Aron Everett, Courtney Mahar and Charlie Gundy gave a faultless performance in Quality Marine Clothing to take out Race 3 of the Australian 18 Footers League Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Skippering an 18ft Skiff for only the third time, Everett and his team led at every round mark before cruising to a 40s victory over Noakesailing (Sean Langman, Peter Langman, Rhys Mara). Third placing went to The Kitchen Maker (Stephen Quigley, Tom Quigley, Sam Elis), which finished a further 39s behind Noakesailing. Only 15s separated the next five boats.
Triple M (James Ward) finished fourth, followed by Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster), Peroni (Nick Daly), Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) and Smeg (Euan McNicopl)..
Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel heads the points scores at the halfway point of the championship with a total of 15 points. Today's winner Quality Marine Clothing is next on 16, Yandoo (John Winning) on 16, Triple M on 20, Finport Trade Finance (Keagan York) 20 and Panasonic Lumix (Jordan Girdis) on 21.
For the third consecutive week, the fleet had to battle less than favourable wind conditions which makes life difficult for the crews. The 5-8 knot easterly wind produced a great windward contest on the long leg from the start off Robertson Point to the three-buoys windward mark in Rose Bay.
Asko Appliances (James Dorron), Triple M and Panasonic Lumix led the fleet for most of the journey but Everett's Quality Marine Clothing grabbed the top spot just ahead of Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel and Panasonic Lumix.
When the chasers sailed too close to the shoreline, Quality Marine Clothing opened up a clear lead to the wing mark off Clark Island and back to the bottom mark at Kurraba Point.
Conditions on the two spinnaker runs were totally unpredictable and placing changed dramatically throughout the entire fleet.
As the fleet began the second of the three windward legs to Rose Bay, Quality Marine Clothing held a 1m30s lead over Sean Landman's Noakesailing, The Kitchen Maker, Peroni, Yandoo and Asko Appliances.
Despite the inexperience of Aron Everett as a 18ft Skiff skipper, he led the team to perfection under the increasing pressure of the more experienced Langman.
Noakesailing reduced the lead back to 20s at Rose Bay, but the Quality Marine Clothing skiff was producing great downwind speed to get the margin back to1m30s at the end of the second lap.
Race 4 of the Spring Championship will be sailed next Sunday, 29 October. The Australian 18 Footers League's Spectator Ferry will follow all the action, leaving Double Bay Public Wharf at 2.15pm.
– Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League