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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

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