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2021-22 Red Pumps 16ft Skiff Australian Championships in Belmont Bay - Day 4

by Mark Rothfield 6 Jan 2022 05:26 PST 1-8 January 2022

With boat speeds nudging 26 knots, and a nor'east wind strength not far behind, it was survival of the fastest in races 6 and 7 of the 2022 Red Pumps 16ft Skiff Australian Championship today, hosted by Belmont 16s on Lake Macquarie.

SKE Electrical and Jamesco both snapped their second-rig masts, two boats broke rudders, one snapped its top batten in a bear-away, and there were multiple retirements. Back on shore, crews were applying eye drops by the litre to salve their blood-red peepers, having copped a saltwater fire-hosing.

Nevertheless, most relished the frenzied, high-speed action: "You're relying on your feel, your senses, your crew and how much noise they're making," explained Contender Sailcloth skipper Will Howard.

Adds skiff youth sailor Matthew Meaney from Tooheys Extra Dry: "We were loving it, especially that second race when it picked up a fair bit - some of those downwind runs we were just hanging on for dear life."

But through all this, heavy air specialists Moonen Yachts came through unscathed and with two solid victories. They're the only crew to win multiple races in the series - three out of seven - and they now sit second overall with two races to play and one further score to drop.

Nathan Wilmot's Ronstan crew will retain the yellow leaders' vests for tomorrow, having posted a 5th and a 3rd today. But strong winds are again predicted, forcing an earlier start time of 11am, which may again favour Turner.

"Strong winds have always been our favourite conditions. It's what skiff sailing is all about - going fast and keeping it loose," Turner said. "We were just hanging on all day long and trying to see where we were going through the spray. But we managed to keep everyone in the boat, keep the rig in the air, and got two wins to show for it."

Insight Building Services claimed second place in the heat but subsequently took on water inside the hull, which bogged the boat down and made the runs perilous. They limped into 24th.

The Contender crew clicked into gear in Race 7, finishing second across the line - partly making up for the Sydney Hobart disappointment aboard the TP52 Celestial for brothers Will and Richard Howard.

"Hobart was tough, it was long, and obviously the back-and-forth surrounding the protest was emotionally draining," Will Howard said. "At the start of this week we didn't have a lot left in the tank but you still find it. We're doing well, we're improving, and going in the right direction.

"Today, we like breeze and our boat handling is generally sound. We made some adjustments to the rig between races and it helped a lot. Our strategy was to keep it simple, with minimal manoeuvres, and it worked - the bottom mark was a graveyard at times."

IMEI also had a consistent day, with a 3rd and 4th. It's steered by David Gilmour, son of former match-racing champion Peter.

With injured skipper Tom Burton out for the regatta and reserve helm Jake Liddell unavailable, Knighton Group subbed in Australian Cherub champion Kris Fay to helm the boat... it's third skipper in four days. They managed a 9th and 14th.

Belmont's Bella Group, with Georgia Steenson at the helm, is the new outright leader for the female skipper trophy. Today, only she and Marilyn Sorensen on Shead were able to complete race 7. Lancelin continues to lead the Youth category from Tooheys Extra Dry.

Racing for the 13ft Skiff fleet was abandoned due to the strong conditions.

Results after Day 4:

PosBoat NameSkipperCrewCrewFromR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1RonstanNathan WilmotBrett DavisMalcolm PageMan24424[5]319
2Moonen YachtsDaniel TurnerAngus WilliamsMatt StentaMan1568[11]1122
3Brydens LawyersLee KnaptonPeter MackieRicky BridgeStG72[12]424726
4IMEIDavid GilmourTrent BarnabasRob NapperMan[12]311613428
5Fluid BuildingNathan OutteridgeTom SlingsbyIain JensonMan511175[17]635
6Insight Building SerRod CarterAdam GilsonAndrew StoneBel41631142[24]40
7Contender SailclothWill HowardRichard HowardCorey HamiltonBel106[14]967240
8Domino'sMichael QuirkDallas DawsonThomas StensonBel61210[15]131244
9Sail RacingFelix GrechPaul DarmaninTom PotterMan1197[15]96547
10East Coast Marine &Tom DawsonJamie WoodsJoel CastleBel[16]85143151156
11Newcastle FinancialBen BrunigesJustin SharrockDave HickeyBel87185[47O]10856
12Money LinksAdam PiperTroy DobinsonMark WillisBel[23]131513712969
13Red Pumps RedGerard SmithKeagan YorkKirk MitchellMan141710[19]17141082
14LancelinBrendan CrispFynn SprottTom CunichMan[29]1013118221983
15SKE ElectricalScott BabbageScott BeebyJoel SkeltonBel3128318[47S]47C91
16ToogaraJosh TaskerSam MonkhouseFinn RodowiczStG1814171810[27]1592
17Sutech Building ConsMichael KoernerJosh PontonJames Lawira‑FernandMan20199[28]12211899
18Knighton GroupKris FayMax PaulSimon HoffmanBel1324[25]2119914100
19Red PumpsBruce SavageGreg WindustJay HarrisMan15181925[28]816101
20JamescoBen BradleyJames TurnerAlex MarinelliStG171523161616[47F]103
21Pepsi MaxRoss StutchburyBen PilleyShane BurkeBel[26]202017261913115
22Eric's StorageHarry LawsonNathan EdwardsAlex LeslieMH19[47F]1612131147C118
23Tooheys Extra DryMatthew MeaneyHugo HamiltonFelix PrinceBel22212420[29]2817132
24NHS Building SupplieMatt CrockettRobert FlanaganGlen DawsonBel212527[47F]202021134
25VaikobiFelix DaverioMichael ChildsJames SleeMan27[28]2122232420137
26Bella GroupGeorgia SteensonMichael HochguertelRory MurtaghBel2427[32]27252522150
27CMG Property MaintenMichael VincentCameron WalkerTaylor HodgkinsonMH3122332324[47C]26159
28EdendaWill BeckAndrew StephensonPeter McLeodDrum3032312427[47F]23167
29XXXX GoldNeale JonesLuke DunneMike OvenstoneBel323328263318[47F]170
30SheadMarilyn SorensenSteve StentaMichael JenkinsMH[47F]312635322325172
31Capital Brewing CoJessica IlesAndrew IlesRiley PikeMan282622[47F]352647F184
32ADCO ConstructionsLachlan SteelBen KirkbyJerome WattsStG3329292921[47C]47C188
33KonamiBethany SherryJason ThompsonShane SlatteryBel[47F]2330302247S47C199
34SchweppesBailey JamesJamie DobinsonRob JamesBel2530393134[47C]47C206
35Employment HeroAndrew DivolaAlastair HunterGeorge ThompsonMan3537343736[47C]47C226
36FireballJames DowneyJames PinningtonSam SkeenMan3439373238[47C]47C227
37AristocratKimberly BakerJackson BakerJon SearlesBel37343533[47F]47F47C233
38PTHayden HansenNathan GuliksenMark MurrayGos[47F]3838343147C47C235
39One Too ManyStephen ChapmanPaul HarrisonGreg SteensonBel[47F]3640363047C47C236
40CunninghamsNick ConnorZac BarnabasDaniel NugentMan9[47C]47C47C47C47C47C244
41White TigerMichael CarterCraig DoranDavid RusselMan3840413939[47S]47C244
42KammakazieRichard WilliamsPhil JenkinsIan WoodMH363536[47F]47C47F47C248
43WeathertexJess RiversWill RiversRyan WattGos[47F]4147O403747C47C259
44Inspectrite AustraliDavid TaylorJosh HenshawWilliam HorinBel[47F]47F42384047C47C261
45Iron JackGriffin SutersGeoff AkhurstSophia UgarteBel[47S]47F47C47F47F47C47C282
45Brian Hilton Motor GBrent ConnorSam GrikLincoln SeniorGos[47C]47C47C47C47C47C47C282

See full results here. More information on the event website.

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