18ft Skiffs: Spring Championship, Races 5 and 6

18ft Skiffs
Spring Championship, Race 5 and 6
Today’s Trophy: Chris Webb Memorial Trophy
Race Sponsor: Yandoo
Sunday, 13 November 2022
Sydney Harbour

The Rag & Famish Hotel heads for the finish line to win Race 5
The Rag & Famish Hotel heads for the finish line to win Race 5

Races 5 and 6 of the Australian 18 Footers League’s 2022-23 Spring Championship were sailed over two windward-leeward 3-buoys courses, on Sydney Harbour today and resulted in wins for Rag & Famish Hotel and Yandoo.

Following her victory today, going into next Sunday’s final race of the championship, Yandoo (John Winning, Fang Warren, Josh Porebski) with a total of 23 points, holds a 14 points lead over The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Alex Marinelli) on 37, followed by Smeg (Michael Coxon) 38, Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Jim Colley) on 43, Birkenhead Point Marina (Kirk Mitchell) 45 and Lazarus (Marcus Ashley-Jones) 46.

With a no-drop pointscore applying to the series, Yandoo is almost certain to take out the title. Yandoo only has to finish within the first 15 placings in next week’s race to hold an unbeatable lead.

Early leader in the first race
Early leader in the first race

In the first of today’s two races, the new Rag & Famish Hotel skiff (Harry Price, Angus Williams, Harry Hall) was outstanding in the 15-18 knot breeze and took line honours by 1m14s from Fisher & Paykel (Jordan Girdis, Jacob Broom, Sam Monkhouse), with Yandoo a further 9s back in third place.

Race 5 spinnaker action
Race 5 spinnaker action

Lazarus came home in fourth place ahead of Andoo (Seve Jarvin) and Shaw and Partners,

In the second race, Yandoo revelled in the easing breeze to defeat Birkenhead Point Marina by 36s, with Smeg (Skippered today by Micah Lane) a further 8s back in third place.

The earlier race winner Rag & Famish Hotel finished in fourth place, ahead of Fisher & Paykel and The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Lachlan Steel).

The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone in Race 6
The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone in Race 6

While Yandoo looks to have the championship victory tied up, the battle for the next six placings is separated by only 11 points.

In the first of the two races, Fisher & Paykel took an early lead but couldn’t hold off the downwind speed of Rag & Famish Hotel, which grabbed the lead at the bottom mark on lap one of the three-lap race.

With excitement running high as the fleet raced downwing at top speed, particularly on lap two, The Rag was unstoppable as she powered around the course in very spectacular fashion.

Smeg grabs second place from Birkenhead Point Marina just metres from the finish of Race 6
Smeg grabs second place from Birkenhead Point Marina just metres from the finish of Race 6

As the earlier breeze softened for the second race, Birkenhead Point Marina grabbed the lead at the top mark ahead of Smeg, with Yandoo, Rag & Famish Hotel and Lazarus close behind., then The Rag again showed great boatspeed to head the fleet over the entire second lap of the race.

With one lap of the course still to sail, Rag & Famish Hotel, Yandoo, Smeg and Birkenhead Point Marine were all in contention for the victory but the 3-buoys system was going to be critical to the end result.

The Rag and Smeg both had to sail to the furthest mark, Yandoo to the middle buoy and Birkenhead Point Marina to the shortest mark.

Crew of series leader Yandoo show their winning style
Crew of series leader Yandoo show their winning style

Yandoo was first to set a spinnaker for the run to the finish, followed by Birkenhead Point Marina and Smeg, and the John Winning-skippered Yandoo had little trouble maintaining her sizable lead to defeat Smeg, which grabbed second place only 50 metres from the finish line.

Race 7, the final race of the Spring Championship, for the Yandoo Trophy, will be sailed next Sunday (November 20).

Impressive winner of Race 5
Impressive winner of Race 5

Spectators can follow the action on board the club’s spectator ferry, as they have done for the past 87 years, which leaves Double Bay Wharf alongside the clubhouse at 2pm.

Lazarus shows 18 footer boat speed
Lazarus shows 18 footer boat speed

Booking online through the club’s website www.18footers.com is essential, http://18footers.com/18-footer-racing/spectator-ferry/

Final gybe to victory in Race 5
Final gybe to victory in Race 5

For anyone who can’t make it out onto the water, the League’s live broadcast team will be out on Sydney Harbour to capture all the action. Live streaming is available at www.18footers.com by clicking on the ’18 Footers TV’ link.

Burrawang-Young Henrys and Noakes Blue in Race 6
Burrawang-Young Henrys and Noakes Blue in Race 6
results after 6 races

For all the club’s racing and up-to-date news:
Club Website www.18footers.com
Twitter @18skiff
Instagram @18skiff
Facebook International 18ft Skiff

For anyone who wants to take a look at Sail Media’s action videos from the 2021-22 season, including the 2022 JJ Giltinan Championship, go to www.18footers.com and click on the ’18 Footers TV’ link.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League Ltd.

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