Monday, March 4, 2019

Honda Marine Win Race 2 - JJ Giltinan Championship - Sydney Harbour

18ft Skiffs - 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Race 2
Sunday, 3 March 2019 - Sydney Harbour

Defending champion Honda Marine won its second race of the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship today, after another eventful day of racing on Sydney Harbour.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After trailing Winning Group (John Winning Jr.) for half the NE course, Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) grabbed the lead when the Winning Group spinnaker was torn in an incident with a yacht and the skiff had to retire from the race.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Once in the lead, Honda Marine held a handy lead over the fleet and looked set for a good win, but Appliancesonline.com.au (Brett Van Munster, Phil Marshall, Kurt Fatouris) put in a wonderful last lap of the course to finish just 10 seconds behind Honda Marine in a great finish for the large spectator fleet.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After a dramatic pre-race incident, Smeg (Michael Coxon, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) finished third, one minute 20 seconds behind Appliancesonline.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Australian champion Asko Appliances (James Dorron) came in fourth after being well back in the fleet on the first lap of the NE course. Simon Nearn’s R Marine Pittwater produced another excellent performance to finish in fifth place, after being with the leading group throughout the race.

Bing Lee (Micah Lane) was sixth, followed by The Oak Double Bay-4 Pines (Aron Everett), Finport Finance (Keagan York). Yandoo (John Winning) and New Zealand’s C-Tech (Alex Vallings).
With protests pending from Race 1 of the championship, and another one today by Winning Group requesting redress, the pointscore won’t become realistic until after tomorrow’s hearing.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Following Honda Marine’s impressive win in Race 1, there was an expectation that the team would again be hard to beat in relatively similar conditions, but it was the Winning Group which led the fleet from the start until the incident with the yacht.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Winning Group lead Honda Marine by 20 seconds at the first windward mark, with Smeg, R Marine Pittwater, Bing Lee, Appliancesonline and ASCC following close behind.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
At the bottom mark, Winning Group had opened up a break over the fleet while Honda Marine had dropped back to sixth place.
Honda Marine was still trailing Winning Group by 15 seconds as the fleet had returned to the top mark, but just as the spectators were settling down to watch a great race between the two champion teams Winning Group was put out of the race.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Skipper John Winning Jr. said later; “There was a yacht under motor, we were on starboard and at the last moment the yacht turned at the last minute and we had to ‘flog’ our kite to avoid a collision. As we did that the spinnaker caught some of the rigging and it was badly torn’”
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The top teams in the championship have had a dramatic start to the regatta in the first two races.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Smeg hit a moored boat on the way out to the start and hard to return to shore to make hasty repairs with the race start on 15 minutes away. With a five foot piece of timber, a quick repair was made onshore and the team did remarkably well to come home in third place.
With so much depending on the protest hearings tomorrow, then Tuesday’s two races over windward-and return courses, there could be a dramatic change in the championship points.

Frank Quealey

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