Gusty 18-23 knots south-south-easterly winds produced spectacular, action-packed 18ft skiff racing for the large spectator fleet on day two of the 100th Australian 18 footer Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
After going down to the current world champion Smeg team in the first of the day’s races, Andoo (Seve Jarvin, Matt Stenta and Sam Newton) totally dominated the later race to open up a six-point break over the defending champion Tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake.
With two more races scheduled for tomorrow, Andoo has a total of four points, followed by Tech2 on 10 points, Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price, Josh McKnight and Harry Hall) on 14 with Noakesailing (Sean Langman, Ed Powys and Josh Porebski). Lazarus Capital Partners (Marcus Ashley-Jones) is next on 17 points.
In Race 2 of the championship (today’s first race), Noakesailing grabbed an early 20s lead over Smeg at the windward mark on the first of two laps but the Smeg team’s (Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge,and Zac Barnabas) downwind speed was impressive and Smeg quickly opened up a break of more than 30s when the fleet headed for home on the second lap of the course.
Andoo was also showing exceptional downwind speed and was coming fast in pursuit of Smeg as the two flying machines raced to the finish line with just 11s separating them as Smeg crossed the line to take the race.
Noakesailing was a further 30s back in third place, followed by Yandoo (John Winning), Tech2 and Rag & Famish Hotel.
The breeze was fresh when the fleet got away for the start of Race 3 of the championship with Andoo, Lazarus Capital Partners, Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis) and Smeg all vying for the lead on the port tack across the harbour to the mouth of Rose Bay.
Andoo was powering ahead as the fleet worked more into the bay and, as spinnakers were set for the run back to the bottom mark, held a 20s lead over Lazarus Capital Partners, Race 2 winner Smeg and Rag & Famish Hotel.
The talented team was in superb form and over the two laps increased the lead to finally cross the finish line 1m4s ahead of Tech2, with Lazarus Capital Partners in third place just 8s behind Tech2.
Rag & Famish was only 6s further back in fourth place, ahead of Noakesailing and Yandoo.
Today’s result sheets, progress points and images from the racing, are attached.
The 100th Australian Championship will continue tomorrow. Race dates for the remainder of the championship are:
Monday February 7 Races 4 & 5
Sunday February 13 Races 6 & 7
Spectators can follow the racing on board the club’s spectator ferry on Sunday February 13, however due to the COVID-19 policy, numbers are limited. Booking online through the club’s website www.18footers.com is essential. http://www.18footers.com.au/18-footers-sailing/spectator-ferry/
There is NO spectator ferry on Monday, February 7
For those unable to make it out onto the water, the club’s Sail Media live-as-it-happens broadcast team will be on Sydney Harbour each day to capture all the action. Live streaming is available at www.18footers.com by clicking on the ’18 Footers TV’ link.
Follow all the club’s racing throughout the 2021-2022 Racing Season:
Club Website www.18footers.com
Facebook International 18Ft Skiff
By Frank Quealey / Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.