Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mojo Rips It Up on Sydney Harbour - 18 Foot Skiffs

18ft Skiffs NSW Championship, Race 1
Sunday, 11 January 2015, Sydney Harbour

Following a three-week layoff over Christmas-New Year, the Australian 18 Footers League’s 18ft Skiff fleet returned to Sydney Harbour today to contest Race 1 of the NSW Championship. Conditions were far from perfect for the 15 teams with a variable south wind the order of the day.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Australian 16 Footer champion Lee Knapton won his second consecutive scratch race in the 18 seconds when he teamed with Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey to bring Mojo Wine home just four seconds ahead of Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, John Winning Jr.).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Third place went to Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Charles Dorron), which finished a further one minute and nine seconds behind Gotta Love It 7. John Winning’s Yandoo was fourth, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), Pure Blonde (Nick Daly) and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Mojo Wine grabbed the lead at the first windward leg from Gotta Love It 7, Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones), Yandoo. The brand new Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson), which was having her first start, was in fifth place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
On the long spinnaker run from Clarke Island to Obelisk Bay, the Mojo Wine crew sailed faultlessly to increase the lead over Team Seven to 25 seconds. The pair had edged away from the rest of the fleet, with Yandoo in third place 1m behind the leader.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Mojo Wine elected to sail the northern shore on the work back into Rose Bay while Gotta Love It 7 sailed a middle of the harbour course.When the pair met at the mouth of Rose Bay Gotta Love It 7 had recovered brilliantly to cross Mojo. At the Rose Bay mark 7's lead was 35 seconds and the all familiar look of a Gotta Love It 7 victory was on the cards.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel had their own personal ‘fight’ for most of the course as they battled behing the third placed Yandoo. Gotta Love It 7’s lead got out to as much as 1m10s at Obelisk Bay on the second lap and there appeared nothing was going to stop a Gotta Love It 7 win.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
That was until the final spinnaker run when the ‘ímpossible’ happened and 7s spinnaker went overboard off Bradley’s Head. Seizing the opportunity, the Mojo Wine team challenged hard and trailed narrowly as the two teams headed for home.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
As the skiffs set for the windward beat back from Athol Bay to the finish line off Clarke Island, Mojo Wine picked up a slight wind shift was enough to see it grab victory only 20 metres from the finish line.

Frank Quealey

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