Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Smeg Sneak into Second at JJ Giltinans

18ft Skiffs 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship, Races 3 & 4
Tuesday, 5 March 2019 - Sydney Harbour

Australia’s Smeg team of Michael Coxon, Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey starred on Day 3 of the Winning Group 2019 JJ Giltinan Championship with a win and third placing in the two races today, to move into clear second placing after four races of the regatta.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With a perfect 19-20 knot NE breeze on Sydney Harbour, the New Zealand teams again produced some spectacular sailing to take out first and second placings in Race 3 when C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey, Matt Coutts) defeated defending champion Honda Marine (David McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins) by 10 seconds in a thriller.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Smeg led early in the race but the skiff hit a wave, fell into a lull, and had to make a good save to stay in contention with the leading group. The loss of momentum sent the skiff back into 7th place at the bottom mark before the team came back through the fleet to finish third, 20 seconds behind Honda Marine.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Winning Group (John Winning Jr., Sam Newton, Seve Jarvin) held the lead at the windward mark from Smeg, C-Tech and ASCC (Josh Porebski, Jack Simpson, Dave Hazard) in Race 3, but it was the two Kiwi teams, C-Tech and Honda Marine, which dominated the spinnaker run back to the bottom mark off Clark Island.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
At the windward mark on the second lap, C-Tech were 15 seconds ahead of Honda Marine, and despite a strong challenge from Honda, C-Tech held on for the narrow 10 second victory.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The NE breeze freshened a couple of knots for Race 4 and the Smeg team gave the fleet no chance as the skiff raced ahead at every mark to defeat fellow Australian team, Winning Group, by 31 seconds, with ASCC a further 12 seconds back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Honda Marine came home in fourth place, ahead of Bing Lee (Micah Lane), Vintec (Kirk Mitchell) and Asko Appliances (James Dorron).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After being granted redress and average points for the incident in Race 2, Winning Group’s position become more complicated on the pointscore board.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The three leaders, either including, or without discard, are Honda Marine on 8 points (net 4), Smeg 11 points (net 7), and Winning Group 11.5 points (net 7.5)
With two more races to be sailed tomorrow, and a 20-knots SSE wind predicted, the racing is certain to continue to excite the spectators and the changes on the leader board could continue.

Frank Quealey

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