After a wild storm with winds gusting to 106 klms per hour hit Sydney Harbour yesterday, conditions on the harbour returned to a brilliant 12-15 knot South-East wind for today’s Mick Scully Memorial Trophy race.
Rig choice was split between the bigger #1 rigs and the smaller #2s, with the veteran John “Woody” Winning electing to go small on Yandoo. With team members Andrew Hay and Jim Beck, Woody gave a brilliant all round performance to lead for almost the entire course before going on to a 1m57s win.
Second-placed Mojo Wine (Lee Knapton, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) and third-placed Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, James Dorron, Jeronimo Harrison) were in the lead briefly and never far from Yandoo over the long course. Asko finished 1m30s behind Mojo Wine.
Yandoo, Asko Appliances and Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) won the start with Yandoo and Compassmarkets electing to go east of Shark Island while Asko went to the west. When the trio met at the 3-buoys windward mark in Rose Bay Yandoo and Compassmarkets were together at the ‘red’ buoy while Asko trailed narrowly at the ‘blue’ mark.
The more experienced Yandoo and Asko Appliances teams edged away a little under spinnaker while Mojo Wine, under the helm of Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton, moved into third place ahead of Compassmarkets.
At the windward mark off Clarke Island there was nothing between the three leading teams with Mojo Wine just ahead of Yandoo and Asko. Mojo’s team were quick to set an extra, but this proved to be the wrong move and allowed their opponents to create a handy break.
There was as much good racing action behind the three leaders with positions of the next seven skiffs changing continually.
Yandoo extended her lead to more than 1m at Rose Bay as the fleet set out over the loop from Rose Bay to Taylor Bay and back to Rose Bay. Once again Mojo Wine and Asko Appliances applied the pressure to Yandoo and took a narrow lead over Yandoo, but the experience of ‘Woody’ and his team saw the famous red and blue oval of Yandoo back in front once more as spinnakers were set for the run back down the harbour.
While the battle was hot for the nine placings behind Yandoo there was little doubt about the winner as she powered home a clear winner.
Compassmarkets.com finished fourth, followed by Fisher & Paykel (Rob Flanagan), Lumix (Josh McKnight), The Kitchen Maker (John Sweeny), Coopers 62-Rag &Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Smeg (David Witt).
Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) was one of the pre-race favourites with “Dave the Bookie” but a broken boom sent the Team Seven boys back to shore even before the race began.
Next Sunday is Race 2 of the Club Championship and the Eric Bowen Memorial Trophy for the handicap winner.
Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League