Sunday, January 27, 2019

Winning Group Leads After Four Races in 18ft Skiffs Australian Championship

18ft Skiffs, Australian Championship, Races 3 and 4
Sunday 27 January, 2019 - Sydney Harbour

In contrast to the almost non-existant wind which ruined the first day's racing in the Australian 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour last Sunday, a southerly wind of more than 25-knots today provided excellent conditions for some fast, action-packed racing on Day Two.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Winds were so strong that every team had problems during the two windward-return races staged in Rose Bay. The strong Smeg team of Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey handled the conditions brilliantly while many others around them floundered or capsized.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After trailing Bing Lee (Micah Lane) at the windward mark early in the race, Smeg's downwind speed enabled her to grab the lead and the skiff was not headed over the rest of the course.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
At the end of the three laps, Smeg crossed the finish line one minute 58 seconds ahead of second placed The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett, Tom Clout, Reece Goldsmith), with Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris0 another 35 seconds back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Winning Group (John Winning Jr) was an impressive fourth after recovering from an earlier capsize, followed by Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) and Bing Lee.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
As the battered fleet regrouped for the second race of the day, four of the original 18 starters were missing. Once again, Bing Lee and Smeg led the fleet to the first windward mark but an unexpected capsize by the Smeg crew left Bing Lee to try and fend off the challenge by the Winning Group skiff.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The experience of John Winning Jr., Sam Newton and Seve Jarvin was clearly on display and the Winning Group was soon in front, then led the fleet over the next two laps of the course.With victory in sight the Winning Group's crew prepared for the final gybe only to capsize and leave Micah Lane, Peter Harris and Scott Babbage to take the honours in Bing Lee.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The consistent The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone (Jordan Girdis, Tom Quigley, Lachlan Doyle) were rewarded for their efforts when the young team finished second, 4m5s behind Bing Lee. Winning Group recovered from their capsize to come home in third place, 35s behing The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Asko Appliances (James Dorron) was fourth, followed by Dal Zotto (Jack Sprague) and Smeg.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Despite the mishap in Race 4, Winning Group leads the points on 8, followed by Bing Lee on 11, The Kitchen Maker-Caesarstone on 12 Smeg 13, The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines 18 and Appliancesonline.com.au on 21.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Frank Quealey

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Asko Appliances Crowned 18ft Skiffs 2018-2019 NSW Champions

18ft Skiffs NSW Championship, Final
Sunday, 13 January 2019 - Sydney Harbour

The Asko Appliances 18ft Skiff team became the 2018-2019 NSW champions after scoring a win and a second placing in the final two races of the championship which were sailed in a 15K SSE wind on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Skipper James Dorron and his crew of Harry Bethwaite and Steve Thomas proved too consistent on the day for their main challengers for the title and Asko Appliances deserved the win as the team was the only two race winner of the five-race championship.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Asko Appliances finished the championship with a total of nine points. Finport Finance (Keagan York, Matt Stenta, Charlie Gundy) was runner-up on 13 points, followed by Smeg (Michael coxon, Ricky Bridge, Mike McKensey) on 14 points.John Winning's Yandoo was fourth on 20 points, followed by Bing Lee (Micah Lane) on 27 and Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) on 30 points.
Photo: Frank Quealey
In the first of today's two races, (re-sail of Race 2) Finport Finance took an early lead over Smeg on the first windward leg, but Smeg's speed took that skiff to the lead on the downwind leg to the bottom mark. Triple M (Tom Anderson) was in third place with Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) fourth, ahead of Noakesailing (Sean Langman) and Asko Appliances
Photo: Frank Quealey
The secong lap of the course saw a change come over the leading group when Asko's team elected to go to the LHS side of the course on the spinnaker run and the move was a winner. It was this leg which brought the Asko Appliances back into contention and enabled the skiff to go on and win the race from Finport Finance and Smeg.
Photo: Frank Quealey
At the finish, Asko Appliances defeated Finport Finance by nine seconds, with Smeg another eight seconds back in third place. R Marine Pittwater (Rob Greenhalgh) finished fourth, ahead of Triple M and Noakesailing. Going into the final race, Smeg and Asko Appliances were equal on seven points (net).
Photo: Frank Quealey
Finport Finance, on 12 points (net) was the only other team with a realistic chance of winning the title, but it would be a slim chance.The expected match race between Smeg and Asko Appliances never eventuated as Smeg lost all hope with a disasterous start while Asko was up close to the lead.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Finport Finance's crew quickly had their skiff in the lead and, with some great boat handling skills in the southerly wind, were able to retain the lead over the entire three laps of the windward-return course.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Asko Appliances was in second place behind Finport, and with Smeg well back, her crew seemed intent to safety rather than risk losing the big 'championship win' prize.The action in both races was spectacular and non-stop.
Photo: Frank Quealey
While the top three teams dominated much of the racing there were some very good efforts throughout the fleet. Finport Finance's winning margin over Asko Appliances in Race 5 was 45 seconds, with third placed Vintec a further one minute and 10 seconds back.Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster) finished fourth, ahead of Yandoo and Noakesailing.
Frank Quealey