

While maintaining its support of another young team in last year's boat, re-named Lazarus Capital Development, the company has also sponsored a brand new skiff, Lazarus Capital Partners, which will be sailed by a top team, led by the experienced Marcus Ashley-Jones.

Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison and Cam Gundy is one of the top combinations in the fleet and is expected to be competitive in all major 2021-22 championships.

Marcus began his career in the 18 Footers in the 2009-2010 season when he skippered Club Marine. In spectacular fashion, at the 2010 JJ Giltinan world Championship he achieved a rare record when he won Race 1 the first JJs race he ever sailed.

Impressed by his first season performance, club administrators selected him as a replacement skipper for the Asko Appliances team in 2010-2011.

Marcus went on to skipper Asko Appliance-sponsored skiffs from 2010-2011 until the end of 2016-2017.

During his seven-year association with Asko Appliances, Marcus produced his best three JJ Giltinan world Championship performances in 2014 (6th), 2015 (4th) and 2017 (6th). They were also the only three times that Jeronimo Harrison was a part of the crew.

The following two sailing seasons (2017-18 and 2018-19) Marcus didn't compete in the 18s when he sailed aboard the 100ft maxi SHK Scallywag in four Sydney to Hobarts, and the Volvo Ocean Race in VO65 SHK Scallywag.

In 2020 Marcus skippered the 72-foot URM to rack up his 16th Sydney to Hobart race before he returned to the 18s mid-season. With Cam Gundy and Lewis Brake, Marcus finished 9th in the 2020 Giltinan Championship in his URM-sponsored skiff.

The present Lazarus Capital Partners team came together in 2020-21, in Andoo, and finished a close sixth in a tightly-bunched fleet in the JJs behind the winner, Michael Coxon's Smeg.

This will be Jeronimo Harrison's sixth season sailing with Marcus, and the two sailing together in the Giltinan Championship have never been placed worse than sixth overall.

It is little wonder the partnership between Marcus and Jeronimo has been so successful when Jeronimo says, "Marcus gave me my first crack at the 18s almost 10 years ago, when I was just a young buck coming out of 29ers. I was definitely a bit green that first season but we built an awesome partnership over the next few years. I'll always be grateful to him for giving me my first shot at the big time."

The new skiff had her first big race last Sunday when the Australian 18 Footers League conducted Race 1 of its 2021-2022 Club Championship in a 10 knot, shifting, gusty ENE wind which was far from ideal for the high-speed racers and their crews.

Despite the conditions and a crew change due to injury, Lazarus Capital Partners was in the leading group throughout the race before finishing fifth in the 20-boat fleet.

The performance indicated that the skiff will be very competitive as the season moves through to the JJ Giltinan world Championship on Sydney Harbour in March 2022.

Mr. Dale Klynhout, Managing Director, says, "Lazarus Capital Partners is excited to re-enter our partnership with the 18 Footers League, giving our community of clients an association with one of Sydney Harbour's most traditional and exciting sporting championships."

"Going into the second year of sponsorship in our journey with the 18 Footers, the Lazarus Capital Partners team are excited in the launch of our fantastic and fast looking new skiff which will proudly fly our banner for years to come across Sydney Harbour."

"We also welcome to the Lazarus family our respective crews on both our flagship new skiff, skippered by Marcus Ashely-Jones with Jeronimo Harrison and Cameron Gundy, along with the Lazarus Development team of Hugo Stoner, Hugo Leeming and Alex Watson on last year's Lazarus skiff."

"The Lazarus Racing Team is our contribution to a historical and prestigious institution in Australia - an endeavour which we invite our stakeholders to share in our successes and be a part of them."

The Australian 18 Footers League is also happy to have a company such as Lazarus Capital Partners, which "offers asset managers across Asia a range of prime brokerage and custodial capabilities extending across equities execution, financing and asset servicing solutions" as part of its sponsor group.

As club President John Winning said, "it's great to see such an enthusiastic sponsor coming into our sport who also recognises its history and prestige, and we look forward to a happy and successful association."

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