Only two crews stay upright in wild conditions for 18 Footers President's Trophy

It was a day of thrills and spills for the 18 Footers as they battled across Sydney Harbour in a 22-28 knot Southerly today. The conditions tested even the best of sailors as they completed three windward/leewards for the President’s Trophy.

Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor and Trent Barnabas, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers won the race by over five minutes after a flawless performance; they were also one of only two teams not to capsize.

“It was fun out there,” said Coxon after the race. “We got the boat in the groove and felt really comfortable.”

The battle for second came down to who could get across the finish line without capsizing. First it looked like it was going to be Jack Macartney’s Coopers 62 Rag & Famish but a wipeout put them out of the running. John Winning’s experience in the class proved to be the key to success as he safely cruised across the line on Yandoo to take second. Steve Quigley’s Thekitchenmaker.com.au finished third, they were the second team not to capsize during the race.

Coopers 62 Rag & Famish managed to get to the finish line to take out fourth. Then the battle was on between Smeg, Lee Knapton, and De’Longhi, Simon Nearn. As the two boats were on their final approach to the line they both wiped out. After recovering, they were both heading towards the finish when Smeg capsized next to the line. De’Longhi came through the take fifth. Smeg drifted across the line while trying to right the boat. 

Despite spending a lot of time in the water, there were plenty of smiles around the park after the race.  Triple M’s James Ward said “I have never sailed an 18 that fast before.” A lot of the other sailors agreed.

Next week we have another Club Championship race, the final race before the JJ Giltinan kicks off on February 24. The Spectator ferry leaves at 2:15pm and the live stream kicks off at 2:30. If the conditions are anything like they were today you won’t want to miss it.

– Kimberley Wilmot

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