Nick Press and Brad Yabsley win NSW 12ft Skiff title

The 12ft skiff NSW championship has been won in a convincing manner by Dimension Polyant, sailed by Nick Press and Brad Yabsley, taking six wins from six starts. Such was their dominance, they also took handicap honours!

The State Championships, which have been sailed at Lane Cove 12ft skiff sailing club, Abbotsford 12ft skiff club and the Sydney Flying Squadron at Kirribilli over the past two weekends, also serve as the selection process to choose the team to represent Australia at the upcoming 12ft Skiff Interdominions between Australia and New Zealand to be sailed in Auckland Harbour in January 2010.

Sunday's races were held in a stiff 20knot nor easter, with a run out tide which tended to make for lumpy conditions on the water. The five leading boats of “Dimension Polyant”, “Garde”, “Gemmell Sails”, “Lincoln Crown” and “Andrew Short Marine” fought a close battle, often one picking up a favourable shift down one side of the course only to see a competitor cruise through on an opposing shift at the far end of the course.

“Panadol Rapid” and “Hey Charger” took the minor places on handicap.

Detailed race report…
Heat 5

DP and Garde jumped to an early lead over a closely bunched fleet in a 20knot Nor-Easter, and would change leads twice up the first work.

DP led at the top mark rounding and made a successfully negotiation of the shark island rounding, and the additional rounding of a container ship that had parked itself off Point Piper.

DP sailed away from Garde up the next work, but Lincoln Crowne was making all the right moves, closing the gap to Garde down the last kite run to the finish to within a few seconds.

Heat 6

The top 5 boats were all closely bunched up the first work and first mark rounding. DP led with Garde and Gemmell rounding simultaneously. Lincoln and Andrew Short Marine were only a few seconds back. Garde was forced to drop her spinnaker to round Shark Island and lost 3 places, dropping to 5th. DP and Gemmell cleared away up the next work and were comfortably 1st and 2nd respectively.

The battle for 3rd to 5th was on, with all 3 boats rounding the final top mark at the same time. Lincln Crowne and Garde jybed of to the western shore early, while ASM continued to the eastern shore.

Lincoln Crowne appeared to have jumped ahead halfway down the run, while Garde would cross ASM. However the latter boat headed right into Bradleys Head before turning to the finish and would pick up a favorable shift to take out 3rd place right at the line. They were also helped by a cruising yacht placing itself in the “wrong” place.

Lincoln Crowne would hold onto 4th with Garde 5th.

DP was never headed and would record a clean sweep of the State Championships, 6 wins from 6 race. An impressive feat given the variable conditions and race locations.

– Brett Phillips

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