• The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines and Noakesailing were well placed in both races. Photo Michael Chittenden.
    The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines and Noakesailing were well placed in both races. Photo Michael Chittenden.
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The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone and Bing Lee teams shared the spoils of victory in the two races sailed on Day 4 of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship, on Sydney Harbour today, but Asko Appliances holds the barest of leads going into next Sundays final two races of the championship.
 
Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle and Tom Quigley sailed superbly to take out Race 6 of the championship in The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone, then went down by just 6s to Bing Lee (Micah Lane, Peter Harris, Scott Babbage) in the following race.
 
NSW champion, Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Harry Bethwaite, Trent Barnabas) continued the consistency the team has shown throughout the championship to record a second, then third placing today, to hold a one point lead over the hard-charging The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone and Winning Group (John Winning Jr.).
 
Asko Appliances has a net total of 14 points, followed by The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone and Winning Group on 15, Bing Lee on 17 and Smeg (Michael Coxon) on 18, and The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett) on 27 points.
 
Today's first race was sailed over a three-lap windward-return course in a 10-12-knots SE breeze, then the following race was over two laps in a 6-7-knots Easterly breeze.
 
In Race 6, Winning Group held the early lead when she led narrowly from Smeg, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone, Asko Appliances and Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster) at the windward mark.
 
Winning Group retained her narrow lead at the bottom mark but The Kitchen maker-Caesarstone was making a charge and soon grabbed the lead on the work back into the Rose Bay windward mark.
 
The young Kitchen Maker team led over the next lap of the course and only a brief loss of her lead on the final windward leg.
 
The final spinnaker run from Rose Bay to the finish in Taylor Bay produced an exciting battle between The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone and Asko Appliances.
 
The more experienced Asko team tried everything in an attempt to grab a victory, and the pair gybed several times before The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone finally crossed the finish line with only 6s to spare.
 
Race 7 looked likely to be another victory for Girdis and his Kitchen Maker team when the skiff held a narrow lead over Bing Lee at the windward mark.
 
Another close spinnaker battle developed, but this time The Kitchen Maker lost out when the team lost wind off Steele Point and allowed three other teams to go ahead of them.
 
Winning Group were handicapped by a torn spinnaker but were still with the leading group which included Noakesailing (Sean Langman) and Smeg.
 
Bing Lee's team held a solid lead at the final windward mark but had to withstand a fast-finishing The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone to take the honours by 6s - a similar winning margin to Race 6.
 
The final two races of the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship will be sailed next Sunday, February 17.  The Australian 18 Footers League's spectator ferry will be there to follow all the action. The ferry will leave Double Bay public wharf at 2pm.

For those who can't make it onto the water, live streaming is available on 18FootersTV:
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