Please select your home edition
Armstrong 728x90 - Wing FG Board Range - TOP

18ft Skiff 2023-24 Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour Race 5

by Frank Quealey 5 Nov 2023 00:43 PST 5 November 2023

Today's Trophy: Chris Webb Memorial Trophy
Today's Race Sponsor: Finport Finance

The Smeg 18ft skiff team of Nathan McNamara, Jed Ctuikshank and Jack Taylor used its superior downwind speed over the concluding leg of the course to grab a last minute victory in Race 5 of the Australian 18 Footers League's 2023-24 Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

A brand new unsponsored skiff, presently names "Put Your Name Here' (Kirk Mitchell, Andrew Stephenson and Daniel Barnett) led from the start of the race but was unable to hold back the challenge of Smeg as the two teams raced gybe-for-gybe downwind to the finish line off Robertson Point.

Smeg crossed the finish line only 10s ahead of Put Your Name Here after 70 minutes of sailing over a three-lap windward-leeward course in a variable 10-14knots Easterly breeze.

Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Emma Rankin, Cam McDonald and Tom Quigley) continued to impress with another consistent performance, and was also closing in fast on the first two boats and finished just 8s further back in third place.

Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis), another of the consistent performers in the Spring Championship, finished in fourth place, ahead of The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks) with Andoo (John Winning Jr) in sixth place.

With only one more race left to be sailed in the series (on Sunday week, November 19), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines leads with a total score of 24 points, followed by Yandoo (John Winning) on 27, Fisher & Paykel 28, Smeg 31 together with Balmain (Henry Larkings) 31 and Shaw and Partners Financial Services on 32.

Although weather conditions were far from good, the fleet continues to produce some of the best racing seen in the Spring Championship for several seasons and has showcased the talents of many young skippers and crew who have joined the 18 footer class in 2023-24.

The Put Your Name Here (PYNH) team had a brilliant start to the race and within a short time had opened up a substantial lead as the fleet made its way from Robertson Point to the first set of windward 3-buoys in Rose Bay.

The racing for the placings behind the leader was tight but PYNH was 45s ahead of series leader The Oak as spinnakers were set for the long run back to the bottom mark.

Shaw and Partners, Smeg and Sixt (Nathan Edwards) were in the next group behind The Oak, with Fisher & Paykel, Lazarus (Jack Ferguson), Balmain and Burrawang-Young Henrys (Brett Van Munster) not far behind that trio.

At the bottom mark at the end of the first lap, PYNH's lead had extended to 1min over The Oak, followed by Shaw and Partners, Fisher & Paykel, Smeg, Sixt and Balmain, while Andoo led the scratch boats, in eighth place.

The 3-buoys system allowed Put Your Name Here to extend her lead over The Oak at the following weather mark in Rose Bay when her team took advantage of going to the blue buoy while The Oak's team had to travel further to the white buoy,

The handicapping system was working as Smeg (going to the blue buoy) managed to edge ahead of The Oak (white buoy) as spinnakers were set for the run back to Robertson Point. Shaw and Partners (also the blue buoy) benefitted from the handicap and was also putting pressure on The Oak.

Smeg's downwind speed on each lap of the course was outstanding and the team was a clear second placings after the run and the fleet was headed back to Rose Bay for the final time. The leaders 2m30s advantage at Rose Bay had been reduced to 1m45s and the race was on to see which team would grab the honours.

Again the 3-buoys handicap system was going to be a major factor as Put Your Name Her and The Oak would have to go to the white buoy while Smeg and Shaw and Partners had only to go to the lesser distance of the blue buoy.

While PYNH went around the white buoy 1m10s before Smeg went around the blue buoy, the distance on the water between the two boats was minimal and it was a two-boat gybing battle as each team tried to out-think the other in a classic 18 footer finish - all while Shaw and Partners continued to close in fast just a short distance away.

It was the fifth excellent race of the new season, now all teams will be able to relax a little next week when the club stages a non-pointscore event in which each boat will carry a fourth hand - representing the boat's sponsor.

Racing in the Spring Championship will resume with the final race of the series to be staged on Sunday November 19.

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 'Alternative' Ferry.

Overall Results:

1The Oak Double Bay / 4 Pines (Jacob Marks / Alex Marinelli / Matt Doyle)10423524
2Yandoo (John Winning Snr / Fang Warren / Josh Porebski)2864727
3Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis / Jacob Broome / Josh Feldmann)9546428
4Balmain (Henry Larkings / Flynn Twomey / Fynn Sprott)313321031
5smeg (Nathan McNamara / Jed Cruikshank / Jack Taylor)83712131
6Shaw and Partners (Emma Rankin / Cam McDonald / Tom Quigley)46109332
7Andoo (John Winning Jnr / Seve Jarvin / Sam Newton)510181640
8Burrawang‑Young Henrys (Simon Nearn / Cam Walker / Paddy Bannon)12787842
9Finport Finance (Keagan York / Matt Stenta / Phil Marshall)1111681147
10Sixt (Nathan Edwards / Alex Leslie / Locky Pryor)6912101249
11Your Name Here (Kirk Mitchell / Andrew Stephenson / Daniel Barnett)1518115251
12Marine Outlet (John Cooley / Cam Gundy / Charlie Gundy)718118953
13The Kitchen Maker/ Ceasarstone (Lachlan Steel / Jerome Watts / Ben Kirkby)11215111655
14Lazarus Capital Partners (Tom Cunich / Aiden Manley / )1819141557
1518 Footers Bar and Restaurant (Hugo Stoner / Hugo Leeming / Hamish Vass)13125171461
16Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price / Josh McKnight / Harry Hall)181414131372
17Noakes Red (Bec Hancock / Henry Stabback / Charlie Gundy)141813171880

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 today at 5:44 am
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
North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERRooster Women's Wetsuit RangeC-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 BOTTOM