Please select your home edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

18ft Skiff Club Championship Race 1

by Frank Quealey 22 Oct 2023 01:00 PDT 22 October 2023
Windward mark rounding on lap one - 18ft Skiffs: Club Championship, Race 1 © SailMedia

The first championship race of the Australian 18 Footers League's 2023-24 season was staged on Sydney Harbour today, when the League conducted Race 1 of the Club Championship, and resulted in an outstanding win for the Yandoo team of John 'Woody' Winning, Fang Warren and Josh Porebski who gave a wonderful exhibition in very tricky conditions.

Yandoo's crew were locked in a tight battle with the Balmain team of Henry Larkings, Fynn Sprott and Flynn Twomey over the first lap of the course before racing away over the latter half of the race to defeat Balmain by an emphatic 1m46s.

Lazarus (Tom Cunich, Marc Chapon and Finn Rodowicz) was one of six boats recalled at the start and her crew produced a great effort to recover and finish in third place, just 38s behind Balmain.

Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price) finished in fourth place, ahead of Marine Outlet (John Cooley) and Australian champion Finport Finance (Keagan York).

The day began dramatically when one of the pre-race favourites, Giltinan world champion Andoo was forced out of the race after the boom broke during the rigging process.

Once on the water, the drama continued when the start was delayed by more than 30mins due to a fluctuating ESE breeze and the need to change the race from a traditional SE course to a three-lap windward-return race.

Finally, the fleet set off in a 8-10 knot breeze and headed to the first windward mark on the course, off Watsons Bay.

Just a few minutes into the race, Yandoo and Balmain soon established themselves at the head of the fleet on the right hand side of the course while Finport Finance went far left and fell well off the lead.

It was an excellent contest between the far more experienced Yandoo team and the younger Balmain crew as the pair were separated by just a few seconds as they battled to reach the windward buoy.

Balmain's crew took the honours and led Yandoo by 23s as spinnakers were set for the run back to the bottom mark, while the rest of the fleet trailed by more than a minute after being caught in very light winds near the mark.

Marine Outlet was in third place, ahead of The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks), Finport Finance, Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn), Rag & Famish Hotel, Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis), Sixt (Nathan Edwards) and Lazarus.

There was little between the two leaders downwind as they battled with only a few boat lengths between them before Yandoo got the final upper hand to head back upwind with a slender 10s margin.

The rest of the fleet was now more than two and a half minutes back with Marine Outlet still holding third place ahead of Rag & Famish Hotel, Finport Finance and Lazarus, which was making a great burst through the fleet.

As conditions became more difficult in very fluctuating winds, the more experienced Yandoo crew finally shook off the Balmain challenge and had opened up a 55s margin at the windward mark on the second lap.

From that point, the Yandoo team was never threatened as the crew gave a faultless display to complete the course with their 1m46s winning margin.

Race 3 of the Spring Championship was held in conjunction with the Club Championship race and resulted in a win for the consistent Marine Outlet team of John Cooley, Cam Gundy and Lewis Brake.

The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines, skippered by 16-year-old Jacob Marks, finished in second place, ahead of Balmain, Fisher & Paykel, 18 Footers Bar & Restaurant (Hugo Stoner) and Yandoo.

After the first three races, the equal leaders in the Spring Championship and Season Point Score are Yandoo and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines on 16 points, followed by Fisher & Paykel and Smeg (Nathan McNamara) equal on 18 points, Balmain on 19 and Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Emma Rankin) on 20.

The Shaw and Partners team went into today's race level at the top of the points table, but capsized after a near collision with the Smeg team at the bottom mark on the first lap of the course and could not come back and finished in tenth place.

Race 4 of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday, October 29 and Race 4 of the Season Point Score will be held in conjunction with the Spring Championship race.

Don't forget, you can join the Australian 18 Footers League's 'Alternative Ferry in the League's clubhouse and enjoy all the racing action LIVE on the massive screen broadcasting 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 great racing we have seen at the start of the 2023-24 season and all 18 footer supporters are welcome to come down to the clubhouse and enjoy the '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 by going to the Club's website and clicking on the TV link.

Related Articles

18ft Skiffs: Vale Bob Ross
A great Australian sailing photo-journalist, editor and author When Bob Ross passed away recently Australia lost one of its greatest sailing and yachting photo-journalists, magazine founder and editor, book author and newspaper writer, who covered every area of the sport for more than 65 years. Posted on 15 Jul
Australian 18 footers head to Italy
A strong 10-team is set for the European Championship on Lake Garda The Australian 18 Footers League will continue its international 18ft skiff program when a strong 10-team challenge heads off for the European Championship, which will be sailed on Lake Garda, Italy from July 1-5. Posted on 26 Jun
30-year journey to the top of the class
Simon Nearn sailed Optimists, Mirrors, 420s & I14s for years before joining the 18ft Skiff class Simon Nearn was living In the UK when his association with the 18ft skiffs began. Over the next 30 years, he has not only retained his passion for the excitement of sailing and competing against the world's best 18ft skiff sailors Posted on 9 Jun
18ft Skiffs: The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines
Outstanding 2023-24 performance by the young rookie team One of the real highlights of the Australian 18 Footer League's 2023-24 Sydney Harbour season was the outstanding performance of the young, rookie team on The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines from the opening Spring Championship series Posted on 19 May
International 18s in the 1950s
A period of New Zealand-led design & innovation Following the first major change in the 18 footers from the big boats of the early 1900s to the 7ft beam boats of the mid-1930s, there had been no major change or innovations until the late 1940s Posted on 5 May
Victorian team reflect on "bucket list experience"
Team Vic's crew of Scott Cunningham, Brody Riley and David Cunningham took part in the JJ Giltinans Just six months ago, November 2023, Scott Cunningham and Brody Riley came to Sydney and picked up the former Noakes Blue 18ft skiff from the Australian 18 Footers League. Posted on 21 Apr
Positive future looms for coveted world title
The recent JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship had so many positive aspects The recent 18ft skiffs Winnings 2024 JJ Giltinan (world) Championship regatta had so many positive aspects that it has set up the future for the coveted 87-year-old championship to reach its greatest heights for many years. Posted on 7 Apr
18ft Skiff Queen of the Harbour 2024
Lucy Copeland becomes the first winner as part of an all-female crew to win the award The annual race has been around on Sydney Harbour for nearly 100 years and is usually won by a female member of the handicap-winning crew, but in today's race the winning queen became the first winner as part of an all-female crew to win the award. Posted on 17 Mar
18ft Skiff Queen of the Harbour Preview
A tradition in Australian 18 footers sailing The eyes of the world 18 footer competitors and supporters were centred on the most successful JJ Giltinan world Championship regattas held for many years as 27 of the best skiff teams produced a number of exciting, action-packed races on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 13 Mar
The Maiden. A Triple. Four Bullets
I kind of like our Managing Editor's name for 18-footers: The Kings of the Lowriding World The JJ Giltinan Championship is often referred to as the unofficial World Championship of the mighty and majestic 18-Footers. I kind of like our Managing Editor's name for them – The Kings of the Lowriding World. Yes. That most definitely suits. Posted on 11 Mar
RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERArmstrong 728x90 - Performance Mast Range - BOTTOM37th AC Store 2024 - 728x90 BOTTOM