The Australian 18 Footers League’s 21-boat fleet will be back on Sydney Harbour next Sunday (January 16) for Race 6 of the eight-race 2021-22 NSW 18ft skiff Championship.
When racing went into recess after Race 5 of the series on December 19, the Yandoo team of John Winning, Mike Kennedy and Fang Warren held a one-point lead over the current Australian champion, Tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake.
Allowing for each team discarding its worst performance to date, Yandoo has a net total of eight points. Tech2 is on nine points.
Race 1 winner, Noakesailing (Sean Langman, Ed Powys and Josh Porebski) is just one more point further back in third place.
Only seven points separates a group of five teams battling for fourth place.
Jordan Girdis’ Fisher & Paykel is presently in fourth place on 20 points, ahead of Shaw and Partners Financial Services (Steve Thomas) on 21, Rag & Famish Hotel (Harry Price) 24, Finport Finance (Keagan York) 25 and Burrawang-Young Henrys (Simon Nearn) on 27 points.
The reigning Giltinan champion Smeg (Michael Coxon) is ninth on 33 points following a series of injuries and racing mishaps, which have destroyed the team’s chances.
Another leading team yet to show its true potential is the new Marcus Ashley-Jones led Lazarus Capital Partners skiff. Despite showing good pace to be amongst the leading two or three placings during most races in the championship, the team has managed to only complete the course in one of the races.
Strong winds over the entire championship have not allowed the teams to show their all-round skills as the winds have been mainly from the South or South-East and ranged from a minimum of 15-knots to a maximum of 30-knots from the West-North-West in Race 5.
A total lack of the normal Sydney summer north-east wind, or any conditions below 15-knots, so far makes it difficult to predict the outcome over the remaining three races before the 21 NSW teams line up against the top two Queensland teams in the 100th Australian 18ft skiff Championship, on Sydney Harbour, from February 5-13.
Spectators can follow Sunday’s Race 6 of the NSW Championship on board the club’s spectator ferry, however due to the COVID-19 policy, numbers are limited. Booking online through the club’s website is essential: http://www.18footers.com.au/18-footers-sailing/spectator-ferry/
For those unable to make it out onto the water, the club’s live broadcast team will be on Sydney Harbour 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.