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Finport Finance's winning start - Australian champions win comes with a sting in the tail

by Frank Quealey 10 Oct 2023 23:18 PDT 11 October 2023

The impressive victory by the current Australian 18ft skiff champion Finport Finance team in last Sunday's Race 1 of the Spring Championship, has made life difficult for the coming weeks as the crew will now have more than half the 17-boat fleet sailing from the maximum limit under the rules of the 3-buoys championship, which continues with Race 2 of the series on Sydney Harbour next Sunday.

Starting last Sunday's race from the scratch mark, Keagan York (skipper), Matt Stenta (sheet) and Phil Marshall (bow) came through the fleet to grab the victory on the final lap of the three-lap North-East course.

Incredibly, York and his team will be giving maximum starts to ten of their 16 opponents on Sunday, including three minutes start to the 2023 JJ Giltinan World champion Andoo team of John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton.

Finport Finance's performances since Keagan York took delivery of the hull from Van Munster Boats last December is outstanding.

With little time to prepare the boat for the 2022-23 major championships on Sydney Harbour, Finport's team won a closely-fought Australian Championship before being a close runner-up to Andoo in the 2023 JJs.

During the Australian winter months, Keagan York, Matt Stenta and Phil Marshall added the Mark Foy Trophy to the skiff's 2023 record with a narrow victory over fellow Australian Yandoo team of John Winning, Fang Warren and Josh Porebski, on Lake Garda, Italy.

Both teams finished the 14-race regatta equal on 23 points, with Finport Finance taking the title after a count back. Finport Finance had seven wins against Yandoo's three race wins and seven second placings.

Last Sunday produced a similar result when Finport Finance took the honours by 37s from Yandoo, after Yandoo had led for much of the course.

Keagan York is naturally buoyed by the team's performances and the prospects during the latter half of the season and is full of praise for his team members. "We have a great team bond on Finport with Phil providing the energy on top of his eye for detail in putting a fast and reliable boat together adding to his top level bowmanship."..

"As for myself a couple of large changes in my life has made me a much happier person, so when I go sailing it's fun and I'm not worried about other areas of my life"

"Whilst losing Angus Williams to his around-Australia trip was a big loss to the team, having Matt Stenta jump on is a huge bonus to Phil and I. We know what we are getting and we can see how he has developed a lot more skill and understanding, of not just 18s but also campaigning, whilst he was away with Andoo on both the 18 and the 100 footer."

The race on Sunday produced many highlights and some great, close battles throughout the fleet in a tricky ENE breeze on the harbour.

The top six placegetters included Emma Rankin (Shaw and Partners Financial Services) and Nathan Edwards (Sixt), who were skippering an 18 footer for the first time as well as a fast-finishing Andoo and the up-and-coming young Balmain team, led by Henry Larkings.

With the early forecast suggesting similar wind strength conditions on Sunday, we can look forward to more close fleet racing, particularly as the winner will be the 2023-24 Alf Beashel Memorial Trophy champion and the race is the second of the coveted Season Point Score.

The likely fleet for next Sunday's race is:

Andoo - John Winning Jr., Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton
Balmain - Henry Larkings, Fynn Sprott, Flynn Twomey
Burrawang-Young Henrys - Simon Nearn, Cam Walker, Paddy Bannon
Finport Finance - Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Phil Marshall
Fisher & Paykel - Jordan Girdis, Josh Feldmann, Jacob Broome
Lazarus - Tom Cunich, Aiden Mansley, tba
Marine Outlet - John Cooley, Cam Gundy, Charlie Gundy
(New boat, tba) - Kirk Mitchell, Andrew Stephenson, Daniel Barnett
Noakes Red - Bec Hancock, Daniel McLachlan, Henry Stabback, Andrea Davey
Rag & Famish Hotel - Harry Price, Josh McKnight, tba
Shaw and Partners Financial Services - Emma Rankin, Cameron McDonald, Tom Quigley
Sixt - Nathan Edwards, Alex Leslie, Locky Pryor
Smeg - Nathan McNamara, Jed Cruikshank, Jack Taylor
The Kitchen Maker - Lachlan Steel, Jerome Watts, Ben Kirkby
The Royal Oak Double Bay-4 Pines - Jacob Marks, Alex Marinelli, Matt Doyle
Yandoo - Josh Porebski, Fang Warren, Mike Kennedy
18 Footers Restaurant - Hugo Stoner, Hugo Leeming, Hamish Vass

Australian 18 Footers League's 'Alternative' Ferry:

Once again, due to public works being done to Double Bay Wharf, the League have decided it is not practical to run a Spectator Ferry for the first few races and have arranged to run the Northern part of the 18 Footers Double Bay clubhouse as an Alternative Ferry.

Management have organised a massive screen to broadcast the SailMedia Livestream camera cat coverage of the racing, and there will be special drinks and food offers for those attending who wish to support their favourite team.

It's a really unique way to celebrate the start of the 2023-24 season and all our 18 footer supporters are welcome to come down to the clubhouse 'Alternative' Ferry.

If you can't get out onto Sydney Harbour to see the action-packed racing, or come to the club's 'Alternative' Ferry, you can catch it LIVE (the direct link for Sunday's race).

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