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18ft skiffs: Rogue powerboat wake takes out Yandoo - Race 3 of Spring Championships

by Richard Gladwell 3 Nov 2021 06:02 PDT 3 November 2021
Up periscope as Yandoo surfs down Sydney Harbour roller created by a powerboat rushing so they won't be late for their next playdate. © Michael Chittenden/SailMedia

John Winning, the Patron Saint of the Australian 18 Footers League, and the crew of Yandoo, looked set for a well deserved win in the third race of the 18ft skiff Spring Championship, sailed on Sydney Harbour on Sunday afternoon.

On a beautiful Sydney day, with city released from lockdown, there was plenty of traffic on the the harbour - and with most driving like they owned it.

Race leader Yandoo with her crew John Winning, Jasper Warren and Mike Kennedy looked to have a few clicks more speed than the rest of the fleet in the 8-10kt seabreeze, and capitalised on that advantage leading Finport (Keagan York, Bryce Edwards, Phil Marshall) around the final mark by just under two minutes - and what should have been a certain race win.

After rounding the final mark in some new pressure, Yandoo left it until the first gybe to set a spinnaker with what should have been an easy final leg - until a powerboat, dragging half the harbour behind it, cut across the bow of the bow of the skiff.

Yandoo went half airborne on the first wave, cut across the wake itself, and then tried to surf on the other side. What followed was spectacular.

This extract from the live video coverage covers the final leg, showing the incident with Yandoo, which recovered well, and the tight very tactical finish. the expert commentators Andrew Buckland, James Bury and Peter Shipway call the finish, and the Yandoo incident.

For the full race and excellent camera work from the Sail Media click here

A new live coverage production and camera set up is being used this season by the 18ft skiffs, and has taken the coverage to a new level - all set against the spectacular backdrop of Sydney harbour.

You can catch the latest racing - live streamed on and click on the '18 Footers TV' link, or on Youtube click here

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