Friday, November 30, 2018

CYCA's Bird Island Race Expected to Be Fast and Furious

Race five of the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series, the Bird Island Race - the final event in the series before the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - starts this weekend. At 10:00 on Saturday 1 December, a 41-strong fleet takes the line on stunning Sydney Harbour for the 85-nautical-mile drag race, the shortest and fastest of the series.
Photo: David Brogan
With three grand-prix, 100-foot super maxis making their way to the start line, the race to be the first out of Sydney Heads will be hotly contested, especially with Christian Beck’s InfoTrack returning after months of modification and preparation works.
David and Goliath - last year's Bird Island Race Line Honours winner the 100-foot Black Jack dwarfs the last season's BWPS Overall Winner, the Ker 46 Patrice Photo: David Brogan
This race will also draw some new entrants to the Audi Centre Sydney BWPS including Sean Langman’s newly-christened RP65 Naval Group, as well as Rod Wills’ X43 Great Xpectations and Phillip Neil’s Hoek TC78 Oroton Drumfire. These boats will be thrown into the deep end taking on many previous race winners including Matt Allen’s Botin-designed TP52 Ichi Ban and CYCA Vice Commodore Noel Cornish AM’s Sydney 47 St Jude.

“It’s great to see an ever-growing fleet throughout the entire series, there have been new underdogs in each race who could take out a win,” CYCA Sailing Manager Justine Kirkjian said.

“It keeps the competition evolving with teams able to make modifications and then come back stronger than ever to test themselves against the rest of the fleet.”

One team that has been working hard throughout this year’s Audi Centre Sydney BWPS and has so far been able to reap the rewards is last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Line Honours winner Jim Cooney’s Comanche team.

“Preparation has been great, we have either been sailing on the boat or working on the boat for the last month. Comanche has been going very well and the crew are comfortable with all the changes we’ve made and we are rearing to go,” said Cooney.

“It’s always good to see how we are going against the other 100-footers, but more importantly it’s about adjusting our mindset to focus on race performance and tactics to make sure we are maximising our trim and making the best sail selection.”

The battle for handicap honours, however, will be in the hands of the weather gods with a light-air start predicted, followed by a building nor ’easterly breeze in the afternoon. These conditions play right into the hands of the lightweight, stripped-out, highly-competitive TP52 racing machines, of which there are four.

For the smaller entrants in to the race including Shane Kearns’ S&S 34 Komatsu Azzurroand Army Sailing Club’s Jarkan 925 Gun Runner the big deciding factor will be how far they are able to make it before the nor ’easterly sea breeze drops as night falls.

Follow the competitors on the Yacht Tracker and keep up to date with all the latest news on the new Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore series website, launched this year by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Additionally, you can use and follow #AudiCentreSydneyBWPS to stay in touch on social media across the CYCA’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

Hamish Hardy

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Woody Wins First Race of 18 Foot Skiffs NSW Championship

18ft Skiffs - NSW Championship, Race 1
Sunday, 25 November, 2018 - Sydney Harbour
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The experienced Yandoo team of John Winning, Seve Jarvin and Mike Kennedy won a dramatic Race 1 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Hatbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Yandoo took out the race by1m32s from the young The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone team of Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle and Tom Quigley, with Bing Lee (Micah Lane, Peter Harris, Jack Macartney) a further 40s back in third place.

Finport Finance (Tom Clout) finished in fourth place, followed by Asko Appliances (James Dorron) and Smeg (Michael Coxon),
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The race began in a light East-South-East breeze with most of the fleet electing to sail to the west of Shark Island to reach the windward mark in Rose Bay. The lone skipper to sail the more regular course (east of Shark Island) was Brett Van Munster in Appliancesonline.com.au.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Van Munster's move proved a winner as Appliancesonline led Finport Finance by five seconds in Rose Bay, with John Winning Jr. (Winning Group) in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
On the long spinnaker run across the harbour to the bottom mark off Robertson Point, Appliancesonline retained the lead over Finport Finance, Smeg and Winning Group, but the race was turned on its head when most of the fleet went around the mark in the wrong direction.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
It was only when Yandoo, Ilve (Jonathan Whitty), R Marine Pittwater (Simon Nearn) and Bing Lee sailed the correct course that many other teams were forced back to re-round the mark.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Finport Finance's crew saw what happened behind them and set a spinnaker to go back while the leading team, Appliancesonline didn't notice and continued to sail the course. When notified by the judge as she crossed the finish line, her crew accepted the decision without complaint.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Following the drama, Bing Lee became the new leader at Clark Island then held a 55 second lead after the tight run to Chowder Bay. Yandoo and R Marine Pittwater had a great battle on this run with Yandoo edging out R Marine Pittwater as the fleet headed across the harbour to Rose Bay.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Asko Appliances was next, ahead of The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (James Ward), Quality Marine Clothing (Yvette Heritage), Ilve, Finport Finance and Panasonic Lumix (Katie Love). On the loop from Rose Bay to Taylor Bay, and back to Rose Bay, Yandoo dominated the race and was more than 2mins ahead of The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone on the final spinnaker run.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Finport Finance showed great speed with her big rig over the final two legs of the course and recovered from her earlier problem to finish an impressive fourth.
Frank Quealey

Sunday, November 18, 2018

R Marine Win The Race, Rag and Famish Take Out The Spring Championship -18 Footers - Sydney Harbour

18ft Skiffs - Spring Championship, Race 7
Sunday, 18 November, 2018 - Sydney Harbour
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Simon Nearn's R Marine Pittwater took out today's final race of the Spring Championship series on Sydney Harbour today, but it was the young Rag & Famish team which became the 2018 Champions when the team finished just one point ahead of Finport Finance after seven action-packed 3-Buoys races.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Although the race was sailed in a light Easterly breeze, which faded over the latter half of the course, there was no shortage of action and continual lead changes to satisfy the spectators.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Despite trailing in eighth place at the end of the first lap of the course, the R Marine team of Simon Nearn, Cam Gundy and Brandon Buynil revelled in the fading breeze over the final lap of the course and raced away from the fleet to score a two minute and 27 second victory.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris) also finished strongly over the final lap of the course to grab second place, 21 seconds ahead of series champion Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards, Rory Cox, Jacob Broome).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Finport Finance (Marcus Ashley-Jones) came home in fourth place, followed by Winning Group (John Winning Jr) and Noakesailing (Sean Langman).

Rag & Famish Hotel finished the series with an overal total of 31 points, followed by Finport Finance on 32 points, Smeg (Michael Coxon) on 42, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis) on 51, Appliancesonline.com.au on 52, and Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) on 53.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Bing Lee (Micah Lane) began the race in great style and clearly led the fleet to the first set of 3-Buoys in Rose Bay.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The 3-Buoys handicapping system took over when Bing Lee had to go to the 'Blue" marker which allowed The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett) and The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Red mark) to begin the spinnaker run ahead of Bing Lee.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
While the two leaders opened up a break over the fleet on the run to thw ing mark off Clark Island, the fleet behind them was closely bunched.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The ever-unpredictable Easterly turned the placings on-their-head, so when the fleet finally reached the bottom mark off Kurraba Point it was Sean Langman's Noakesailing which now held a five second margin over The Oak, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone, Rag & Famish Hotel, Appliancesonline, Bing Lee, Finport Finance, R Marine Pittwater and Winning Group.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With the outcome of the Spring Championship resting on the result of today's race between Rag & Famish Hotel and Finport Finance, the second windward leg back to Rose Bay became a match race the pair as they headed the fleet.
The winning Rag crew Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The Rag was strong in the light air getting into Rose Bay and she headed back down the long spinnaker to Kurraba Point with a 40s lead over R Marien Pittwater, Finport, Appliancesonline, Noakesailing and The Kitchen Maker.
The race looked all over as Rag & Famish Hotel sailed brilliantly to increase her lead by a further one minute and 20 seconds (two mins in total) over the challengers.

Drama struck as The Rag went to round the mark when a 12ft Skiff in another club's race took out The Rag, leaving the stunned crew scrambling to regain their spinnaker and get back up and racing.
The incident cost Rag & Famish Hotel one minute and 15 seconds and the race was on and, all of a sudden, there were four boats with strong winning chances.

It was all down to the final set of 3-Buoys marks, and R Marine Pittwater was the team to benefit most. Nearn and his crew were faultless with the spinnaker set and from that point there was never a doubt as the group completed the course from Rose Bay to Clark Island.

Frank Quealey

Friday, November 16, 2018

Spring 18ft Skiff Championship Set To Be a Nail Biter - Sydney Harbour

The Australian 18 Footers League's seven-race Spring Championship won't be decided until almost half the 18-boat fleet have crossed the finish line in the final race of the series, on Sydney Harbour next Sunday (18 November).
Finport and Vintec Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With all seven races to count for each team in the overall points for the series (there is no discard in this series), two teams share the lead, but are just four points ahead of some red-hot challengers.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Charlie Gundy) and Rag & Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards, Rory Cox, Jacob Broom) are equal on 28 points, although Finport Finance holds a psychological advantage with two wins and three minor placings from the six races sailed so far. Only a DNF in Race 4 has been Finport's poor result.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Despite the statistics, the young Rag & Famish Hotel crew has been on the pace throughout the series and recorded five top-4 placings in the first five races. The Rag's team will also benefit from the 3-Buoys mark rounding (handicap system), which handicaps the fleet throughout the length of the course.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
As the fleet's 'Scratch' boat, Finport Finance will have to sail to the furthest windward mark on each of the three laps of the course, while Rag & Famish Hotel has to sail to the nearest, then twice to the middle mark on her three laps of the course.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
It will likely produce a catch-me-if-you-can situation as The Rag team should be able to set their spinnaker for the downwind legs while the Finport team are still working to their mark.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
"After coming second to Jordan Girdis and his team in last year's Spring Championship, we are really keen to go one better this year. Off 'Scratch'. it's an Everest that might be too high unless the conditions are top end in either of our two rigs.The Rag boys have improved greatly over the past season or two, and will be very hard to catch as they go around the mid marks," said Finport skipper Keagan York.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With the possibility of a 10-15 knot SE wind prevailing on race day, Keagan and his Finport team might get their wish. Rag & Famish Hotel skipper, Bryce Edwards and his team are eagerly looking forward to the challenge.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
"Finport is fast with her  number 2 rig, while still to plug in the number1 rig this season. We are consistent with both rigs and hopefully this may give us an edge.There is no doubt about Finport's impressive form this season and the vast experience of Keagan and his crew," Edwards said.

"We're thinking it may be a light Easterly on Sunday, but I'm sure the forecast will change multiple times between now and the starting gun. It's anyone's guess what conditions or traffic we may get on the water. Our sponsor, Pete Calligeros (Rag & Famish Hotel) has been a huge driving force and encourages us to back ourselves.His instruction this weekend was to 'have-a-crack' and take it to Keagan and the boys, as anything could happen.Regardless of the result on Sunday, we will be pretty chuffed, given the guys we are racing against," he added.

While Finport Finance and Rag & Famish Hotel obviously have the points on the board, each team will have to look out for more than just the other, as the closest two challengers to them on the points table are two of the hottest teams in the fleet.

Smeg (Michael Coxon, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) is in third position on 32 points, followed by Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Paul Montague, Harry Bethwaite) on 43 points.

Two young teams, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle, Tom Quigley) and Vintec (Kirk Mitchell, Daniel Barnett, Tim Westwood) are in equal fifth place on 44 points, followed by the most experienced team in the fleet, Yandoo (John Winning, Mike Kennedy, Cam McDonald) on 46 points.

Frank Quealey

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

SailGP Launches China Team

SailGP today unveiled the fifth team in its new global racing league – the China SailGP Team – with a bold ambition to drive the growth of high-performance sailing in China. The China SailGP Team takes to the water in February 2019 equipped to challenge for the inaugural championship title.
Photo: Supplied
The team launches with a core of Chinese talent supplemented by some of the world’s leading sailors of advanced foiling catamarans, and will build to a full Chinese crew over SailGP’s initial years of racing. Ensuring competitiveness now and in the future, the China SailGP Team will help develop the country’s next generation of world-class sailors capable of success in SailGP and other top-level sailing competitions.

The China SailGP Team will be helmed by veteran New Zealander Phil Robertson, a regular fixture on the World Match Racing Tour podium since his debut in 2009, and a championship winner in 2016. He will be leading the fight for China against Australia, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States, alongside some of China’s top home-grown sailors: Liu ‘Black’ Xue (grinder), Jinhao ‘Horace’ Chen (grinder) and Liu ‘Leo’ Ming (reserve grinder), who have all represented Dongfeng Race Team in the Volvo Ocean Race, including during the team’s winning campaign in 2017-18.

“China’s potential in top-level international sailing is limitless – from the size of the fanbase, to the commercial market, to the development of talent on the water,” said SailGP CEO Russell Coutts.

“For SailGP, it has always been a priority to have a Chinese team that could be competitive in season one while jump-starting the long-term pipeline of home-grown talent. This is a nationality driven competition, with an objective to build the team to be 100 percent Chinese over the next three to five years. This current China SailGP Team will have the skills and experience to be competitive from our first event starting in Sydney next February, and will be well poised to excite fans on home soil starting in season two.”

Olympians James Wierzbowski (flight controller) of Australia and Thomas Le Breton (reserve wing trimmer) from France, plus Britain’s Ed Powys (wing trimmer) fill the seven-man roster set up for success in SailGP’s inaugural season.

“We’ve seen a lot of success with the cross-culture team model in China,” said Bruno Dubois, China SailGP Team principal. “Most of our crew has experience with a China-based team – either China One Ningbo for the World Match Racing Tour or the Dongfeng Race Team for the Volvo Ocean Race – and we are collectively committed to continuing to facilitate the development of high-performance sailing in China.”

Spearheaded by Larry Ellison and Coutts, SailGP has set out to redefine sailing and will bring intensely competitive, inshore racing to fans in Sydney; San Francisco; New York; Cowes, U.K.; and Marseille, France, as world-class crews compete for the championship trophy and a US$1 million prize. The teams will be racing identical wingsailed F50s – the fastest catamarans in the world, precision-engineered to break the 50-knot (60mph/100kph) barrier.

“I’ve represented world-class teams before, but nothing has come close to this SailGP project when it comes to long-term ambition,” said China SailGP Team helmsman Phil Robertson. “We are looking to the future, but make no mistake: we’re here to compete from race day one. We just came off a fantastic couple weeks on the F50 in New Zealand, which made us even more excited for what’s to come next year.”

China is on tap to be one of the first expansion event markets for SailGP, with the country’s sailing community set to reap the benefits of exposing China’s sailors and sports fans to a brand-new international racing experience. From season two, SailGP will begin a legacy program that will see youth programs in every team market provide development opportunities to young sailors via schools and yacht clubs.

“SailGP is a huge opportunity to increase China’s presence in elite-level sailing,” said China SailGP grinder Liu ‘Black’ Xue. “We’ve had some successes on the international stage already, but this multi-race international format will help us build really strong connections with fans and hopefully inspire the next generation of young sailors out there. SailGP is going to help create pathways and opportunities for talented young athletes that didn’t exist before.”

SailGP and World Sailing rules designate China as a developing country, allowing the team to select a specified number of non-native athletes to participate with the national team so it can safely pilot the demanding F50 yachts from the very first race. The China SailGP Team has a 40 percent nationality requirement for season one, which will increase by 20 percent each season. In parallel, China SailGP Team will create a youth development academy to train talented young sailors for future competition.

“The rules developed by SailGP and World Sailing allow us not only to be immediately competitive, but also give us clear targets that will only be met by pushing development even further in China,” said Dubois. “It is essential for us to establish a strong youth academy, providing a pathway for talented young Chinese sailors to train in a high-performance setting and gain needed experience on foiling boats, which will have far reaching future benefits for the Chinese sailing community.”

Eventually, every national team will be fully comprised of athletes native to the country they are representing, sharpening the nation-versus-nation edge that sets SailGP apart from many other top-class sailing competitions.

Sail GP Media

Monday, November 12, 2018

St Jude wins Cabbage Tree Island Race- Blue Water Point Series

Images: Andrea Francolini
After sailing just over 26 hours, with most of the time spent working upwind, CYCA Vice Commodore Noel Cornish and his team aboard St Jude have been declared the Overall Winner of the Audi Centre Sydney Cabbage Tree Island Race.
Photo: Hamish Hardy / CYCA
“We are very pleased with the result that we were able to achieve - I think it’s a good confidence booster for the crew as we ride in to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,” Cornish, whose boat took IRC, ORCi and PHS divisions, said.

“It was a tough race, we spent 85 to 90 per cent of the time sitting on the rail as a crew but that’s what you have to do sometimes.”

“We carried the nor’easter up to and around the island, then about an hour after we went around we started to pick up the south-west breeze which then swung to the south pretty quickly. In previous years I have spent a lot of time getting around Cabbage Tree Island but we managed to keep moving around it on this occasion which was a great relief.”

With the upwind and variable conditions favouring the mid-sized entrants, there was a tight battle for the overall win with the lead changing many times as teams made the most of the changing conditions.

“We had a good tussle with Enterprise and SailExchange, they really kept us focused during the whole race. Both those crews sail their boats well, so those were the ones that we were very heavily focused on to try and stay in front of,” Cornish said.

“The crew have been working very hard. It has essentially been the same crew for a number of years and it's nice for the crew when all the hard work pays off and you get a nice result.”

Looking ahead to the pinnacle of the series, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Cornish and his team onboard are ready for the challenge and whatever the race throws at them.

“We have been training and making adjustments to the boat for years, it doesn’t just happen quickly. It happens as a result of a lot of work over multiple years to get good results,” Cornish said.

“We will have almost the same crew for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. We like to have conditions that are more of an all-round nature. The boat goes well when it’s on the wind, so we hope to see a range of conditions in this year’s race which we should be able to take advantage of.”

Following St Jude in the standings was a trio of TP52s with Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban in a close second, followed by Peter Wrigley & Andrew Kearnan’s Koa and CYCA Rear Commodore Dr Sam Haynes’ Celestial.

Hamish Hardy

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Maserati Wins Act 5 and the MC38 2018 Season Crown on Pittwater

The sun shone on a tricky Pittwater as the MC38s dazzled. Neville Crichton’s Maserati cleaned-up the closing seven-race Act 5 by a monumental 12 points and sealed the five-round season pointscore championship.
Photo: Tilly Lock Media
A frustrating stop-start beginning to day two of the MC38 2018 Season’s Act 5 included a general recall in light NE winds, a course reset to ENE then the race was blown off by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s race management team.
Photo: Tilly Lock Media
The fleet then returned to the NE start line for the race five completion followed by a postponement and a relocation back to Morning Bay on Pittwater’s western shore for the easterlies that eventually locked in for races six and seven, and built nicely to 11-14 knots.
Photo: Tilly Lock Media
All crews paused at 1100hrs in the start line vicinity for a minute’s silence marking Armistice Day, the idea of Ginger’s guest helmsman Martin Hill,  the newly crowned 2018 Etchells world champion. Hill found himself in familiar company, his winning Etchells crewmate Julian Plante a regular strategist for long-time MC38 owner Leslie Green who was absent.
Photo: Tilly Lock Media
Guest Maserati helmsman Tom Quick from the Farr 40 class, steering for owner Neville Crichton, and key decision makers Ben Lamb, tactician Joe Turner and mainsheet Doug McGain; made sound choices picking the shortest path around the two-lap course to finish boat of the day, regatta victor and season champion.
Photo: Tilly Lock Media
“Most boats missed at least one of the regattas this season but Neville was adamant he wanted his boat there, regardless of whether he was or not. The first regatta for 2019 is in February and we’ll be on the start line for the nationals in March – we can’t wait,” Turner said.
Photo: Tilly Lock Media
“This team was fantastic bringing in someone who hasn’t stepped on an MC38 before. They are a very light boat, very responsive and weight dependent. I absolutely enjoyed it and the gusts are exciting,” Quick said of his first-ever MC38 experience.
Ginger finished second overall in the Act 5 final standings and Steve Barlow’s Lightspeed placed third on a count-back. Best scored boat across the five acts spanning May to November 2018 and sailed between Pittwater and Sydney Harbour was Crichton’s Maserati. Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan finished second overall and Ginger third.

Fourth in the season pointscore and worth noting is the latest fleet addition, Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart’s Lazy Dog which pushed hard at the final Pittwater series. Twice in race six in a matter of seconds the Middle Harbour Yacht Club team drew the attention of on-water umpire Erica Kirby and her rarely-pointed red flag.

“It’s time on the water with a great crew. The armoury is coming in for the nationals so we are ramping up,” Lane said back at the host club..

More women have joined the class over the years and the majority of MC38s are running with mixed crews. For Act 5 there was a significant representation of youth sailors across the fleet, including multiple female RPAYC Youth Development sailors on John Bacon’s Dark Star.

Chris Way’s Easy Tiger again had their regatta cut short due to a breakage, this time a stanchion failed which sent the boat and crew back to the club not long after the start of race six.

Lisa Ratcliff

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Sam Davies on Initiatives-Coeur (IMOCA) Forced to Abandon Route du Rhum Race

As she faced very rough seas in the depression sweeping the Bay of Biscay yesterday, Sam Davies diagnosed a de-lamination of the bottom of the hull of her 60ft monohull, Initiatives-Cœur. Given the expected weather conditions off the Iberian Peninsula in the next few days and the nature of the damage, the option of a stopover in La Coruna and try to make a repairs has been ruled out.
Photo: © Initiatives-Cœur
It has been impossible to conceive of a scenario where Davies could consider her boat in a satisfactory and safe enough condition to re-start. It is with enormous sadness that Davies has decided to give up her first Route du Rhum. The difficult decision was made to abandon the race and head back to the Initiatives-Cœur team base. The damaged monohull is expected in Lorient tomorrow afternoon.
Photo: © Initiatives-Cœur
“I discovered the structural problems yesterday. The first thing I noticed was that the skin of my ballast had delaminated. As I was making a tack, I was mopping up water in my living area and I heard the same noise as the one from the ballast. A creaking that came from the hull around the longitudinal reinforcement. Whenever that was slammed, I heard a creak. I looked everywhere, there was no sign of a leak. I assessed with my team that I could continue," Davis said.
Photo: © Initiatives-Cœur
"Once I regained some speed, I found myself on starboard tack and so I was leaning on the damaged port side. Whenever the boat slammed, I could see the hull bending under my feet, with folds appearing on the inner skin – that’s a little scary. I contacted the team to make an analysis with the boatbuilders. I was not feeling that relaxed," she added.
Photo: © Initiatives-Cœur
"The problem is that we still had four days of these conditions, with a lot of wind and four days upwind, that’s a long time...I wasn’t very keen on attempting it, especially as the damaged area is in my living area, not far from the batteries. If there is any kind of tear in these conditions, I will find myself without battery power, communications and energy.

"So, I decided to turn around and head back to Lorient while the wind was pushing me in the right direction. I’m hoping to be able to protect the damaged area in the time it takes to get to Lorient. We went pretty well last night, there were still 50 knots and huge seas.”

Now it is the other goal of this project that Davies will solely focus on. The solidarity adventure continues, with the €162 000 that have been raised so far enough to save 13 children (The successful Initiatives-Cœur campaign supports the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque charity, which enables children around the world to undergo cardiac surgery).

The meter is still running, and with each new follower and share of the Initiatives-Cœur Facebook page or Instagram, the sponsors-patrons, Initiatives and K-LINE, will donate €1 to the Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque association, with the goal still to save 20 children.

Initiatives-Cœur Media

Monday, November 5, 2018

Smeg Smoke The Fleet - 18ft Skiffs Spring Championship, Race 4 - Sydney Harbour

Sunday, 4 November, 2018 

The Smeg 18ft Skiff crew of Michael Coxon, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge were brilliant as they led the fleet from start-to-finish and dominate Race 4 of the Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The team won the start at the pin end of the line, and clearly led the fleet up the first windward leg from Clark Island to the Beashel Buoy in the 17-knot North East wind. Even allowing for the staggered 3-Buoys mark, Smeg maintained her lead as the fleet headed back down wind to the wing mark in Rose Bat.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With Smeg in control from early in the race, most interest for the large spectator fleet centred on the battle for second place, with six boats vying for the honour.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone's Jordan Girdis, Lachlan Doyle and Tom Quigley finally won out to come home in second place, one minute and 41 seconds behind the winner, and just four seconds. ahead of the third placed Rag & Famish Hotel team of Bryce Edwards, Jacob Broom and Rory Cox.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
R Marine Pittwater (Rob Greenhalgh) finished fourth, ahead of Noakesailing (Sean Langman) and Vintec (Kirk Mitchell). Rag & Famish Hotel's third placing in today's race was enough to give the young crew a nine points lead over Smeg in the seven-race championship.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The Rag leads with a score of nine points, followed by Smeg on 21, Bing Lee 21, Finport Finance 26, Yandoo 27, and Noakesailing 29.
Noakes Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With the wind at its strongest on the first lap of the course, the fleet gave spectators a spectacular look at speed sailing as the leaders raced downwind to the wing mark with only seconds separating the chasers behind Smeg.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
At the end of the first lap, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone, Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster), R Marine Pittwater, Rag & Famish Hotel, Vintec, Dal Zotto (Jack Sprague) and Yandoo (John Winning) were staging a great race behind the runaway leader.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Appliancesonline generally held second place over the next lap-and-a-half of the course and was a clear second behind Smeg as the leaders rounded the final windward 3-Buoys and headed for home.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Just when the second place seemed assured at the final wing mark, Appliancesonline capsized and the team had to settle for a disappointing 10th as they limped home.
Frank Quealey