Loading...
Loading...

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Yamaha Clocks Up Another Win at JJ Giltinan Championship

18ft Skiffs, 2017 JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 2
Sunday, 26 February 2017, Sydney Harbour
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
New Zealand champion Yamaha team tightened the grip on the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, sponsored by The Winning Group, with another stunning victory in today’s Race 2 of the championship on Sydney Harbour.
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
With eyes set firmly on becoming the first New Zealand team to win the coveted crown on Sydney Harbour, David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins sailed another faultless race to win by one minute and 14 seconds from the defending champion Smeg team (Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey).
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Peter Harris, Mark Kennedy) reproduced their form from Race 1 and finished just seven seconds back in third place. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) was only another nine seconds back in fourth place, followed by Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt).
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
Yamaha leads the series on two points, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel on five points, Smeg on 6, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 7, C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ) 12, with Asko Appliances and Appliancesonline.com equal on 13.
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
The race was sailed in another southerly wind, which ranged between 19-24 knots. Most teams elected to go with the smaller #2 rig, however the Appliancesonline.com.au team went big in the hope the breeze wouldn’t freshen, and because there was a problem with the team’s smaller rig from yesterday.
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
Yamaha’s crew quickly set the pace on the short windward leg to the Clark Island mark and led Smeg by 15 srconds, with another New Zealand team, Knight Frank (Riley Dean) in third place just ahead of Coopers-Rag.
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
Once again, the kiwi skiff showed her boat speed on the long downwind leg to Obelisk and Yamaha’s lead had extended to 1m over Coopers 62-Rag & Famish as the fleet headed back to the next mark in Rose Bay.
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
Rag’s downwind speed was impressive as she moved ahead of Smeg. Appliancesonline gained from her bigger rig and was in fourth place ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. C-Tech, Peroni (Nick Daly), Asko Appliances and Compassmarkets.com (Keagan York) were in a tight battle for sixth place.
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
Yamaha’s performance was impressive upwind and the team extended the lead marginally as Smeg and Coopers-Rag battled hard for second place. The leading positions remained relatively unchanged over the next two legs of the course but the racing was fast and exciting as all crews drove their skiffs to the limit.
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
While Yamaha continued to show the way, Smeg continued to hold a narrow break over Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel at Clark Island. The pair continued to provide spectators with some exciting racing as they raced downwind with only a couple of seconds between the two skiffs.
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
Coopers-Rag was again faster than Smeg on the long spinnaker run and she not only took over second place, but actually took out some time on the leader.
Photo: Frank Quealey / 18 Foot Skiff League
The two local teams threw out strong challenges to Yamaha on the beat back to Rose Bay but Yamaha’s skipper, Dave McDiarmid, was confident enough to hold his nerve and didn’t bother to cover the challengers.
He did the same thing on the final leg to the finish when the pressure was applied again by the two major challengers.

“We were satisfied with our speed and ability to maintain the lead and decided to sail our own course,” McDiarmid commented later.

Frank Quealey

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kiwis On Fire at JJ Giltinan Championship

18ft Skiffs 2017 JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 1
Saturday, 25 February 2017, Sydney Harbour
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
New Zealand champion Yamaha came from behind to score a brilliant win in Race 1 of the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, sponsored by The winning Group, on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
No New Zealand 18ft Skiff team has ever won the coveted title on Sydney Harbour but David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins showed today that they have the ability to become the first.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Yamaha defeated Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy, Peter Harris) by 1m13s, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas, Dave O’Connor) just 8s further back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Defending champion, Smeg (Lee Knapton) finish in fourth place, ahead of another New Zealander, C-Tech (Alex Vallings) and Noakes Youth (Ash Rooklyn). Thurlow Fisher Lawyers took the early lead at the first windward mark off Clark Island but Coopers 62-Rag & Famish showed exceptional downwind speed to grab a narrow lead on the run to Obelisk.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
An uncharacteristic capsize by the Thurlow crew allowed Coopers-Rag to open up a clear lead over a group of 8-9 boats as the fleet headed into Rose Bay.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The Rag was one minute ahead of the pack at the Rose Bay mark followed by Yamaha, C-Tech, Thurlow Fisher, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Harken (Howie Hamlin, USA), Smeg, Appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt) and Yandoo (John Winning).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
A change of wind direction prevented the fleet from setting spinnakers on the next leg, which became a two-sail reach back to the bottom mark. When the breeze lightened on the following work back to the Clark Island mark, Yamaha made her move and was closed in on Coopers 62-Rag & Famish. The two teams engaged in a gybing match on the second long spinnaker run to Obelisk.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The New Zealanders came out ahead and were never in any real danger of defeat as the fleet completed the final three legs of the course.Racing throughout the fleet was extremely close and the championship should provide a variety of results.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
There are at least four or five real chances to win the title and many other teams with a good chance of a race win.
Frank Quealey

Monday, January 30, 2017

Witty Smokes Asko Appliances - 18ft Skiffs Australian Championship - Race 4

18ft Skiffs Australian Championship, Race 4
29 January 2017, Sydney Harbour

It was a game of snakes and ladders for the minor podium places today in race four of the 18 Footers Australian Championship in a 9-12knot ESE. Lee Knapton’s Smeg led at the top mark the first time but David Witt’s appliancesonline.com.au came through on the long reach from Shark Island to Robertson Point to take the lead.
Photo: Michael Chittenden
From there they extended their lead and held on to it comfortably while Smeg and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) battled it out for second. Never far behind was Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Coopers 62 Rag & Famish (Jack Macartney).
Photo: Michael Chittenden
After the first lap of the course, there was little change. But after the windward return, there was plenty of action at the front of the pack.
Photo: Michael Chittenden
Coopers 62 Rag & Famish and Asko Appliances put the pressure on the race leaders and when appliancesonline.com.au got stuck during a tack at the top mark, they closed the gap. But Witt’s team was able to hang on to take the win after a long reach and work up to the finish line at Clark Island.
Photo: Michael Chittenden
It was a photo finish between Asko Appliances and Coopers 62 Rag & Famish, which saw the red boat take second by one second.
“This is only our third time sailing together so it was like the beginning of the season for us. We made a few changes to the big rig this morning and it definitely felt better. It is a real joy sailing with Pete and Sharko, we are great mates and love sailing together,” Macartney said.

After race four, Smeg holds a narrow lead on seven points with appliancesonline.com.au one point behind in second and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers in third on nine points. Asko Appliances is on 11 points in fourth with Yandoo on 13 points in fifth.

Results are provisional pending protest following today’s race.

Kimberley Wilmot

Sunday, January 22, 2017

De’Longhi Claims Win in Race Two of Australian Championship

18ft Skiffs Australian Championship
Race 2, Sydney Harbour
Photo: Michael Chittenden
Race two of the 18 Footers Australian Championship got away today in a nine knot east-nor-easter. The fleet was eager to get started with a number of boats over the line early. Simon Nearn, Grant Rollerson and Niall Kinch on De’Longhi won the start on the port end of the line and didn’t let up from there.
Photo: Michael Chittenden
At the end of the first of three windward/leewards, De’Longhi had a solid lead over Yandoo (John Winning) and Smeg (Lee Knapton). It wasn’t an easy battle for the minor places with four boats, who were OCS; Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon), Coopers 62 Rag & Famish (Jack Macartney), Triple M (James Ward) and Compass Markets (Keagan York) mixing it up at the front of the pack the entire race.
Photo: Michael Chittenden
While De’Longhi continued to maintain their lead throughout the race, John Winning put the pressure on the leader on the way to the finish. It was almost a photo finish in the end with Winning finishing just nine seconds behind Nearn. Smeg finished a further minute back in third.
Photo: Michael Chittenden
“It was a good call from Rollo on the port end of the line at the start. And a great effort for Niall, he hasn’t been on the boat for seven years. It is a good one for the over 40 seconds,” Nearn said on his win and Winning finishing second.
Photo: Michael Chittenden
“Anytime you do well is always good. These conditions are not ideal, not what I like sailing in but we always seem to do well. It was a beautiful day, great sailing,” Winning said.
The racing was extremely close with the top six boats finishing within just over two minutes of each other. With the JJ Giltinan just over a month away, the battle for the podium is going to be a close one.

Kimberley Wilmot/Australian 18 Footers League

Friday, January 20, 2017

On The Dock - 52 Super Series - Key West - Day 5

Doug DeVos (USA), Owner-Driver, Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“It’s just wonderful [to win Key West]. And it’s always because you know there’s such great competition and there are so many great competitors. And you have a chance to sail against the best sailors in the world on this boat, which is an incredible platform. To be able to win in this environment is wonderful, but it’s short-lived because the next regatta you start from zero again.”

Niklas Zennström (SWE), Owner-Driver, Rán Racing (SWE):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“Such a fantastic week, and this really showed the quality of this fleet, I think it was five boats within two points. There were so many boats that could win and it was just amazing racing. We went into today saying we don’t have the pressure on us because we were kind of two points behind the lead. Of course we said we want to have a great race to have an opportunity to finish on the podium and also keep a low score for the season. Coming out of this one on third place, we’re quite happy.”

Bora Gulari (USA), Strategist, Quantum Racing (USA):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“Big relief. I felt like I made a difference and that was good. I had a positive contribution. I think the points were close enough that it was basically who-beat-who. It was more not worrying about points, but just having a second race. Second lap we started looking where people were. But it was pretty easy, obviously, once we’d sniffed our way to the front. Every day I go out sailing [in the 52 Super Series fleet] I’m more impressed. Everyone is so good. It’s just incredible.”

Peter Holmberg (USVI), Helmsman, Provezza (TUR):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“We decided we really wanted to go for the pin, try to win the pin. Unfortunately one other guy also wanted it badly, so it’s high risk. He just did a better job than I did of wiggling the boat, getting it in position and really just left with no speed, nowhere to go. It’s pretty easy to see my mistake. When one guy is turning left, you need to be turning right. If he gets in sync with you, he’ll stay close to you. That’s how it worked out.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"We were a couple of inches from beating Azzurra at the finish and that would’ve put us second. But honestly, onboard, a lot of positives for the week, so we’re trying to keep our heads up. The boat was great today, fast [in light air], that used to be a weakness. Manoeuvres were all really good. General feeling on board is good. But it’s tough to sniff the win and fall to fourth.”

Harm Müller-Spreer (GER), Skipper, Platoon (GER):
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“[Second place overall] is pretty fine. If somebody would have asked me in advance if I would take a second place overall, I would say yes, definitely yes. I’m not disappointed. We are on a really good track and I can see big potential in this team, this boat. So looking forward.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"For us the good news is I’m not expecting a season like last year where Quantum is so far ahead of everyone and only a few guys are fighting for second, third and fourth. I think this season is much more open than last year.”

52 Super Series Media

Quantum Racing Crowned Key West Champions - 52 Super Series

Showing the winning hallmark of a crew that are current 52 Super Series champions, and three times holders of the title, Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing team came back from an uncharacteristic high scoring, mid-regatta, three-race slump, to close out the first regatta title of 2017, triumphing in today’s last race of Quantum Key West Race Week.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Wednesday’s 8,7,9 accumulation of 24 points was immediately counterbalanced by a second and two first places. With DeVos on the helm, Terry Hutchinson calling tactics and newcomer Bora Gulari completing his first regatta as strategist, Quantum Racing today were quickest off the start line in the very light southerly breeze and led at every mark. The circuit title holders stepped well clear of what proved to be an incredible six-sided tussle for the remaining podium places.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
When the final finish guns had sounded, the dust settled and heartbeats dropped closer to normal, Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon took second place overall but only on a three way tie-break with Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing. They are credited with third ahead of Ergin Imre’s Provezza.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
All three finished the 10-race curtain raiser regatta locked on the same tally, 49pts, but perhaps the crew feeling the most anguish will be Provezza. They led into the final race by two points but lost out on the start line and rounded the top mark in 11th place and fought back to ninth.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“It’s tough to sniff the win then fall to fourth,” Provezza helmsman Peter Holmberg said.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
As the 52 Super Series starts its sixth season, this popular 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week proves that this TP52 fleet competition has never been closer. Only two points separate second from an excellent seventh-placed debut from Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s new Interlodge.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Provezza may today rue their final start, but during the week most teams had at least one big let down, Interlodge had an 11th when a lifeline gave way, Azzurra unnecessarily locked horns with Paprec. Platoon started poorly in the second race on Thursday. Such episodes may be more memorable for the teams, and observers, but in truth the single points have never been more valuable, harder than ever to gain and easier to shed.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
So each crew will leave Quantum Key West Race Week contemplating similar circuitous discussions, soul searching and debriefing the lost places. But at the same team at least six teams leave the Conch Republic today having empirically validated their belief that they have hardware, performance and personnel to win regattas.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“For us the good news is: I’m not expecting a season like last year where Quantum is so far ahead of everyone and only a few guys are fighting for second, third and fourth. I think this season is much more open than last year,” second-placed owner driver Müller-Spreer said.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
All of the top three boats at this regatta, from the 11-boat fleet that represents seven different nations, are steered by owner-drivers, DeVos, Müller-Spreer, and Zennström.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The five-day regatta provided a fulsome range of wind conditions, starting out with 17-20 knots of SE’ly breezes for two near identical days Monday and Tuesday. Platoon’s season opened with two wins Monday but they went 6,6 on Tuesday. Because the breezes were forecast to drop, the race officers ran three races Wednesday in 10-11kts, and by Thursday-Friday the fleet were in light wind modes, in 6-8 knots for the last three races.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
After missing out to Azzurra at the last regatta of 2016, this win highlights the fact that Quantum Racing are still considered the benchmark team, but many teams are getting closer and closer, not least the four crews in the Quantum Sails programme. Together, Quantum Racing, Platoon, Gladiator and Interlodge won eight out of ten races.

“What a compression of the fleet throughout the week, and it was anybody’s regatta right up to the last race. Up the first beat we were able to sneak out and get in front and it all worked out for us. What a great regatta,” Doug DeVos said.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Of the intense pressure on the final day, DeVos revealed Hutchison’s watchwords:

“He was saying breathe and calm down. That’s the main thing. Calm down. And sail like we know how. Don’t over think it. Just let it happen. Sail crisp but remember our fundamentals. Don’t try to do too much, sail the way we’re supposed to. That’s why the breathing helps, to calm down and don’t let the moment get too much of us and just sail the boat. And it worked out.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
"Winning here is just wonderful. And it’s always because you know there’s such great competition and there’s so many great competitors. And you have a chance to sail against the best sailors in the world on this boat, which is an incredible platform, and to be able to win in this environment is wonderful, but it’s short-lived, because the next regatta you start from zero again.”
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
It is the second time in the 52 Super Series that Platoon has finished second. In 2015 they only just missed out on the world title; in Mallorca at Puerto Portals. Owner-driver Müller-Spreer smiled:
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
“It’s pretty fine. If somebody would’ve asked me in advance if I would take a second place overall, I would say yes, definitely yes. I’m not disappointed. We are on a really good track and I can see big potential in this team, this boat. So looking forward,” owner-driver Müller-Spreer said.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The southerly breeze was as light as six knots and rarely cracked into the double digits. And there were shifts and holes galore. Quantum Racing avoided pre-start entanglements, starting cleanly on the middle of the line. Skipper Doug DeVos and tactician Terry Hutchinson turned a bit more wind on the left side of the course into a solid lead at the top mark.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Interlodge – who started at the pin, but downspeed after a tense pre-start battle with Provezza – was second, with Bronenosec, Sled and Azzurra also in the top five. Notably absent were leaders Provezza along with contenders Platoon and Rán Racing, all of whom struggled on the first beat.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
While it wasn’t the sort of day to take any lead for granted, Quantum did a solid job of playing defense the rest of the way. By the time the defending champions turned the final mark and headed for the finish, first place in the regatta was a foregone conclusion.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
The real question was who would take the remaining spots on the podium. That place was decided by the slimmest of margins. Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon battled throughout the race for a seventh, which was good enough to guarantee them second in the regatta, winning on countback from Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing and Ergin Imgre’s Provezza.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Azzurra and Bronenosec tied for fifth, with the Italian/Argentine team winning that battle. In seventh was Interlodge, who lost a chance on the podium when Bronenosec slipped past on the first run. In all, just two points separated second from seventh.
Photo: © Nico Martinez / Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series
Results: 52 Super Series Regatta 1 of 6, Quantum Key West Race Week. After 10 races

1. Quantum Racing USA (Doug DeVos, USA), (3,7,4,1,8,7,9,2,1,1) 43pts
2. Platoon GER (Harm Müller-Spreer, GER), (1,1,6,6, 10,2,5,3,8,7) 49 pts.
3. Rán Racing SWE (Niklas Zennström, SWE), (4,6,9,4,3,4,6,1,6,6) 49 pts.
4. Provezza TUR (Ergin Imre, TUR) (8,9,2,2,4,5,2,5,3,9) 49 pts.
5. Azzurra ITA (A & P Roemmers, ITA/ARG), (6,2,3,8,2,6,4,6,5,8) 50 pts.
6. Bronenosec RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS), (7,4,5,3,7,3,11,4,4,2) 50 pts.
7. Interlodge USA (Austin Fragomen, USA) (5,8,11,5,1,1,8,7,2,3) 51 pts
8. Sled USA (Takashi Okura, USA), (2,5,8,11,6,11,3,9,9,5) 69 pts.
9. Gladiator GBR (Tony Langley, GBR) (10,10,1,9,5,9,7,11,7,11) 80 pts.
10. Alegre (Andrés Soriano GBR/USA) (11,3,7,10,9,10,10,10,10,4) 84 pts.
11. Paprec Recyclage (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, FRA) (9,11,10,7,11,8,1,8,11,10) 86 pts.

52 Super Series Media