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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

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