18ft Skiffs – NSW Championship, Races 5 & 6

Today’s Trophy:  Sid Barnett Jr Memorial Trophy
Today’s Race Sponsor:  Rag & Famish Hotel
Sunday, 10 December 2023    

A last minute decision by skipper Harry Price to sail his first 18ft skiff race of the season proved successful when he steered the Rag & Famish Hotel team to victory in both races of the NSW 18ft skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Price has been suffering from a bulging disc problem however all attempts to get a replacement for today failed, and he was forced to take to the harbour with two crew who had not previously sailed together with Price on The Rag, but it didn’t matter as the team dominated the day’s racing with two outstanding wins.

Marc Chapon and Finn Rodowicz have sailed together in the 18s but this was their first time together on The Rag.

Despite today’s victories, after each team discards its worst performance, Yandoo (John Winning, Fang Warren, Lewis Brake) still holds the points lead in the series with just two more races to be sailed next Sunday to complete the championship.

Yandoo’s net score is 8 points, followed by Rag & Famish Hotel on 12, Put Your Name Here on 16, Andoo on 18, Marine Outley 33 and Smeg (Nathan McNamara) on 35.

In the first race (Race 5) today, Rag & Famish Hotel took the lead soon after the start and led all the way to score a 47s victory over Yandoo, with Put Your Name Here (Kirk Mitchell, Andrew Stephenson, Daniel Barnett) a further 18s back in third place.

Balmain (Henry Karkings) finished fourth followed by The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Jacob Marks) and Marine Outlet (John Cooley).

The later race (Race 6) was another all-the-way win for the Rag & Famish Hotel team, which crossed the finish line 1m14s ahead of Andoo (John Winning Jr, Seve Jarvin, Harry Smith), with Yandoo a further 7s back in third place.

Marine outlet was fourth, followed by Put Your Name Here and the Oak Double Bay-4 Pines.

After the fleet received a battering in 25-30k southerly winds during last Sunday’s two races, the conditions today were good with a steady, predominantly 10k southerly wind constant throughout the racing.

The Kitchen Maker (Lachlan Steel) was an early leader in Race 5 before The Rag grabbed the lead from a closely bunched group of Yandoo, The Kitchen Maker, The Oak, Put Your Name Here and Balmain.

A brilliant spinnaker run by The Rag saw the team open up a 40s lead over Yandoo which it held to the finish of the two lap course,

In Race 6, the Rag & Famish Hotel again led at the first weather mark (by 9s) but another brilliant spinnaker run saw the lead blow out to 30s over Andoo as the pair led the fleet over the final lap of the course.

The Season Point Score section was sailed in conjunction with each of today’s races and resulted in two wins for The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines team of Jacob Marks, Alex Marinelli and Matt Doyle.

It was an excellent result for the young team which had to compete with a smaller (#2) rig after gear breakage to their bigger (#1) rig forced a late change prior to today’s racing.

series results

Races 7 and 8 of the NSW Championship will be sailed next Sunday, December 17.  Races 11 and 12 of the Season Point Score will be held in conjunction with the NSW Championship races.      

The club’s regular spectator ferry is now back in action and leaves Rose Bay Public Wharf (old wharf) at 2pm each Sunday.  

For those unable to get the spectator ferry, you can still 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.       

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 www.18footers.com website and clicking on the TV link 

Frank Quealey

Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.

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