Ash Rooklyn replaced Jonathan Whitty on Lumix and scored his first 18ft Skiff win as a skipper when he teamed with Aron Everett and Daniel Nixon to win the Syd. Barnett Memorial Trophy race on Sydney Harbour today. Lumix grabbed the lead after rounding the first set of windward marks and was never in any real danger of defeat as the team sailed faultlessly around the North-East course.
Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Tom Anderson, Paul Montague) was 33s behind the winner, in second place, with Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York, Greg Dixon, Matt Stenta) a further 1m25s back in thid place.
From the scratch start, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) led narrowly over a group of challengers including Smeg (David Witt), De’Longhi (Simon Nearn), Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Appliancesonline.com.au. Mojo Wine, skippered by Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton, was also well placed at the start but a gear problem forced last week’s winner back to the tail of the fleet.
Smeg was the first skiff to its windward mark (blue) but Lumix took advantage of a red buoy mark rounding to grab a narrow lead as spinnakers were set for the run to the wing mark off Shark Island. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers had to travel further to the white buoy, which allowed Appliancesonline.com.au and Compassmarkets.com to slip inside.
Rooklyn and his young team showed their class as they sailed a perfect course to open up a clear break over De’Longhi, Appliancesonline, Compassmarkets, Smeg, Fisher & Paykel (Rob Flanagan) and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. These placings remained unchanged at the bottom mark (end of first lap) where Lumix held a 45s margin over De’Longhi.
At the second set of windward marks, Lumix lead had blown out to 1m10s over Appliancesonline and Compassmarkets which were only seconds apart. Smeg was fourth and clearly ahead of a large group on the second spinnaker run.
Over the final lap of the course, the top four positions remained unchanged. The Kitchen Maker (John Sweeny) finished in fifth place, ahead of Fisher & Paykel, De’Longhi and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones).
Gotta Love It 7 didn’t start in today’s race as Seve Jarvin and his crew were involved in the final of the Extreme Sailing Series off the Opera House.
This was the final race before the Christmas-New Year break. Racing will resume on 11 January with Race 1 of the NSW Championship.
Video coverage and live stream is on www.18footerstv.com
– Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League