Monday, February 13, 2012

Smeg Smokes It On Sydney Harbour To Win President's Cup - 18 Foot Skiffs

The Smeg 18ft Skiff team of Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings grabbed a dramatic 26s win in the President’s Trophy race over a 3-buoys course on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After trailing De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (John Sweeny, Keagan York and Ross Finney) for the entire race, Smeg’s crew won a tactical battle over the concluding downwind leg of the course to take their narrow victory.

Third place went to Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Keiran Cowan and Stewart Wells), which finished a further 1m5s behind De’Longhi-Rabbitohs.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Another unsettled day saw the starter set a three lap windward-return course in an East/ENE breeze.

De’Longhi-Rabbitohs led the fleet to the first windward 3-buoys marks where her lead was 30s over Smeg, Asko Appliances, Mojo Wine (Archie Massey) and Kenwood-Rabbitohs (Brett Van Munster).

The two leaders edged away from the bulk of the fleet downwind to the bottom mark where Smeg had reduced the margin to 15s.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Over the next lap of the course, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs sailed beautifully to open up what appeared to be a race winning lead of 2m15s over Smeg, Mojo Wine, Kenwood-Rabbitohs, Asko Appliances, Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) and The Kitchen Maker (Cameron McDonald).

Smeg sailed closer to the southern shore on the work back to the final windward marks and picked up nearly two minutes on De’Longhi-Rabbitohs to trail by only 25s as the pair headed for home.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The Smeg team sailed a slightly higher course downwind and were first to drop their spinnaker. This was a winning move as Smeg passed De’Longhi-Rabbitohs only 400 metres from the finish line.

Asko Appliances was consistent throughout the race to finish third, ahead of Pure Blonde (Tom Clout), Lumix and Kenwood-Rabbitohs.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Conditions made it difficult for the backmarkers Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) to get into the race and they all finished well back in the fleet.

US champion Howie Hamlin also contested the race in CST Composites as a warm up for the Giltinan Championship next week.

Five images from today’s race are attached, along with the official result sheet.

More images will be published on www.18footers.com.au and www.flying18s.com.

Video coverage of the race can also be seen on www.18footerstv.com.

The JJ Giltinan Championship, the world’s premier 18ft Skiff regatta, will begin on Sydney Harbour next Friday 17 February with the Invitation Race for all competitors.

The first race of the championship will be sailed on Saturday 18 February, commencing at 4pm and the club’s regular spectator ferry will follow this and all races in the championship. Saturday’s ferry will leave Double Bay Public Wharf, alongside the clubhouse and rigging area, at 3.30pm. Sunday’s Race 2 will start at 3pm with the ferry leaving at 2.30pm.

30 teams from USA, New Zealand and UK as well as Australian teams representing NSW, Queensland and Western Australia will contest the 63rd JJ Giltinan Championship.

Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers League

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