SMEG team puts on display of power sailing in tough conditions

The Smeg 18ft Skiff team of Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey gave an awesome display of power sailing as they tamed the 25-knot, gusting to 30-knots, North East wind to take out Race 4 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today. Smeg grabbed the lead from the start and dominated the fleet before going on to record a 2m41s victory.

In a day which required the very best racing skills, the next two teams to finish behind Smeg were loaded with the very best. Bing Lee, skippered by former Australian champion Micah Lane, with former Giltinan champions Peter Harris and Scott Babbage in the team, chased Smeg all day but were unable to match the winner's speed. Third place went to Winning Group, which had John Winning Jr, and two more Giltinan champions, Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton, in the team. Winning Group finished 1m14s behind Bing Lee, and more than four minutes ahead of the fourth boat, Ilve (Jonathan Whitty).

Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) came in fifth, followed by Finport Finance (Keagan York), Vintec (Kirk Mitchell), Asko Appliances (James Dorron), The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett) and MMM (Tom Anderson). The other eight entries were forced to retire with a variety of gear failures in the extremely strong wind conditions.

Smeg leads the NSW Championship scores with a total of 10 points, followed by Asko Appliances on 14, Finport Finance on 18, Winning Group on 20, Rag & Famish Hotel on 23 and Yandoo (John Winning) 24.

Smeg's domination began soon after the race started and a clear lead was established by the time the fleet reached the windward mark at Beashel Buoy. Bing Lee was already in second place ahead of Finport Finance, Noakesailing (Sean Langman), with Vintec and Winning Group ahead of the rest.

Vintec and Finport Finance had problems on the run and lost several minutes, leaving Smeg, Bing lee and Noakesailing to head the fleet at the end of the first lap of the course. Winning Group had edged forward to be in fourth place ahead of Ilve and Asko Appliances.

While there was little change in the placings over the final two laps of the course, spectators were treated to some action-packed, high speed racing as the skiffs powered around the course.

Smeg's crossed the finish line one full leg of the course ahead of Bing Lee, and her crew were more than happy with the performance. Skipper, Michel coxon was cautious in his comments, but was happy with the team's performance in such rugged conditions.

Today's race was the final race before the fleet takes a break over the Christmas-New Year period. Racing resumes on Sunday, 13 January 2019.

For those who can't make it onto the water to follow the club's racing, live streaming of each race is available on 18FootersTV

Frank Quealey, www.,

JPK August 2023
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